Nothing to Hide

What must it be like to be accused of something you did not do? To be accused of doing evil when you’ve done nothing wrong? To have powerful leaders plotting to take you down, when you are an innocent force for good?

There are some today in America, and perhaps where you live, who no doubt understand this feeling right now. But they can take comfort that they are not alone, and this is not a new story.

Acts 3 – 4 recorded just such a moment in the lives of Peter and John, disciples of Jesus. Sometime after Jesus died, arose back to life and ascended to Heaven, they were entering the temple to attend a meeting. They saw the beggar outside who had been crippled from birth. His life’s work was to spend every day begging to survive.

Peter, realizing he had no money to give the man, said this to him instead, “I don’t have a nickel to my name, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!” Then Peter grabbed him by the hand and pulled him up. The scripture says the man jumped up and began walking and leaping!

As amazing as that was for all who experienced and witnessed it, the leaders in Jerusalem – all leaders, both government and religious – were not pleased whatsoever about the good fortune of the man. In fact, instead they were livid that Peter and John dared to preach about Jesus, much less heal in His name.

The truth was the leaders were terrified they were losing power, and they were correct. People were converting to Christianity daily, by the thousands! It was like a wildfire spreading far beyond their control, and they knew it.

Instead of considering the claims of Christ might be true, they plotted to silence it, to end its influence. They held a meeting and confronted Peter and John.  “Who put you in charge here? What business do you have doing this?”

Acts 4 tells us that “Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, let loose: ‘Rulers and leaders of the people, if we have been brought to trial today for helping a sick man, put under investigation regarding this healing, I’ll be completely frank with you—we have nothing to hide.”

They contined to boldly proclaim Christ, that the healing happened only because of His name. They spoke powerfully and eloquently. And the group gathered there couldn’t take their eyes off of them! These weren’t even educated men, yet they spoke with knowledge and conviction as if they were the most respected scholars.

On top of it, the healed man was there with them. What could they say?

But, did they give up and admit their defeat? Sadly, no. Acts goes on to reveal the leaders sent Peter and John out of the room and schemed and planned threats to silence them.

When Peter and John returned, they warned them to never speak of Jesus again. Peter and John spoke up in defiance. “We can’t keep quiet about what we’ve seen and heard.”

The leaders kept threatening them, but having no reason to hold them, let them go. Acts says, “they couldn’t come up with a charge that would stick…”

And the people wouldn’t have tolerated it! Because the people were praising God for the miracle, for the man who had been healed after over forty years crippled!

The passage goes on to say when Peter and John’s friends heard the story, they burst into a song of praise:

“Strong God, You made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. By the Holy Spirit You spoke through the mouth of Your servant and our father, David:

Why the big noise, nations? Why the mean plots, peoples? Earth’s leaders push for position, meet for talks, the God-deniers, the Messiah-defiers!”

They also recalled another time:

“Herod and Pontius Pilate with nations and peoples, even Israel itself!—met in this very city to plot against Your holy Son Jesus, the One You made Messiah, to carry out the plans You long ago set in motion. And now they’re at it again!

Take care of their threats and give Your servants fearless confidence in preaching Your Message, as You stretch out Your hand to us in healings and miracles and wonders done in the name of Your holy servant Jesus.”

Readers, let’s bring this story home today. This blog is primarily about praying and fasting for America. So, let’s apply the principles here to what is happening right now in American politics.

We have a lot of accusing going on now in Washington. In particular, a man with a stellar reputation and career, Brett Kavanaugh, stands in the face of accusations having to defend his honor and reputation against claims of an incident over 30 years ago. His family and supporters have been threatened. The accuser doesn’t have corroborating witnesses, evidence, or even details.

Over 220 friends and colleagues of many decades have stood up to defend Kavanaugh, most women. Sixty-five of those are female friends from high school, the time when the accuser said he attacked her at a party.

Conversely, not a single witness named by his accuser can verify her story, have no recollection he even attended the party in question. Close friends of the accuser say she never spoke of it before, and on top of it her claims have changed since they were first told.

Still, as average citizens from a distance, we must admit we don’t have all the facts. But, until more are provided, if they exist, we will presume him innocent as our law directs.

