Power of Fasting and Prayer
Can you imagine what would happen if just half the members of your
church would earnestly fast and pray with pure hearts and proper
motives? You could expect another Pentecost-a miracle of God’s
Since Pentecost, the Church has burgeoned from a room full of Jesus’
followers to hundreds of millions of Christian believers.
Today, at this writing, the most powerful movement of God in the
world is in Korea. The dynamic, dramatic growth of the Church from
three million in 1974 to eleven million in 1990 can be attributed
largely to fasting and prayer.
Changing the Destiny of Nations
Not only will fasting and prayer transform an individual or church,
it can change the course of a nation.
When Jonah carried God’s warning of impending judgment to
Nineveh, their king declared a fast. “Let everyone call urgently
on God,” he commanded.“Let them give up their evil ways
and their violence” (Jonah 3:8). Immediately, the people began
to mourn over their sins, and their fasting and repentance pleased
God's merciful heart.
The writer of the Book of Jonah records, “When God saw what
they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion
on them and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatene”
(Jonah 3:9, 10).
We see God’s hand of deliverance upon Israel while the nation
was in exile in Persia. A wicked man named Haman had risen to great
political power and had persuaded the king to destroy all the Jewish
Unknown to the king, his wife-Queen Esther-was a Jew. She “set
an example which became a pattern for all subsequent generations
of the power of prayer and fasting” to change history.1
Coursing through the Bible, we find other examples of how fasting
often changed the course of events.
Examples of how fasting and prayer has changed the course of a nation
also can be found throughout history. In 1756 the king of England
called for a day of solemn prayer and fasting because of a threatened
invasion by the French.
About that day, John Wesley wrote in his journal:
“The fast day was a glorious day, such as London has scarce
seen since the Restoration. Every church in the city was more than
full, and a solemn seriousness sat on every face. Surely God heareth
prayer, and there will yet be a lengthening of our tranquility.”
Warning Before Judgment
The tides of godlessness and lawlessness are rising rapidly in our
nation. The sins which led to the Flood of Noah and the destruction
of Sodom and Gomorrah have found social acceptance in our society.
Clearly, America is ripe for judgment.
But God never sends judgment without fair warning. We see many examples
of this in His Word-Adam and Eve, the contemporaries of Noah, Lot
regarding the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah, the people of Nineveh,
the nation of Israel. But why should God warn those whom He seeks
The apostle Peter explains. “The Lord is not slow in keeping
his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you,
not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance”
(2 Peter 3:9).
God’s judgments of the past are signs for us today. “God’s
judgment of Israel is a warning," writes Derek Prince, "for
Western nations where we have a long background of Christian tradition,
knowledge of the Scriptures and the organized church. Could it be
that God has been speaking, but we have been deaf as the people
God is merciful. He will withdraw His hand of judgment if our nation
will turn from its wicked way. In his book, God’s Chosen
Fast, Arthur Wallis writes:
God has inflexible laws dealing with men. Sin is visited with judgment,
but repentance with mercy.
God has declared Himself on this point in the plainest of terms:
“If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom
that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that
nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will
repent of the evil that I intended to do to it” (Jeremiah
18:7, 8, RSV).3
[But even if] heaven has issued the decree and the wheels are already
in motion, there is still a mighty weapon to which we may have recourse.4
That mighty weapon is repentance, fasting and prayer. And God promises
to hear from heaven, forgive our sins and heal our land (2 Chronicles
7:14), if we as a nation are obedient to that call.
It will take nothing short of the supernatural to stem the tides
of judgment devastating our land. I believe that nothing else can
compare with the supernatural power released when we fast and pray.
We know for certain from Hebrews 11:6 and from personal experience
that God rewards those who diligently seek Him.
1. Derek Prince, Fasting (Springdale,
PA: Whitaker House, 1986), pp.44,45.
2. Prince, p.43.
3. Arthur Wallis, God's Chosen Fast (Fort Washington, PA: Christian
Literature Crusade, 1993), p.56.
4. Wallis, p.58.
[Excerpt from Chapter
7, The Coming Revival by Bill Bright]
Continue to “You
Want Me to Fast?”
Back to Top