Mat 17:21 KJV – 21 “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”
At times when the Apostles found they were not readily able to heal people or drive out their demonic diseases, Christ told them that in order to have the power to drive out such demonic diseases that they could only do it through prayer and fasting. In most cases, only the laying on of hands, the anointing with oil, the commanding out the spirit in Yahshua’s name was needed. However there were times when this still wasn’t enough, and it was a stronger spiritual stronghold. Fasting and deep praying was required, “we must decrease that He might increase”. Deeper prayers are reached during fasts and sacrifice.
This message is to encourage all to do some major fasting and prayer, as is Biblical and is very critical for believers in the times we live. Not only for deliverance of our own selves but for intercession for our loved ones to get delivered.
Fasting was understood by the ancients as being so important that extra holidays have been inserted, which included fasting. Though many will agree most of these fasts aren’t explicitly commanded, they still may be vital to the survival of the believers in times of great affliction. Yet to limit this vital practice as merely being a tradition of men, or ritual, would mean to greatly miss out on the whole reasons behind the deliverance. The main reason is that we bring the flesh under submission so that our spirit can dominate once again and bring ourselves into deliverance. It is also a “good work” to practice fasting and those doing it religiously are often much healthier.
There are others who simply name-call fasting as “works” which can’t save us, and disregard it. They are treading on some shaky ground. Of course works on their own (without first receiving Christ for salvation) can’t save us, however that is overall a major cop-out for laziness and is unBiblical. Once we have been saved, we are to “abound in good works”. Every Christian will agree that after God saves us He gives us the Holy Spirit who gives us super natural power so we can do more good works than we could have ever dreamed, not fewer.
So to have the fruit and evidence of salvation (good works), then we all should be well known by those around us,
as Christ said, Mat 5:16 KJV – 16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
And as Paul said, Phl 4:5 KJV – 5 “Let your moderation be known unto all men. YAHWEH [is] at hand.”
Fasting surely shouldn’t be something we are against, like some Protestants say we should be. Rather than promote getting set free as Christ has prescribed, they’re getting into “pick on the pius” contests, just attacking righteousness. This view has become so popular these days, that if you’re fasting you will get scorned by these ungodly so-called Christians. It is not like the old days where someone gave respect to you for fasting. Even then since everyone did the fasting together it was nothing special or extra. Christ only said “they have their reward from man, for only doing their good works for man to see…, when if you did it only for God to see, then He will reward you openly[paraphrased].”(Matt 6:4-6) However, neither way of fasting or praying was condemned by Christ, and yet still many condemn and attack people for doing good works these days like vicious and wicked monsters that David spoke about that attack His elect. As it says “if the righteous scarcely be saved(delivered from problems), where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?”(1Peter 4:18). It says all through the scriptures that the wicked will be tread down like grass but the righteous will remain like trees planted by rivers of living water, who bring forth their fruit in season, their leaf will not wither. It repeatedly says the wicked will be rooted out and the righteous will remain in the land. Yet don’t get me wrong that is not the purpose of this message to expose these sins of persecution that have so subtly crept into churches, but it is to encourage and edify those to learn to get healed and set free from Satan’s many strongholds of lies to keep you back from being delivered!
As Paul said, Phl 4:5, 11-14 KJV – 5 “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord [is] at hand. … 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.”
If you recall, even Christ Himself needed to pray and fast for 40 days. We are told to emulate His life, and demonstrate His type of moderation. “Take up your cross and follow Me”. As He said in every gospel, if any man does not deny Himself and take up His cross then He cannot follow Him. He said crucifying your flesh must be done. Fasting is a part of denying ourselves and following after Christ. Sometimes we need to do it. These religious ways of fasting like in Lent are not some stupid traditions of men, but are well thought out and prayerfully considered by early elders in the church to be instituted as Christ centered festivals of the living church of God. That was in order to institute well proven ways God delivers everyone in the community consistantly.
While it’s true all good works produce fruit. Still yet, it is the belief in why you do it that makes it all the more powerful. Fasting and prayer is the reason. Having victory over the power of the enemy etc.
Fasting and Prayer gives us a time to shut out the busy worries of the world, as it says Isaiah “go into your prayer closets” and focus on Him, and all the worst problems will pass away by morning. “He that keepeth His mind stayed on Him shall be in perfect peace”. “Meditate with your own hearts upon your beds, etc”. Some need extra fasting and prayer. In any case because we all become too wrapped up in all the cares of this world, the flesh becomes the boss over our lives. The flesh does corrupt and weaken us, so Christ gave us this formula of fasting to restore us back to our original design. We have all been built to uphold and support His church and creation, and that is by commemorating Him the Creator who holds all things together by His will. There’s many more things we can say about this, but most of all we know we were made to worship Him. So a return to the daily services (morning and evening) will be also a great thing to ensure this principle is followed throughout the year.
