Bible Text: Daniel 10 | Preacher: Pastor Steve | Series: Transformed Living
God will bring a BREAKTHROUGH through PRAY AND FASTING!
God is calling us to contend with evil forces and to breakthrough the strongholds of dark powers
Daniel 10:1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel…
Daniel 10:1-3 …the message was true, but the appointed time was long; and he understood the message, and had understanding of the vision. In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
The Daniel Fast
Fasting is a length of time we set aside to seek the Lord through prayer as we voluntary deny ourselves. We fast from food and other distractions in order to:
focus our attention on God’s Heart and Will
show the Lord our obedience and submission to Him
Fasting is not a
hunger strike in order to manipulate God
stimulus-response type behavior
Fasting is God-directed.
Isaiah 58:6-7 Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Fasting cripples the powers of darkness.
Mark 9:28-29 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, Why could we not cast him out? So He said to them, This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.
Fasting is in response to God’s voice.
Job 23:12 I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread.
Fasting is for seeking God’s guidance.
Acts 13:2-3 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off….
Fasting is for seeking God’s wisdom.
Daniel 9:2-7…in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes
I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed: O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our fathers, and to all the people of the land…
Fasting is to break spiritual bondage.
Isaiah 58:6 Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
Fasting is our response to the needs of others.
Psalm 35:13 Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth and humbled myself with fasting…
Fasting is a way to deal with potential dangers.
Ezra 8:21 There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions.
Fasting helps us maintain communication with God.
Ezra 8:23 So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.
Fasting helps us to get closer to God and to sanctify ourselves before God with repentant hearts.
Jonah 3: 5-7 The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh: By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink.
Daniel’s response teaches us to wait on the Lord.
Daniel 10:2-3 At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.
Daniel’s response teaches us to make God our focus rather than our circumstances.
We need to be careful to not let these grip our hearts:
Daniel’s response teaches us to pray, and pray, and know that God hasn’t forgotten you. And to not be discouraged when our prayers are not answered immediately.
Daniel 10:10-13 …then he said to me, Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words…
We are in a war, and we are under attack by evil forces.
Daniel 10:13-14 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.
IF we choose to seek the Lord, humble ourselves, fast and pray, THEN we know that the Lord will respond and we will see change take place in our church, community and in us
2 Chronicles 7:12-22 Then the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods, and worship them, then I will uproot them from My land which I have given them; and this house which I have sanctified for My name I will cast out of My sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples.
And as for this house, which is exalted, everyone who passes by it will be astonished and say, Why has the LORD done thus to this land and this house? Then they will answer, because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and embraced other gods, and worshiped them and served them; therefore He has brought all this calamity on them.
We are praying and fasting for the following:
Salvation of friends and family as Easter approaches
Building our Sanctuary – Enlarging our tent stakes
Redeeming marriages and families (children and youth)
Our commitment to generosity (time, talent, treasure)
Evangelism: reaching out into our community
Small groups: learning, serving and growing
Missions to Guatemala – our GO Team