If as suspected, this situation is a plotted attack for political gain on an innocent man with nothing to hide, then we must pray that just as Peter and John were delivered from the plots of scheming leaders, so will Justice Kavanaugh be delivered. In other words, we pray he is set free from false accusations of scheming women and men who wish only to stop his appointment and influence on the highest court in the land.

We at Faith and Fasting are praying and fasting today to this end, and ask all who are physically able, to join us. Jesus told the disciples long ago that some attacks from hell cannot be stopped unless we are praying and fasting. (Mark 9:29)

So, in fasting and prayer now, let’s call on Heaven’s power:

God in Heaven, Jesus Christ, praise Your holy name! The name by which miracles are done, people are set free, and leaders and nations stand at attention.

Thank You that Your message could never be silenced and instead spread throughout the world, bringing divine truth and justice wherever it prospered. You enable Your people, when we are surrendered and filled with Your Spirit, to pour Your kindness, purity and wisdom into the world.

We pray together now for a brother in need, a family in trouble. We admit we don’t know everything, but we lift up Brett Kavanaugh and his wife and children before You. Lord, You know the whole truth, and we ask it be brought to light.

We ask that you stop and bind away all forces of darkness from succeeding in wicked plots. We ask liars be revealed and brought down wherever they may be found. We ask truth and justice be loosed in Heaven to take control of this situation on earth in Your timing.

Above all, we ask Your will be done. Use all of this for Your glory, just as You used Peter and John’s trial. Just as You used the accusations and injustice You suffered to change the world!

In the mighty and matchless name of Jesus we ask these things. Amen.

Finally, if Brett Kavanaugh is truly innocent, then we speak Isaiah 54:17 over him now:

Any accuser who takes you to court
    will be dismissed as a liar.
This is what God’s servants can expect.
    I’ll see to it that everything works out for the best.

We dearly love that verse in the King James version, here slightly modernized: “No weapon formed against you will prosper, and every tongue that rises against you in judgment YOU will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord.” Amen!

God bless every reader, may He touch you today with His truth, love and power. Believers, keep praying in surrender and in the Spirit for Heaven to be loosed and Hell to be bound in all things touching our (or your) nation today, this week, this season… He is able!

All Scripture unless otherwise noted is quoted from The Message (MSG) Bible; Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
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Fasting and Praying for America – Nat’l Day of Prayer 2018

Every moment a follower of Christ spends praying and fasting is a mighty day in Heaven and on earth. Maximum spiritual power is turned on through fasting, Jesus revealed this secret in Matthew 17:21 and Mark 9:29 (“this kind only goes out by prayer and fasting“).

Today I will simply share how we prayed this morning in our home. It went something like this:

Father, we praise You. You are pure and great, big enough to handle any issue we bring with a mere thought. Thank You for loving us and hearing our concerns.

We bring the needs of our nation before You today. This is Your land, a land of refuge given to Your people, Israel of God. Please protect and strengthen Your chosen leaders for this time. Guide them in Your ways. Protect their families. Keep evil away from them.

Let attacks without cause on our leaders fall away to nothing. Let truth, conspiracies and perpetrators be revealed. Let no lie stand. Only the truth.

You kept Pharoah’s army away from Your people, Israel, by the uplifted arms of Your leader, Moses, and drowned their enemies in the sea. God make our prayers today as uplifted arms on behalf of our leaders and nation, and deliver us from the army that constantly wars against us. 

Father, give our leaders wisdom and a way to guard our borders without turning away people in true need. We want to keep our arms open to the hurting, but prevent entrance to those with evil intentions.

Please deliver the innocent from wicked hands. Inspire our nation to value life.

Please stir Your people to holiness and make us a mighty army of faith, standing in the gap for our nation. We ask You stem the tide against us as long as You will it and place our nation in Your hands. We trust You.

In the precious name of Jesus our Savior,

Amen.

God bless everyone praying, and fasting, for America today, and God bless America!

Prayer and FASTING on National Day of Prayer

National Day of Prayer is Thursday, May 3! Faith and Fasting friends, will you join me in not just praying, but also FASTING for our nation this Thursday?

Never in the history of our beautiful land have we needed more for the people of God to unite in prayer and fasting. Our President, White House staff, Cabinet members, House, Senate, Judiciary, every other servant in government, and their families, need us to bend the ear and heart of Heaven like never before.