On a daily basis in our Celtic Liturgy (BCP) etc we have the Biblical mandates to do the daily prayers and Psalms. As Christ told us to pray DAILY, as is evidenced that we are to pray for “this day’s daily bread” . And when He was asked what is the greatest commandment? He said it was the DAILY shama prayer of the Hebrews and of Christendom. See the text which is done at sunrise and sunset Divine services.
Some may all want to argue whether Lent is Biblical or not. That is all another topic. However, what it all boils down to is we are in dangerous times, and we need to be praying, fasting and be sealed under the sign of the Cross at all times. Christ is the one who saves us and through His legal rights He paid for us at the cross we have the right to victory and every curse be broken. The cross is the ultimate symbol that reminds all we were saved by the Lamb who was slain at the foundation of the world. Keeping Lent is a wonderful thing to do in corporate worship, and when we do it together, we encourage each other through it all, just as we should. If you don’t have that support presently, but would like to learn more about the Celtic Church or getting Liturgy for the Daily services, then contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you.
Some bonus material on Lent:
Lent is a HEBREW Christian festival! The burnt Palm branches used for lent have a richer history than one might know. I will get into that next. However first I want to tell you about the significance of being sealed with the sign of the Cross. It is a larger subject, and it is Biblical from Hebrew times as well. Baptisms and anointing were done in the sign of the Hebrew Tau letter or Cross. It’s also the sign that was given over all the people, a cross, who when the destroyer angels saw it they knew not to kill those ones, as found in the book of Ezekiel.
Read THIS ARTICLE on the Hebrew signing with the Cross! I hope article brings a whole new meaning to you about sealing yourself under protection through the cross. Also in the spiritual warfare how we can only beat some demonic powers through fasting and prayer! How this sign was used to mark yourself as sealed from even the most greatest national curses and judgements! How it was used when anointing newly baptized Hebrews! How and where this information all came from, and was handed down to us today for our victory! “And YAHWEH said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark (tav) upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” (Ezekiel 9:4). This is much like the Passover sign of the blood of the Lamb, which was also impaled on crosses, and prophetically of the blood of the Lamb of God which gives us those legal rights to be protected from the death angel.
Now about those Blessed Hebrew Palms that we use (and they used) for the ashes that we use at Lent for sealing our parishoners with the sign the cross over the foreheads. First the Palm branches would be gathered as a per the commandment “for ever” in Leviticus 23, to yearly make the booths with the Palms(and other branches) for the feast of Tabernacles. It is a time of great jubilation, and feast of joy. It was also the true date of Yahshua’s birth. Many argue only His conception was December 25th(or thereabouts on some calendars) but that’s a whole other subject. On the 7th great day of the feast all would wave them and chant “Hosanna” or in Hebrew (Yahsha Ana, or Jesus save us now in English). The Hebrew text for Hosanna is YASHA ANA (Jesus save now). Which is a regular chant from the Psalms, the Hillel (that also all Christians pray monthly in Protestant Reformed, Catholic and many other denominations of Christianity). This has been adopted from the most ancient of times as per very authentic records to be sung at the climax of this feast of joy, Tabernacles, when all the Palms were waved in faith that Christ one day would visit earth and be our King.
The Hebrews would save these joyful festival “Hosanna” Palm branches, and when Christ came riding in on the donkey, they had laid these Palm branches before Him and did the Hebrew chant of Hosanna, from the feast of Tabernacles. Yearly these same Palm Branches that were used when chanting “Hosanna” were saved from the Hebrew feast of Tabernacles. Some years the Hebrews had re-used their Palm branches, sometimes well preserved ones even for generations. They would save them much like Christmas ornaments are saved these days. For many Hebrew believers it was a reminder of this feast of Joy and celebration, that the Messiah would come into the world and “tabernacle” among us. Biblically we should all be using these palm branches that were gathered at the yearly tabernacles celebration of Christ’s birth, and waved at the early feast of Tabernacles, and then also in commemoration (though not commanded) to use at “Palm Sunday”. In either case, if you only have Palms from Palm Sunday it will still suffice, as we are chanting the same thing for the same King, our King, the King of Israel and only begotten son of YAHWEH, the God of Israel and Creator of all things. Many of the early several centuries of Christianity have demonstrated that this festival of Tabernacles was kept by the majority of the church. So all the original Palms were came from their sukkot and waved during the Hoshana Rabbah (הושענא רבא, “Great Hosanna”) of the Hebrew festival.