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November 15, 2020 12:01 am
Carter Conlon from the historic Times Square Church in New York City as a way to do something broke and he found it in the house of the man was given to prayer and fasting. Thanks for joining us this week for a call to the nation with Carter Conlon in a message explaining why do we fast when we pray, Jesus actually addressed fasting in the Bible and we do well to pay attention to his words. Especially if we are serious about effecting change in prayer.
Here's Carter with today's message speak a message entitled why do we fast when we pray, why do we fast when we pray for strangely silent. That father, I thank you Lord for your word which is a lamp for our feet and the light for our path when we obey you. There are blessings that don't come any other way. And so God I'm asking you to help me to make this very simple tonight and to be understandable to every heart when the anointing of your Holy Spirit comes upon a human heart. It allows us to understand things that we've not understood before, though they be playing before us some asking tonight for the ability to speak this for each of our hearts.
The ability to hear it and I thank you for it.
In Jesus name. Why do we fast when we pray, now we fast here at Times Square church.
Many of us on Tuesday night, which means it.
Personally speaking, every Tuesday I abstain from all solid food from Monday night right through till after service on Tuesday evening.
I do it for specific reason is things that I've learned over the years in studying and reading the word of God and we can talk about that in a little while.
We never suggest that people abstain from solid food. Unless you are medically able to do so.
Not a wise thing. If you have diabetes, not a wise thing.
If you have a physical or our medical condition to abstain from solid food, for any amount of time and never under any circumstance.
Do we advise abstaining from liquid.
You can only survive three days without water, so I don't recommend you try five day waterless fast because will be no orchestrating your funeral here or not a not a blessing. What God did in your life so don't think that there is a great book on fasting called God's chosen fast. It's by the author is Arthur Wallace W a LL I asked and I do recommend it. It's fasting from a spiritual and medical perspective for anybody that wants to undertake this discipline, you should not undertake it without knowledge. Now if you're reasonably good health and you decide to fast with us on Tuesday for Monday midnight to Tuesday at the end of the service, you will not die. Even though your body is telling you that you will. You won't for the first three days seven days. Actually, the faster your body is really just consuming toxins. They let me in stored poisons in your pocket so your body is just consuming these things and then for the next roughly 33 days it's consuming fat. Once the you'll actually if you want an extended festive anybody here is ever done that after a certain amount of time you lose all hunger you won't be hungry anymore until the point where your body is starting to consume muscle tissue. That's the point where starvation is setting units generally without the person about the 40th day of the fast. I don't recommend that some please don't anybody try that. I don't like you really have to know what you're doing undertake and ask a spiritual reason to just don't feel far you can go before you die. And that's not smart so don't do that. Suffice to say we fast just for one day every Tuesday. It's been a personal habit of mine for many years now. It's not just something new because I saw something in the Scriptures, and I'm going to try to convey it to you as simply as I can tonight and so the question arises why do we fast when we pray not for me personally when I began to study the Scriptures.
I saw something in it. I don't have to understand everything.
I don't have to understand the deeper meaning behind everything.
Sometimes certain things are just plain and just there. For example, in Matthew chapter 6 verses 17 and 18. Jesus spoke of fasting as a natural expression of our devotion to God, he said, but you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but your father who is in the secret place in your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. So Jesus spoke about fasting in the Scriptures as if it was a natural part of our devotion to God a natural part of our prayer life. It was understood.
I'm sure by the listeners. It seems to have evaded many people may be in our contemporary society today that this is a gate it's just simply a practice that it was in Scriptures and in Mark chapter 2 in verse 20 Jesus said again. The days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them and they will fast in those days. Another words he talked about a day coming when he was going to be taken to the cross he was going to die was going to be three days in the grave be raised from the dead, and he was going to send back in the habit and he said you don't need to fast while the bridegroom is with you, but there's a day coming when the bridegroom is going to be taken away.
And in those days you will fast.
