I really don't take any credit for this entry. However I felt it a really good 'word' for some people. Especially as our church is beginning a corporate fast this Sunday.
In personal preparation for fasts I read fasting focused books and was actually excited to snag a new one this past week - The Fasting Edge by Jentezen Franklin. I also grabbed Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. The following entry is not my own work and are from two different chapters of The Fasting Edge and then ending with a timely encouragement by Mark Batterson from Circle Maker. It's long but I promise you won't regret reading it. The last bit is my favorite. May you be encouraged on your fast or encouraged to do one the beginning of this new year to capture what has for you.
"Prayer and fasting was a big part of Jesus's life. Jesus was led by the Spirit to fast and pray in that desert before He preached one sermon, healed one cripple, freed one captive, or called one disciple. Fasting "dethrones" the rule of our demanding fleshly appetites so that we can more easily follow the leading if the Holy Spirit. The problem with us is we are too impatient. If God doesn't speak to us in the first five minutes of prayer, we decide He isn't talking today. Where is the tenacity of the old saints who would take hold of God in prayer and fasting and refuse to let go until they received a sure word, a rhema word? We have been blighted with a microwave mentality, but we serve a Crock-Pot God. We want everything overnight, including maturity. We've deleted from our bibles the scriptures that command us to wait upon the Lord. Jesus was waiting on God for forty days and nights as he fasted in the wilderness. God was working on Him. There is a working going on in you right now that you may not be fully aware of, but without fasting, prayer,and wilderness experiences, you will never be qualified to handle what God has for you in the future. Fasting prepares you for what is yet to come."
"It is amazing to me that everything Jesus endured through His trial, through His beating, through His crucifixion - is called His passion. Power follows passion! That applies to so many areas. If you are standing in a worship service and it doesn't seem to have any power, remember that power follows passion. If you are guilty of holding the "remote control" at times because you don't like the song, you don't like the music, you don't sense any passion in worship, throw out the remote and bring the passion yourself - I believe you will see a difference."
"Where there is hunger, there is passion. Where there is passion, there is power. Whenever we see the release of power in the Bible, it follows someone not caring what others thought. Remember the blind man, Bartimaeus, who cried out to Jesus amidst the rebuke of the crowds? Remember the woman with the issue of blood, who risked everything by pressing through that crowd of people to just touch the Lord's robe? Remember Mary, anointing the feet of Jesus? She didn't care what others thought of her when she came to the place where Jesus was eating. She knelt at His feet, broke open a vial of expensive fragrant oil, and lavishly poured out her worship over Him. She used her own hair to wipe excess oil from His feet. The disciples ridiculed her, complaining about the waste, some pointing out the sins of her past life, but Jesus rebuked them all on her behalf. Not only did Jesus have the aroma of the anointing on Him, but Mary did also. When you spend time in broken worship with Jesus, what's on Jesus will rub off on you. You can't truly pour out your worship on Jesus without some of the fragrance of that anointing coming back on you. It is what happens when you spend time in broken worship. It should be your desire to have said of you what was said of the disciples: "They recognized that they had been with Jesus" (Acts 4:13,AMP)."
"If prayer is the way we circle our promises of God, the fasting is the way we double circle them." Circle Maker by Mark Batterson.