Prayer is a mystery. Why it is that offering prayer from weak humanoids is necessary to move an invincible God, who can do everything without it, is the mystery. But given God’s earnest command to do it, we can infer some things about it. What if God, for some very high reason, has limited Himself for a “season” to certain legal restrictions upon Himself in a wager with the devil—which He plays out in front of principalities and powers? If so, that would explain much.
The wager could have gone something like this: “If My believers don’t pray, you can mess with them, but if they do pray, I get to overrule you and get total access to them, to act on their behalf.” Aha. Our Heavenly Father may be looking for “legal access” to us via our fledgling prayers, regardless of our efforts at flowery language. He pleads with us, “Just pray! Please, just do it”-- almost frantic to get through to us that it is necessary to possibly release Him from His own contractual restrictions, to act? Prayer just may be part of an unbinding ceremony, on a stage: the more prayer, the more the celestial ropes fly off.
Kneeling in prayer raises the bar a bit more. Look at what we say when we bow. We are saying that we believe God even exists, otherwise we would be praying to…nothing? And that we are coming here, not to the local nightclub to get our needs met. All this is said by our body, before words ever cross our lips.
And then let us consider the possibility that fasting affects even more in the heavenlies, because now every cell in our body prays. Yes, assuredly, it does. Fasting lassos all the groans and sighs that words cannot express—embedding them also into our prayers, plus it gathers from the metaphysical world the unknown spiritual capacity of even our cells and DNA. For now, we present ourselves before the Almighty in our weakest possible state, humbled by hunger, our most powerful posture. In doing so, one finds that fasting is a further school of prayer. Once engaged in it, the Spirit leads us out into “praying-regions” we didn’t know existed. Fasting is the ultimate plea of the supplicant to the Redeemer.
Righteous physical self-denial results in concrete spiritual transactions. We see it even with Christ, the Redeemer. It was not enough for Him to think redemptive thoughts toward us; He had to come down and lay His physical body on the line to accomplish it definitively.
When we fast, each time our body insists “that it wants to eat now” it raises a question. Our “digestive anguish” clarifies issues for us. In Esther’s fast, the Jewish believers had to decide, “Do I really want to allow our nation/race to be exterminated, if by foregoing a bowl of rice, I can “stay” such an atrocity?” This was Esau’s question, too. “Trade my inheritance for a bowl of lentils? Sure.” Where am I, morally, in desperate choices? Fasting asks this question not once, but a thousand times a day. Am I merely a hopeless “indulge-a-thon,” willing to go down, veritably sink, in order to please myself temporarily? Or are righteous appetites somewhere on my plate?
Fasting shows that we are “all in” with a desperate request. Might now be such a time in history to employ it?
Regardless of the personalities involved, look at the wide difference in the platforms before us as a nation. Am I hoping that babies will be safe in all wombs, or am I willing to stand by and allow them to be ripped apart anytime, even nine months into the game, via the edict of liberal Supreme Court judges? How important is it that I be able to educate my own children at home vs. sacrificing them to the high church of secular humanism required for 12 long years. Might now be such a time to employ fasting, now, while all religious liberties are at stake on the one hand and the reign of tyranny looms over the believer, on the other?