I remember when I I saw it in the Scriptures nicely. God, I don't fully understand why, but you seem to think it was a normal part of prayer in Christian living and so God help me to fast I wasn't. I was this I don't mean to be funny but I was a slow faster if I may put it that way and took a long time to get off the ground because your body doesn't like to be deprived and if you think it dies and you go one day without any if you've never done it before. Your body will smell every hamburger, every steak every meal you've ever enjoyed will go like a tickertape through your mind you be so obsessed you can't think about anything but food is so craved to be like the army of the Israelites that were lobbying. They flew up on the spoiler needed raw for the first time ever, the passage reason I fasted ever for a full day we were literally right down the midnight was told the 12, it was 1150 we have the water boiling was 1152 week we had the we have the hotdogs in the water. 1159 were taken out and put them on the bottom relish, onions is lace the and 12 o'clock our present first strike was in my mouth right out of the gate. We ate so fast we both laid in bed holding our stomachs and moaning.
After thought we were going to die one day. Thursday ever delivered. You don't realize how much your last really controls you until you take a moment and begin to fast. Now in those days we just did it because we thought let's try this. I mean, it seems to be in the Bible and people faster than people were talking about fasting so let's give it a try. Let's fast I member I want to Toronto not long after that there was a church having a three day extra fast where they went without food or water for three days. I don't recommend that it any time. I was taken by day two I was taking extended showers with my mouth open and this was that this was a church in revival. They were in revival and presence of God was there in undertaking this three day fast for the nation.
We thought wow this is awesome at the end with the unfortunate thing is passage reason myself. One of my best friends and his wife.
We booked a motel that was right next to the Mendoza stay because you ever heard of Mendoza states is so me and my friend Larry. We would go over every day and would stand in the lobby of the Mendoza steakhouse would watch the waiters carrying the Bible we read the menu and we were thinking all when this fast is over on I'm having the one with the mushrooms and the onions and and stuff like that. We were just so food driven because we were fasting but not quite sure the concept and when you're not sure the concept of why we fast when we pray that it becomes just all about the food because that it's a youthful pursuit, but you don't really understand why we're fasting what this is all about.
I think it's later on my life. I began to understand some things about fasting you look in the Bible. For example just give you some examples and ask chapter 10 there was a man called Cornelius, a Gentile seeker of God, a sincere man who was a little short of obviously the full revelation of God. At that time, he didn't understand the things of the ways of God. But it says in chapter 10 of acts in verse 38, he said so. Camelia said this is Peter was told by God to go to this man's house. This particular man, not God knows that this man is going to be the doorway to bring the gospel to the rest of the world. Do you understand that the rest of the world was shut out.
Salvation was only for the Jews. Up to this point. The Holy Spirit was not given to anybody other than those rubbed the Jewish race but this day Peter is given this vision in prayer and he was fasting as well, and Peter goes to this man.
Cornelius's house and Cornelius says four days ago I was fasting until this hour and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing and it was through prayer and fasting that truth in the power of God was revealed to the entire Gentile world which most of was not all of us, but most of us are tonight through prayer and fasting.
This was the doorway into God doing something was simply a hungry man, spiritually speaking the same God do something about you. I don't understand this something you want to do that. I I don't fully grasp and he was so sincere about this pursuit of God that he would deny his flesh and be singularly focused on this one thing I want to know who you are.
I want to know what you do. I want to know how you do it, and as he was praying and fasting. God commissions the apostle Peter supernaturally to go to this man's house and you know the story as Peter is sharing the gospel of Christ with Cornelius's household and his friends. The Holy Spirit falls on all of them. They all start speaking with other tongs in the hall. Gentile world becomes open to salvation through Jesus Christ. Miracle comes to the rest of the world and thank God because of many of us are here tonight thank God for a man who was seeking him, God was looking for doorway to do something broke down and he found it in the house of a man who was given to prayer and fasting and when I began as a young Christian later on to understand these things is a God. I want you to do something through my life. I want to be more than mediocre in my life. I don't want to just follow the flow. I like to make a difference and I began to fast. I fasted the gun extended fast from time to time, I began the month. Fasting was for a specific reason God gave me a promise, the book of Proverbs and I wrote it out. I wrote it down huge BC yellow Bristol board with a green pen bring magic markers to remember and I acted to the wall in the kitchen passengers was not overly happy about it but you left it there for a long long time.
