Fasting Changes God’s Mind

Update (11/11): The below was published Nov 8 on Faith and Fasting hours before the election returns began…

[This post was originally published on April 26, 2016. It seems important today.]

Most of us are familiar with the story of Jonah and the whale. You remember, how Jonah didn’t want to do what God asked of him, so God sent along a large fish to swallow Jonah and carry him to the very place he didn’t want to go. Of course, he spent three days and nights in the belly of the fish where he got his heart right first.

That’s the story most of us were taught as children in Sunday School. But there is another miracle in the story we probably don’t remember as easily, maybe an even bigger one than a large fish swallowing a human who lived to tell the tale!

It is the miracle of fasting, accompanied by prayer and repentance. And how this powerful combination of sincere spiritual submission changed God’s mind!

Recall, the reason God wanted Jonah to go to Ninevah in the first place was to warn them His judgment was coming. He had gotten sick of their rebellious ways and was giving them, well, 40 days by the time Jonah finally got there. Only 40 days till disaster.

When Ninevah got this warning from Jonah, the second miracle happened. They believed him. And they repented, began fasting and praying! All the way up to the King, all the way down to the least of the kingdom believed and repented, fasted and prayed!

Then there was a third miracle: God changed His mind! He spared them and did not bring the disaster to their shores.

Friends, the power of getting right with God is huge. There is nothing like total submission and letting God know you are serious, that you will even deny yourself pleasure and risk a little discomfort to seek Him, to be right with Him.

Today, let’s learn from the whole story of Jonah and Ninevah. American children of God, we’ve been warned by precious saints like Rabbi Jonathan Cahn in his profound book, The Harbinger. A time of judgment is headed our way. Surely it is already touching our shores as the edge of a hurricane.

The time is now to repent, FAST and pray for our nation.

God bless you, and God bless America!

Jonah:

Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 

And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. 

The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.” 

10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it. 

Jonah 3  English Standard Version (ESV)

[Do not fast if you have health issues that prevent it. If unsure, consult a doctor before fasting.]

Fasting for America – Day 3 of 3 -Conclusion

Hello, my friends! Today was a bit of a first for me in my over 20 years of periodic fasting experience. I had to stop early.

This morning, after nearly 60 hours of fasting, I could barely get out of bed and felt if I stood up, I would faint. I did not want to give up without a fight, so instead of eating, I drank coconut water, which contains healthy electrolytes and natural sugar. It made me feel better, but I still felt so weak, so my husband got me a little glass of milk. The protein and electrolytes got me through a few more hours, although I knew I wasn’t feeling as strong as I’d felt in previous extended fasts.

No doubt, the reason I’ve struggled more this time around is I have been on a strict diet for months due to digestive health issues. I’m under the care of a doctor, and it should resolve itself in time. But, realistically, I don’t eat as much these days and my body is deprived of a lot of sugar and excess carbs. Sometimes, I don’t have the full energy I was used to having.

So, with all this going on in my body and already feeling extremely weak this morning, at around the 67th hour, a strange thing occurred. When I closed my eyes, I had a flickering pattern of lights in the corner of my vision. It grew in strength, and I then noticed it interrupted a portion of my vision when my eyes were open.

I kept pondering and praying, “Lord, can’t I just make it a few more hours?” I really wanted to finish 72 hours to make 3 full days. But it wasn’t meant to be.

Gratefully, my husband stepped in and said, “If you are having strange symptoms affecting your eyes, then I think you need to stop. I recommend you eat!”

Ironically, when I had struggled to get up this morning for being so incredibly weak, I thought then, “I will only stop if my husband tells me to, Lord”. Thank God for a good and wise husband. I listened.

My fast ended at 67.5 hours, only 4.5 hours shy of the 72 hour goal. Before eating, my husband and I held each other and prayed for the country, and for the election on Tuesday. We dearly love our nation, and want to see it become God’s nation again. Only He knows the shortest path to that ultimate goal of His and ours. It may get better, or it may get worse before it gets better. We have done our part, He is in charge, and may His will be done!

I realized last night that in these last days leading up to the election, we have people fasting on both the East coast and on the West coast!! Isn’t that just like God? He rallied His kids to cover His beloved land coast to coast. Hallelujah!