Jesus revealed the source of maximum spiritual power when He told the disciples:

However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting. Matthew 17:21

So He said to them, this kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting. Mark 9:29

Let’s turn on the power! And pray for wisdom, truth, protection from evil, and a mighty movement of God upon our leaders and our nation. Ask Him for the outpouring of His Holy Spirit upon every follower of Christ who has trusted Him for salvation… for revival, and renewed strength, to sweep this nation.

For we know what God has promised:

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people He has chosen for His inheritance. Psalm 33:12

If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and forgive their sin and HEAL THEIR LAND. 2 Chron 7:14

If anyone needs help knowing how to fast, please check out “How to Fast” on Faith and Fasting. Originally posted in May of 2016, it has been updated and reposted to assist anyone on National Day of Prayer this week.

God bless you all, and truly we ask… God bless America!

Additional information and prayer guides are available at the link below:

http://www.nationaldayofprayer.org

Fasting for America – Thursday, May 5th, 2016!

This post is a reminder, family of God all over America and beyond, PLEASE join us in praying and fasting for America this coming Thursday, May 5th, 2016, in conjunction with National Day of Prayer! Please see previous post, “How to Fast”, for guidance if you are new to fasting.

[From previous posts:]

The people of God need no convincing that something is wrong. We hear of growing violence both within and without our country. Division on every issue seems to widen. Each year our culture further alienates biblical truth, and the strength and spirit of our nation weakens. Godly people are praying, so why the continued downward trend?

Consider an answer right out of the mouth of Messiah. When the disciples came to Him asking why they could not cast out a particular demonic spirit, Jesus replied, “This kind only comes out by prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:29). Sometimes prayer alone is not enough.

The Lord has set my heart to call the people of God to spiritual battle on behalf of our nation using His ultimate spiritual weapon. For this reason, I urge you, please join us in prayer and fasting on National Day of Prayer, Thursday, May 5, 2016.

Suggested prayer requests during the fast: 

  1. Personal cleansing, surrender to God and filling of the Holy Spirit.
  2. Spiritual renewal in your home and church family, that the people of God in America will be strengthened and prepared for the future.
  3. Awakening, for truth to be resurrected in our land, and for the Spirit of the Lord to move powerfully calling every lost person to repentance and faith in Christ.
  4. Restoration and unification of our leaders in His name, and especially for His will to be done in the coming elections.

“If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Family of God, it is time to do more. Please consider making fasting a regular part of your life. How much of Heaven and earth could we impact if we all fasted one meal per week? Or one day per month?

Please share this with your family of faith on social media. Let’s make a difference in the most powerful way the Lord gave us: through prayer and fasting!

Isaiah 58: God’s Manual For Fasting

Want to see the power of God in your life, in your home? Need to break old habits, sin you cannot overcome, gain understanding in a situation that has eluded you, and much more? Fast. Start with one meal a week, and work your way up as the Spirit leads.

When we fast, we turn His spiritual strength in our lives to full power. 

Jesus told the disciples some evil cannot be conquered apart from fasting (Mark 9:29). And, Isaiah 58 very specifically reveals the meaning and rewards of fasting:

The time without eating (fasting) is a time to take off the chains of wickedness, and to take the heavy load of sin off the neck. It is a time to let those who suffer under a sinful power go free, and to break off what restrains them.

It is a time to share your food with the hungry, to meet the needs of the poor and don’t remove yourself from the needs of your own household.

Then your light will break out like the early morning, and you will soon be healed. Your right and good works will go before you. And the shining-greatness of the Lord will keep watch behind you.

Then you will call, and the Lord will answer. You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you take the weight of sin away, and stop putting the blame on others and stop speaking idol words, 

10 and if you give what you have to the hungry, and fill the needs of those who suffer, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your darkness will be like the brightest time of day. 

11 The Lord will always lead you. He will meet the needs of your soul in the dry times and give strength to your body. You will be like a garden that has enough water, like a well of water that never dries up.

Isaiah 58:6-8 (New Life Version) – some parts paraphrased

Fasting For America on May 5, 2016 – National Day of Prayer

Please be a part of prayer and fasting for America on Thursday, May 5, 2016, in conjunction with National Day of Prayer.

