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A REASON TO FAST
by Rick Sutherland
“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. I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.” So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.” (Ezra 8:21-23, NIV)
Ezra had been commissioned by the King of Persia to take a delegation of Jews back to Jerusalem for the purpose of rebuilding the Temple which lay in ruins. Besides sending building supplies, the king had also granted them silver and gold to take with them to buy bulls, lambs and grain to offer to God on the altar. But between Persia and Jerusalem there were many tribes of people who could attack and plunder them of all they had. Ezra had enlisted some Levites to go along with them, but they needed more than the help of men! And since he had bragged about God’s protection of his people, he was too embarrassed to ask for a military escort from the king! So, he proclaimed a fast and they petitioned God for their protection. And God answered their prayer!
Fasting is an appropriate action when we are faced with situations outside of our power and control, when faced with a task we cannot accomplish in our own strength, or when we need protection. When we fast in humility, admit our need and ask in faith, God will respond to our request. We fast and pray because He is God and with God all things are possible!
If you are facing an impossible situation, why not humble yourself, fast and pray and believe Him to accomplish what you can’t? Fast because He is God, the God of the impossible!