Fasting is described primarily as the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink or both for a period of time.  The benefits derived from a fast according to Isaiah 58:6 are: “to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free and to break every yoke.” 

     In Matthew 4:2 and Luke 2, the Lord Jesus himself fasted for forty days and forty nights while in the desert, prior to the three temptations he faced by Satan.  Jesus defeated the devil when he refused to yield to temptations.  The bible recorded that “the devil left Him and behold, angels came and ministered to Him (Matthew 4:11).

     In Matthew17:14-21, a man came to Jesus and asked for mercy, so that his epileptic son could receive healing. He told Jesus that earlier on, he had taken his son to His disciples but they could not heal him.  Jesus rebuked the demon and it came out of the sick boy and he was cured.  In private, Jesus’ disciples asked why they could not heal the child and Jesus answered and said, “But, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

     As we come together as a church body to pray and fast next week (November 30 – December 20), I pray that we will benefit from the blessings of God as we subdue our flesh and become more receptive to the Spirit. The theme of our fast is “Pray Through to Success.”  In order for fasts to be successful and move the mighty hand of God and attract His rewards, we – as a church body, must learn to cry out for the Lord’s outpouring of His mercy. We must repent, confess and not any harbor sin before Him (Jeremiah 36:3,9 and John 3:5).  Every VLBC member is urged to participate in the fast and attend the nightly prayer at 6:00 pm on December 1-12.  We will seek a deeper fellowship with the Lord and pray for renewed strength, spiritual empowerment and restoration of total health – for both ourselves and the entire VLBC family. Come and experience God’s nearness to you and His divine help during your time of sincere fasting.