America needs help. Division and violence grow near and far. The people of God know the truth: He is our only hope.

This is a grass roots effort, calling the people of God to spiritual battle on behalf of our nation. We will be using the ultimate spiritual weapon Christ revealed in Mark 9:29, “this kind only comes out by prayer and fasting”.

Suggested prayer requests during the fast:

  1. Personal cleansing, surrender to God and filling of the Holy Spirit.
  2. Spiritual renewal, that the people of God in America will be strengthened now and prepared for the future.
  3. Awakening, for truth to be resurrected in our land, and for the Spirit of the Lord to move powerfully to bring every lost person to repentance and faith in Christ.
  4. Restoration and unification of our leaders in His name, and especially for His will to be done in the coming elections!

If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.  II Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Please share this with everyone you know in the family of faith. Let’s make a difference the most powerful way God gave us: through prayer and fasting!

fastingforamerica.net

Victory Over A Demon Through Fasting

Some time ago, we had a young girl come stay with us. Her family sent her in hopes a trip away would help her, for she had been ‘visited’ many months by an unwelcome spirit posing as a scary woman out of a childhood fairytale, or nightmare. Not surprisingly, accompanying the spiritual oppression were real, vivid nightmares.

Before she arrived, I tried to prepare for the spiritual challenge, for I knew she would not come alone. I dreaded her tagalong guest spending even one minute in my home. However, I also had confidence the entity would not be able to stay long, for our home is one surrendered to Jesus Christ and filled with the life-giving presence of the Holy Spirit. Still, I fought anxiety.

I spent some time praying War Room style (if you have not seen the movie, I urge you to do so) for our home to be protected and for the enemy to be defeated quickly. Hours after her arrival, we were already in meaningful conversation about spiritual matters. She knew the creature visiting her was demonic and expressed how badly she wanted freedom from it.

The spirit had a powerful attachment to her. Before she left the airport on the plane that would bring her to us, the spirit had appeared and asked her not to go, saying, “I want you to stay with me.”

Our first step was to encourage this dear one to reaffirm her relationship with the Lord. It was answered prayer that she enthusiastically agreed. We prayed with her the very first night to receive or reaffirm her relationship with Christ. I believe she knew Him prior, but we wanted to cover all bases. For, if a person is not a Christian, inviting Christ in your life is the first line of defense against a demonic foe.

The second thing we did was to talk to her about surrender and filling of the Holy Spirit. If your life is not surrendered, if you are holding back any area of your life or harboring ungodly items in your home, then you are laying out a welcome mat for Satan and his minions. We know this personally. There was a time several years ago we went through our house to find and destroy everything that might give the enemy an invitation.

The simple rule is, don’t keep impure movies, books or magazines in your home. Cleanse your internet surfing and tv watching. Never bring home or harbor items from pagan religions. For heaven’s sake, don’t consult with mediums, fortune tellers or worse, witch doctors. They are forbidden very clearly in Scripture (Lev. 19:31; Deut. 18:10-13; 1 Chron. 10:13-14…)

You get the idea. Purity is a big deal to God, both morally and spiritually, and there is a reason. The lack of purity allows a powerful enemy to hang around and cause all kinds of trouble. Don’t mess with it.

Our guest willingly prayed with us again. She vocalized her surrender to the Lord, and asked the Holy Spirit to fill her. Together we commanded the enemy to leave her. We hoped and believed afterward that we would be home free.

To our dismay, however, the nightmares continued. And worse, within a day or two, our friend was again seeing her demonic visitor – in our home! She would see its shadow, or be startled by it appearing suddenly in front of her. I would hear her gasp in another room and knew we still had a big, scary problem. I fought against fear we would not win and begged God for answers.

Meanwhile, I was getting advice from other friends, prayer warriors whom I had reached out to for prayer support. Some were telling me to find an expert who knew how to deal with demonic oppression. I didn’t know where to begin. I’d never even heard our local Pastor talk about direct spiritual warfare.

However, the Spirit seemed to whisper peace to me and to hint that this would not be necessary. For one thing, I thought, do we have so little of the Holy Spirit’s power in our own lives that we must remain in oppression lest we reach out to a professional?