God bless all of you praying and those fasting (always using caution and common sense, of course, as the Lord would wish for you)!

Your will be done, Lord, this is in Your strong and capable hands…..

“…and to Him who is able above all things to do exceeding abundantly what we ask or think, according to the power that is working in us, to Him is the glory in the assembly in Christ Jesus, to all the generations of the age of the ages. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 Young’s Literal Translation

Fasting for America – Day 3 of 3 – Praying for the Election

It has now been 50 hours since I began fasting for America before the elections. I was so encouraged late yesterday upon hearing more people are fasting. The prayer warriors from a local church prayer ministry, and another dear friend will all be fasting Sunday through Tuesday. Isn’t that exciting?

It is not too late to fast before the election, if your health allows. Even one meal will certainly make an impact in heaven and on earth!

As I enter my 3rd day, I notice my prayers are becoming more and more specific. Allow me to share them with you, and please join me in these requests as you feel led. Remember, Jesus told the disciples that whatever we loose on earth will already have been loosed in Heaven, and whatever we bind on earth will already have been bound in Heaven. He stays one step ahead of us, guiding us in His will!

Prayers – in the name of Jesus and with the strength of His whole kingdom:

Holy Father, please loose the Holy Spirit in every polling place between now and Tuesday, November 8th! Bind every deception and lie… Don’t allow them to prosper! Loose the Holy Spirit all over this country, your country, that He may take over this process, and that we may be freed from the workings of evil.

Bring every untruth to light, and make the people aware of those lies while there is still time to impact their decisions.

Lord, wake up Your people everywhere, but especially in the battleground states: Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, New Hampshire, Nevada, Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Turn those states to wisdom and away from false beliefs that hurt the people.

Pour out wisdom upon those who know You, and even on those who do not, if they have ears to hear. Lord, please do not allow Your people to buy into false stories.

Father, prevent voter fraud, and if it does happen, let it come to light quickly and be corrected before it highjacks any election data! Let the voice of the people be heard clearly and reflected with all honest ballots reported!

Holy Spirit, speak truth and provide guidance to everyone voting, to all who can hear. Open the ears of those who cannot. Let wisdom make a comeback in our people and in our land!

Over and above all, Father, let your will be done on Tuesday. Let your will be done!

Prayer warriors, I hope you will share this with others while we still have time to make a difference. When God’s people rise up and fight ‘on their knees’ and through fasting (those who are able), what mountains might He move on our behalf? I believe we can still see revival and renewal all over this great country that has been a beacon of hope and refuge for so many all over the world for so long.

Thank you for your every effort to make America God’s nation again. That is the true need of the day.

May God bless you, and may God bless America!

Fasting for America – Day 2 of 3 – Prayers that Break Curses

Well, I don’t know about you, but Day 1 went well for me overall. I did struggle with a headache in the evening, but went to bed early and woke up refreshed and renewed this morning.

In my experience, fasting reveals areas we were out of balance in our diets. If we eat too much sugar, or drink too much caffeine, cutting it back has repercussions. Fasting is a good restart towards bringing things back in balance. As a reminder, if you have specific health concerns that make it unsafe to fast, then don’t do it. If you aren’t sure, consult with a doctor before proceeding.

Now, on to more important things. This morning the Lord led me to a passage in Matthew in which Christ reveals the power of the believer, if only we will use it! Listen carefully to Matthew 16:18-19:

“…upon this rock I will build my assembly, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it; and I will give to you the keys of the reign of the heavens, and whatever you bind upon the earth shall be having been bound in the heavens, and whatever you loose upon the earth shall be having been loosed in the heavens.” Young’s Literal Translation (slightly modified for modern English)

I find it incredibly curious the mixed tenses used by Jesus in this statement. Did you catch that He said, ‘whatever you bind/loose upon earth shall be having been bound/loosed in the heavens’?

Shall be having been? What does that mean? Is it present or past? Or both?

One idea: perhaps Jesus was revealing a deeper truth, that the idea of binding or loosing something was God’s idea first. And that if and when we bind or loose something in the supernatural through prayer, He will already be in the process of doing it in the heavenly, always one step ahead of us.

