The leader of the Campus Crusade for Christ in Ethiopia reported they have 30,000 responding to the ministry. "It's all by prayer and fasting," he said. "Fasting is the most powerful spiritual discipline of all the Christian disciplines," Bill Bright declared.
Jesus, who had fasted 40 days, told the disciples when they failed to deliver the demonized boy, "This kind comes out only by prayer and fasting." Evidently when we fast we will see some prayers answered that we would not see without this discipline.
Jesus assumed we would fast and did not say "If you fast," but "When you fast" (Matt. 6:16). Even He was led by the Spirit into the desert to fast 40 days, but after fasting He returned to Galilee empowered by the Spirit. (Luke 4). There are no recorded miracles done before He fasted.
The purpose of fasting is to experience God's presence in a fuller measure. "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" (Jer. 29:13o). Joel defines whole-hearted praying: "Return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning." "Then you will call and the LORD will answer, you will cry for help, and he will say Here I am" (Isaiah 58:9).
Humbling ourselves through fasting attracts the presence of God. Fasting is a biblical way to humble ourselves in His sight. King David said, "I humbled myself with fasting" (Psalm 35:13). Ezra "proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God" (Ezra 8:21).
Humility is one of the four requirements for God to hear as we pray for our land: "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chron. 7:14).
Dear Lord, guide us into the fasting that will prepare the way for Your Spirit to be outpoured.
"Even now," declares the Lord, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning" (Joel 2:12).