Message From the Supervisors Council
of The African Methodist Episcopal Church:
SEPTEMBER 3, 2014 - A DAY OF FASTING AND PRAYER
6:00 AM til 6:00 PM
So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer. (Ezra 8:23 NIV)
THE INTERCESSORY COUNCIL of the EPISCOPAL SUPERVISORS of the AME CHURCH has set aside a DAY for COVENANT PRAYER and CORPORATE FASTING. At THIS HOUR, every area of the EPISCOPACY is under siege from Financial distress, irrational violence, an epidemic of curable and INCURABLE diseases, ecological disasters and Congregational strife. We have Ebola in the 14 TH DISTRICT, increasing Alzheimer's in the USA, the exodus of youth and young Adults from amongst us, unaddressed Mental Health issues and the vulnerability of our Colleges and Universities. NEVERTHELESS, We believe that "the effectual and fervent PRAYERS of the People of GOD will produce GREAT RESULTS." When you PRAY; please remember All of our EPISCOPAL LEADERS and their FAMILIES. Dr. Pam DeVeaux has prepared for our benefit a Wonderfully inspirational and informative piece on FASTING AND PRAYER. (Appendage below). It can serve as a powerful resource in your SPIRITUAL FORMATION. We BELIEVE the evidence of our FAITH will be great KINGDOM IMPACT in the earth realm.
BRO. CLAYTIE DAVIS, PRESIDENT
REV. DR. CECELIA WILLIAMS BRYANT, Senior Episcopal Supervisor
Presented by Dr. Pam DeVeaux
What is Fasting?
Fasting has been a part of the world since the time of Adam Jesus in Luke 4:1-4 showed the import by his example. The purpose for fasting is to draw nearer to God. One should fast with faith, fast for spiritual blessings and fast for repentance.
Fasting is defined as refraining from food and natural desires of the flesh for a spiritual purpose and we commit to our fast for a designated time and period. Jesus in Mathew 6: 1-18 sets the tone and guidance for fasting. It is evident that blessings and miracles happen when you give, when you pray and when you fast:
* Give of yourself to those that are needy,
* Pray sincerely to your Father who is in heaven; and,
* Fast with excitement in your heart
Give, Pray and Fast are three elements that are entwined together and when one is missing, the believer will not be able to experience the full spiritual benefits in life.
Think of a cord. A cord is braided with three strands. It is not easily broken. When we as believers practice all three elements we will experience
* Broken Generational Curses
One can give and that is good, but that is not enough. One can give and pray, but yet that is not enough. But when you give, pray and fast...this is the key to an abundant life. Fasting is tremendous weapon and source of power. Satan does not want you to fast. The discipline of fasting is a form of worship. You are offering your body to God as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. When you hunger for God he will fill you.
Blessings are missed because of the lack of fasting. Breakthroughs are blocked and are not coming to fruition because we do not exercise the power of fasting. Expect miracles when you fast. Fasting will turn your focus from your concentrating on me to focusing on thee. Jenetezen Franklin says fasting is a hunger strike against hell, saying loose those who are bound by deception, lies, alcohol, drugs and pornography.
God knows your heart and spirit and will direct you to your path for fasting. The Lord says when you fast your righteousness shall go before you. Isa 58:8- For heaven's sake don't be a drama filled faster in other words does not be like the Pharisees.
The Three Ways to fast:
* Absolute fast- Also known as the Dry Fast. No Food, No Water for a period of time (3 to 5 days)
* Normal fast-So in this type of fast the person abstains from food and liquid for a period of one day (from sunset to sunset
* Partial fast- The mildest of all fasting. (i.e. Daniel Fast)
The Three "W" of fasting: (Who, Why and When)
Why should we fast?
* To be closer to God
* To receive direction on what to do and how to do
* To defeat Satan with all his temptations
* To set those bound and afflicted
* To receive a Revelation from God
* To get victory, protection and for or God to fulfill his promises
* To be obedient to God's word that we should fast and pray
Who should fast?
* Fasting is for every believer
* Matthew 5:6 says blessed are those who hunger and fast for righteousness sake for they shall be filled.
When should we fast?
* One day to forty days
* From sunrise to sunset
* There is really never a convenient time to fast. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide when to fast. And when it is time to fast, just do it.
* Esther after praying, had all the Jews to join her on a fast from food and water and the Jews were spared
* Hannah's despair over her inability led her to fast
When you Fast, fast with:
* Prayer (pray throughout the day)
* The Word
In time of Sorrow- 1 Samuel 31:13
"Then they took their bones and buried them under a tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted seven days."
During national crises-2 Samuel 1:12
"They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the LORD and for the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword."
In need of courage- Esther 4:16
"Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish."
Humbled by fasting- Psalm 35:13
"Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth and humbled myself with fasting. When my prayers returned to me unanswered".
Real Meaning of fasting -Isaiah 58: 3-7
*Why have we fasted, ‘they say,‘ and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?' "Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high. Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?"
"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to lose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?"
Prayer and fasting-Daniel 9:3
*So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes."
Joyful fasting-Zechariah 8:19
*This is what the Lord Almighty says: "The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace."
Worship and fasting-Acts 13: 2-3
*While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off."