With that in mind, let me share something He led me to this morning. I have a wonderful book in my library, recommended by a dear friend, mentor and prayer warrior, called Prayers that Rout Demons & Break Curses, by John Eckhardt. I recommend it highly to all who want to see their prayers become more specific and effective in all areas of life.

Glancing through the contents, I found a section dealing with prayers for the nation, and came upon this specific prayer to share with you today. Using Eckhardt’s words, quoting King David from Psalm 140, slightly adapted here, please join me in praying this together for our nation!

“Father, strengthen our hearts with these words from David:

Psalm 140: ‘Rescue us from cruel and violent enemies, Lord! They think up evil plans and always cause trouble. Their words bite deep like the poisonous fangs of a snake. Protect us, Lord, from cruel and brutal enemies who want to destroy us. 

…proud people have hidden traps and nets to catch us as we walk. You, Lord, are our God! Please listen to my prayer. You have the power to save us, and you keep us safe in battle.

Don’t let the wicked succeed in doing what they want, or else they might never stop planning evil… Make them the victims of their own vicious lies… Chase those cruel liars away! 

Our Lord, we know that you defend the homeless and see that the poor are given justice. Your people will praise you and will live with you because they do right’.”

Amen! Friends, our prayers and fasting efforts are powerful! We have the opportunity to be part of God’s plan to bring renewal and revival to our land at a pivotal time in history. Stay strong in Him, trust the Lord to see you through, and especially for His will to be accomplished through us.

May God pour out His blessings upon all praying (and fasting) for America today!

Fasting for America – Day 1 of 3

As announced a couple of days ago, I began a 3-day fast Wednesday at 6:00 PM (last night) for the election in America. So, this is the first full day.

I woke up happy, joyful. That sounds odd, I know. It is not that I love avoiding food, but I dearly adore the closeness I feel to the Lord when I am fasting. Giving up the pleasure of eating is truly a small thing, isn’t it, to seek Him and show Him we are serious about something?

Looking back at what Jesus did for us, it seems giving up pleasure for a day or two is a very, very minute sacrifice. I remind myself of that when hunger pain becomes distracting. And I tell Him, ‘You suffered for me, in this small way today I am privileged to share the fellowship of your suffering.’

As you may have gathered in other posts, the most common method of fasting I use is abstaining from food. However, I still drink coffee (without sweetener) to avoid a caffeine headache, have maybe one cup of plain green tea during the day, and occasionally a little coconut water or a few sips of milk or almond milk if I am feeling weak. I still have work to get done, so preventing myself from weakening to a place of non-functioning is important.

A passage in Matthew I read recently just came to mind. It was in chapter 15, where Jesus had been preaching to a large gathering of people. The people were so wrapped in His message, they would not leave, and they were hungry. He stopped and told His disciples (verse 32) something to the effect, “I have compassion on these people, they’ve not eaten in 3 days. I cannot send them on the road home fasting lest they faint along the way.”

Of course, then we all know the story about the few loaves of bread and fishes that ended up feeding 20,000 people. But my focus this moment is on the heart of Christ, feeling compassion for the hungry and indicating His awareness of such a practical need. These people needed to walk home, perhaps long distances. He didn’t want them to faint.

The point is, be aware of the needs of your life. You may need to work, run errands, care for the needs of your family, even cook for them. Do it. You may have health issues. Don’t let yourself become so weak as to render yourself useless! Jesus was practical. So should we be.

Before we go any further, isn’t He wonderful? He was kind, loving, and full of wisdom. On top of being God, doing miracles, sacrificing Himself for us, setting people free from the grip of evil, etc… He cared about our human needs. What an adorable Savior.

So, back to being practical… As I type, there is a mug of hot water sitting beside me, with a little lime juice squeezed into it. We have a lime tree in our backyard heavy with beautiful limes, so fresh juice is in ample supply. As a side note, did you know that water with either lemon or lime juice first thing in the morning is a wonderful toxin cleanser for your liver? So, I decided to begin the 3-day fast with this soothing and healing cup.