It was a promise to me, my son, if you will receive my words and treasure my commands within you and others if you will open your heart to my words and you will treasure what I speak to you so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding yes if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding as you seek her as silver if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures.
Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God, the Lord said, if you will seek me, you will find me if you will open your heart to truth you will understand. If you look for it as powerfully as you ever look for anything in your entire life.
I promise to open it to you and you will be taken to another place that you could never go without the sincerity of heart to my first point is just this is through prayer and fasting that we find out how sincere, how badly do you want to. How badly do you want the word of God in your heart how badly do you want to be able to read this Bible and have it understand and have it lodged in your heart and have it become a limb for your feet and light for about seven reorganize your thinking.
Restructure your insides badly do you want the kingdom of God to to M&A innuendo flow through how badly do you want to stand and represent Jesus Christ in your generation I wanted it bad enough that I was one willing to fast to get it willing to deny my flesh willing to say, God, I'm focused on this and I want this with all of my heart. Then again in the book of acts. In chapter 14 verses 22 and 23 Paul the apostle had just gone into Laconia Manila corneum.
The multitude said dragged him out of the city, and stoned him and left him to be dead, his disciples gathered around him.
This verse 1920. Right now, and ask chapter 14. They wanted to the city and the next day departed with Barnabas to Derby within preach the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to list your corneum in Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples and exhorting them to continue in the faith by saying we must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God. So when they had appointed elders in every church and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed and when you follow the text of Scripture to the book of acts you find that fasting was a part of everything they did.
They prayed with fasting, they prayed for strength.
They prayed for guidance that they prayed with sincerity. They prayed all God don't let them fall don't want them filed. All of them turned back because things get hard. God give them a new value system in their heart in their mind help them understand what they've embraced is worth fighting for, and its eternal when they prayed and they fasted, they set up our leaders know that they were going to suffer do understand many of these leaders wanted to times. Historically of incredible suffering and Paul knew what he had just climbed out from under a pile of blocks. That's why he was fasting. It was about himself. It was about them.
Oh God, keep these elders old God. Keep these ones that are appointed to lead your charts and appointed to bring your troops into this generation.
That's why they fasted, they were focused. They believed that God effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. They believed it with all of their heart.
They saw the power of prayer, but they knew the casual prayers are not what the moment, called for Linda Matthew chapter 17 verses 18 to 21 there was a man who brought his young child was demon possessed to the disciples, and you know the story. The they couldn't do anything that a lot of theology, but they seem to have no power. The Bible tells us in chapter 17.
In verse 18 Jesus rebuked the demon that came out of him and the child was cured from that very are no we spent part of our night tonight.
Praying for children, not by our design but by God's. We spent part of our time asking for healing for the children of this generation. Children that are becoming violent because the raised on violence. The becoming on lovely because they feel unloved, not all, thank God it's probably just a small percentage but it might be more than you and I realize the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, why could we not tested out.
And Jesus said to them, because of your unbelief or assuredly, I say to you. If you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain move from here to there and it will move and nothing will be impossible to you. That's an incredible promise. If you have faith, even the smallest amount that you can bring to God and you believe these things that are impossible for man in the natural are become possible because of God, operating through your life. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting is so the question is how badly do we want others to be free. We read these prayer requests tonight. I'm suicidal. I'm a Muslim I'm caught in a homosexual relationship by daughters played with thoughts of suicide, I'm old. I'm destitute, I'm bound by fear and pornography. I love Jesus I need to be free. I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. I'm an eight-year-old was seriously ill and I'm stuck in sexual immorality, fornication, adultery, homosexuality and incest.
