RCCG HOUSE FELLOWSHIP LEADER’S MANUAL 15TH DECEMBER 2019: BENEFITS OF FASTING AND PRAYER
Father, grant me the strength and grace to seek and find your face.
BIBLE PASSAGE: Jonah 3:1-10
1 And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying,
2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.
3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey.
4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:
8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
Read – Open Heavens 15 December 2019
Read – Open Heavens 16 December 2019
What is fasting? By fasting, our focus is on christian fasting, and it is defined as voluntarily going without food in order to focus on prayer and fellowship with God.
Fasting acts as a booster for accelerated answered prayers. It shows our seriousness and connects all our energies to trust God for our petitions. It increases our faith and can easily trigger the release of our blessings.
While fasting many people study the bible, pray or worship etc.
Fasting should not be in the form of abstinence from food alone as this is commonly referred to as mere hunger strike. It require us to draw closer to God in prayer.
MEMORY VERSE: “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” Matthew 17:21
TEXT REVIEW: JONAH 3:1-10
i. Fasting and Prayer is a standing instruction from God.
ii. God is a rewarder of those who seek Him diligently.
iii. Fasting and Prayer aids the spirit of man intimate with God.
iv. Fasting and Prayer is a means of honour God.
Fasting is found throughout the Old and New Testament of the Bible.
1. Moses fasted to receive the Ten Commandments.– Exodus 24:18
2. The people of Nineveh fasted and repented of their sins and they obtained mercy from God.– Jonah 3:2-10
3. Queen Esther fasted with her people and God gave them victory over their enemies.– Esther 4:16
4. Jesus Christ; He fasted for forty days and forty nights.– Matthew 4:2
5. The early church combined fasting with their prayers.– Acts 13:1-4
THINGS THAT DO NOT CONSTITUTE A FAST ARE IN THE BOOK OF ISAIAH 58:3-5
EXAMPLES OF WRONG ATTITUDES AND ACTIONS THAT DO NOT MAKE A FAST:
– Having pleasures. – verse 3
– Afflicting the soul to attract. – verse 5
– Complaining. – verse 3
– Contention, strife and debate, – verse 4
– Jeremiah 14:10-12: fasting in sin
– Matthew 6:16: making a show of the fast
THINGS THAT MAKE UP A GOOD FAST:
– To practically help others
– To honour God
– To intercede: – Matthew 6:17-18
– For service: – Acts 13:2
– Not making a show of the fast.
BENEFITS OF FASTING:
– Fasting helps to make important decisions.
– Acts 13:1-3
– We fast for safety. – Ezra 8:21-23
– Fasting is a form of worship. – Luke 2:37
– It gives strength in weakness. – 1 Corinthians 6:5
– A repentant frame of mind. – 1 Samuel 7:6-7; 1 Samuel 7:13; Jonah 3:5-10
– We fast for deliverance. – Esther 4:16; Esther 7:9-10
– We fast to overcome addictions
– Fasting strengthens intimacy with God. – Exodus 24:18
– Fasting and prayer builds our faith. – Matthew 17:21
SUMMARY: Pray without ceasing.
Fasting act like a tonic or booster for accelerated answers to believer’s prayers. Jesus in Matthew 17:21 taught us to aad fasting to our prayers if want certain mountains to move.
ASSIGNMENT: Dedicate a day in the week to fast and pray.
1. Father, open the heavens of favour upon me in Jesus´ name.
2. Father, give me the grace and strength needed to fast in Jesus´ name.
3. Ask God for revelation and direction.
4. Lord, as I walk with You, may the fire of my altar never go out in Jesus´ name.
5. Father, let Your goodness and mercy follow me throughout this year and beyond in Jesus´ name. .
GOLDEN DIET FOR THE WEEK
MONDAY: Matthew 17:21; Daniel 9:3.- Fast and Pray today.
TUESDAY: Psalm 122:6; 2 Chronicles 7:14. – remember to always pray for the nation.
WEDNESDAY: Philippians 4:19 – God is capable of supplying all your needs.
THURSDAY: 1 Samuel 17:51-52 – Lord, let me experience Your power and victory in every area of my life.
FRIDAY: Mark 4:39; Isaiah 42:14. – Pray against every storm raging in marriages.
SATURDAY: Proverbs 10:22 – Lord, let me experience Your blessing that makes rich without sorrow in Jesus´ name.
SUNDAY: Matthew 17:21; Daniel 9:3 – Take it upon yourself to always fast, at least once a week.