During a crusade in Africa, I was approached by the chairman of the Prayer and Fasting Committee. He told me, “The Fasting Committee refuses to pray for your crusade unless you pay us one dollar every day.” In that country, a dollar is a large sum of money. I was taken aback by the question and I explained that they should be praying, not because I was paying them, but because they were Christians who wanted the lost to be saved. I do not think God is impressed with purchased prayer.
I asked the chairman, “Why does the fasting committee want to be paid?” He explained they needed money in order to buy food to eat. I laughed, “But, you are the fasting committee, you are not supposed to be eating food.” He did not have much of an answer for that. Fasting is not something to be done casually; it is a tool for shaking the heavens and increasing your spiritual authority.
The first thing Paul did after meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus was to go on a three day fast (Acts 9:9). Later, before the Antioch church ordained Paul and Barnabas as ministers, they all fasted and prayed. After they heard God’s voice, they laid hands on them and sent them out as missionaries “So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off” (Acts 13:3). As Paul traveled to churches, he followed the same pattern before ordaining elders (Acts 14:23).
Here are Paul’s instructions to ministers, “But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned” (2 Corinthians 6:4‑6 – KJV).
Paul also said, “…when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). Fasting makes us physically weak, but this causes us to lean on God for strength. When we are physically weak, we become spiritually strong! When fasting is added to prayer, spiritual power increases!
God will turn your physical fast into a spiritual feast. “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…’” (Zechariah 8:19).