So the question is, how bad do we want them to be free.
I will willing to deny ourselves a little bit that they might be free going to go along with this pitiful, powerless religion, are we going to have the ability to fast and pray as Jesus said I am not willing to stand at the foot of the mountain and watch the generation unchanged and whatever it takes. Wherever God leads whatever he requires of me that's what I will do, because I'm not willing.
I'm simply not willing to live in a place where the power of God is not so.
We have people from all over the world coming on hundred 95 country setting their bird requesting every week and they seem to be getting more desperate as the weeks go on so how badly do we want truth. How badly do we want our lives like Cornelius to make a difference how badly we want strength and guidance do not focus on ourselves but focus on others and endure hardship if necessary, that they might come to the place that God wants them to be and how badly do we want others to be free. Can we deny ourselves, for their sake, can we deny ourselves food for one day. For their sake. Skin to become a part of our life are we willing to pray and fast as a church.
Are we willing to stand really got her willing to be led into even deeper fasting if necessary, but the presence of God may rest with us and will belong to the future be calling a three day fast in the church again will regather nightly to pray, probably for these issues for the people, not ourselves, but for people in our generation that have no hope. Without the intervention of God in their lives. I tell you I wanted bad enough to obey God. That's why we fast when we pray, is not system old-fashioned religious exercise.
It's a spiritual discipline that's clearly in the word of God clearly spoken about by Jesus and very clearly embraced by the early church to see nobody fast anymore in our generation because churches all upside down and everything is about me.
So if it's all about me that I'm not going to deny myself or anybody else but didn't Jesus say if you go to be my disciple to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me.
Is there a measure of self-denial that's involved in this victory. I'm not willing folks to let this young generation be taken captive any longer. I'm just not willing to lay on the sidelines and watch the devil destroy a whole generation. I'm not willing to stand by and watch evil triumphant one God is on my side and God is given the promises God has told me that if I have the faith of a mustard seed, I can say to this mountain, remove and be cast into the sea, and it shall obey me, and nothing shall be impossible to those who believe that letter in my Bible.
It means that came out of the mouth of Jesus Christ himself, who cannot lie does not exaggerate what he speaks is the absolute truth. I guess the question arose. How do we want a bad do you want your life to be the doorway to somebody else's salvation. How bad do you want a new value system, a new heart, a new way of living and new approaches to life new pursuits. How bad do you want others around you to be free. That's really the issue when you bring it all down.
Then you begin to see that the whole motivation for our religion comes to the surface now what we've been in this in the first place.
What we been called to do. Go all the way with God wherever he leads you follow him what he ask you to do do that, do it with sensibility. Do it under counsel would do what God asked you to do and you watch what God will begin to do through you.
You watch the miracles.
It will begin to about you watch the gifting's of the Holy Spirit that will offer you watch the authority that he will put in your voice that you know you don't naturally have the wisdom will stick in your mind is not your own. The understanding of the word of God that you know nobody but the Holy Spirit could've taught that to you.
The way he is shown to you.
Watch what God will do is not limited by our education or lack thereof. He doesn't care about our social status makes no difference where we come from parking brethren has not God chosen the poor of this world who are rich in faith will praise God father, would you help us as a church. Would you help?
To pray. Would you help us to fast. Would you help us Lord God register in the house, a holy discontent to live powerless lives when the power of heaven is at our disposal. Would you fill us with your Holy Spirit again and again you give us the ability Lord that only you can to be the people that only you can make us into God Almighty give us the power to fast. When we pray in Jesus, thank you for joining us this week for a call to the nation with Carter, from Times Square Church in New York City. For more information log onto TSC.NYC that's TSC.NYC you can count on a powerful message each week on a call to the nation with Carter,