Further, I remembered Jesus telling the disciples He had given them power over demons. If they had that power, then so must we! However, I specifically remembered Him telling the disciples in one particular instance of defeat that, “this kind only comes out by prayer and fasting!” (Mark 9:29)

There it was, the answer we had been seeking. The next step we had to take was clear, the final step in kicking the demon out of our home and our guest’s life. We had to fast.

Fasting is the Christian’s ultimate spiritual weapon. The past couple of years, I have fasted somewhat regularly and know its power. Have an unconquerable situation in your life? Fast and pray. Those mountains Jesus promised we would move with just a tiny bit of faith will move as a result of fasting. Not hearing God’s voice on a subject? Fast. His voice will become so much clearer during the period of time you abstain from food.

When we proposed fasting to our friend, she welcomed the idea. I wasn’t sure the length we should fast, but we prayed for guidance. Within a few hours, it seemed clear. We would fast three days.

Later that same day, the Lord took us to a passage in Isaiah that specifically addressed fasting. It is the few verses in Isaiah 58:6-8 where he shared exactly what God wanted from His people during a fast.

The instruction in Isaiah was simple: during the fast, share the food you would normally be eating with the hungry, meet the needs of the poor, and don’t fail to meet the needs in your own house! He also said, remove impurity out of your life, stop blaming others and speaking idol words. In other words, stop whining and focusing on yourself, get clean and meet the needs of those around you!

His promise if His people would obey? The chains of wickedness will fall off, we will go free! And when we call, He will answer, He will lead us and bless us with everything we need.

This was exactly the word we needed! So, we came up with an action plan. As part of our fast, we would bake banana bread, package it up along with a message of the love of Christ, and give it away to those most in need. We live near a city and there are many homeless living on the streets.

We baked the bread and cut it into thick slices. Next, we wrote “Jesus loves you” and John 3:16 on note paper and inserted it into a baggie. Finally, we slipped individually wrapped pieces of banana bread inside the baggies armed with love, and prepared to find our recipients.

I remember still feeling anxiety and thinking, what if this doesn’t work, what then? I asked the Lord privately, and timidly, “Lord, is it going to leave?” I heard His small, quiet voice in my spirit say, “It will be washed out.”

During this ministry of charity, I cannot tell you how meaningful it became to us. We walked around the city sharing a simple meal and message of love for those we found in need. I don’t remember how many slices we handed out, maybe 9 or 10. Every person received it gladly, and we prayed each would be changed by the love of Christ.

One final ‘hiss’ from the demon came through our pet cat. The morning of day 2 of the fast, out of nowhere this usually sweet and gentle cat attacked me. She bit my arm in several places and left marks. Thankfully, they were only surface scrapes, but I knew it was the influence of the enemy making one last desperate attempt to take a swipe at me.

However, that was the last we heard of it. That afternoon, not even 36 hours from starting the fast, the spiritual atmosphere in our home was clear. The demon had gone and our friend’s nightmares along with it. Good riddance!

The day after the fast ended, we had the privilege of baptizing our guest in the ocean. I couldn’t help but think of John the Baptist and the early Christians, baptizing those they led to the Lord in the Jordan River. It was a day of rejoicing. She was free of all that had oppressed her. As He had promised, it just washed away.

As soon as she returned home, our friend and her parents fasted for 24 hours, just in case, to ensure no re-infestation in their home! Praise the Lord, He is faithful to His promises! Fasting has been our greatest ally in winning spiritual victories over the enemy.

Isaiah 58:6-8 (New Life Version) – some parts paraphrased

The time without eating (fasting) is a time to take off the chains of wickedness, and to take the heavy load of sin off the neck. It is a time to let those who suffer under a sinful power go free, and to break off what restrains them.

It is a time to share your food with the hungry, to meet the needs of the poor and don’t remove yourself from the needs of your own household.

Then your light will break out like the early morning, and you will soon be healed. Your right and good works will go before you. And the shining-greatness of the Lord will keep watch behind you.

Then you will call, and the Lord will answer. You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you take the weight of sin away, and stop putting the blame on others and stop speaking idol words, 

10 and if you give what you have to the hungry, and fill the needs of those who suffer, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your darkness will be like the brightest time of day. 

11 The Lord will always lead you. He will meet the needs of your soul in the dry times and give strength to your body. You will be like a garden that has enough water, like a well of water that never dries up.