Thinking about it, it might be accurate to call this, ‘fasting in grace’. And this fast, with a little bit of liquid nourishment included, I’ve seen powerfully effect the spiritual realm in my life and others many times over.

After starting a load of laundry, I turned on my favorite inspirational playlist. Music so often helps me set the tone and connect with the Lord.

Soon, I found myself pacing and weeping, crying out to God on behalf of our country. Words poured out asking Him for truth to be renewed from the highest to the lowest places, for destructiveness to be weeded out, for His Spirit to be poured upon every inch of our land… that we may remain a blessing to those in need and to the rest of the world. For His enemies to be prevented from tightening their grip on this nation. For His people to awaken and take serious the condition of our home on every level, and to take up the cross to fight in prayer and through fasting, if physically able.

If only this would become a movement and spread to every pulpit, church and precious individual who knows Him, whose health allows fasting. We haven’t done all we can yet. Until in some way we have sacrificed our own pleasure to see Him pour revival and renewal upon America, we aren’t desperate enough yet. Wake up, American church!

After praying, my ears tuned in again to the music gently playing in the background. An old hymn, one of my favorites, was being sung beautifully by Fernando Ortega, Jesus Paid It All. Words of His mercy and sufficiency flowed out, and relief settled into my soul. I will close this post by reprinting the words of that hymn.

Be blessed, friends. Thank you for your prayers on behalf of the election, but more, for the great spiritual need of this land and its people.

Jesus Paid It All 

I hear the Savior say, ‘Thy strength indeed is small. Child of weakness, watch and pray. Find in me thine all in all.”

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

Lord, now indeed I find Thy power and Thine alone can change the leper’s spots and melt the heart of stone.

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

For nothing good have I whereby Thy grace to claim. I’ll wash my garments white in the blood of Calvary’s Lamb. 

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

And when before the throne I stand in Him complete, Jesus died my soul to save, my lips shall still repeat:

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

(by Elvina M. Hall, 1865)

Three-Day Fast for America

This week, the Lord convicted me to put my faith to work before the election next Tuesday. He inspired me to fast three days this week, Thursday to Saturday, November 3-5, 2016. 

The only direction and goal for this fast: His Will Be Done. That is it. His Will Be Done.

Why fast before the election? Because I want to know, no matter what happens, that I did everything possible toward releasing God’s best plan for His nation. When a land of God is in rebellion as I believe America is, His blessings do not flow as before. I want to see God bring revival and renewal to our country and for all of His blessings to flow again, in and through us.

Child of God, if your health permits, will you join me?

If you cannot fast November 3-5, but feel led to participate, choose any three days leading up to the election and make your plans accordingly. Or fast one day, or one meal. Do what you are able to do. Every effort made by God’s people will have an impact! If you cannot fast (and please do not if your health does not allow), please join us by focusing your prayers for the election and our nation those three days.

We need the Lord to renew His protection upon this great country that gives so much around the world. As His blessings flow freely, we can continue to bless those in need at home and abroad!

If you agree this is important for the renewal of His people and our country, please share far and wide! 

For more information and tips on fasting, please see previous posts.

Notes:

If you are not trained in fasting, you do not have to cut out all food and beverages except water. You can take some tea, juice, if needed, even broth. Do not let yourself grow faint and weak, unable to meet the needs of your family or work. A solid food fast – i.e., taking liquids only – is better than no fast at all. The Lord will honor every effort. 

For a three-day fast, I recommend starting at 6:00 PM the night before, and ending the fast with a light meal after 6:00 PM on the 3rd day. This is a precise three-day fast.

 

 

Challenge to the People of God

For anyone who knows Christ, this is a quick, personal challenge burning in my heart today:

Do you find yourself despairing over the atmosphere of our country and the direction she is headed, the division, violence, etc? I know you are praying about it. But, have you fasted yet? Fasting is the ultimate spiritual weapon.

According to Christ, ‘some things are broken only by prayer and fasting.’ So, until we have fasted, the truth is we have not yet even begun to fight.

I wonder what would happen these next few weeks in our nation if all of us fasted for her one meal a week, or more?

Pass it on…

[Do not fast if you know you have a physical ailment that makes it unsafe! See a doctor, if you need to be sure!]