“Lord God and Savior Jesus, is my Dad dying?” I was confused and terrified by my Mom’s letter about Dad’s condition not improving even with the doctor’s prescribed medication. It was August 20, 1987 while I was working in a private company overseas. The thought of losing Dad shook my entire being.
In 1986 during the fasting month of that Islamic country I was convicted about prayer and fasting. I saw how they fasted and prayed daily from sunrise to sundown for a month.
I prayed to the Lord and asked him how He would want me to follow the Bible message on prayer and fasting.
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But, when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:16-16).
The message from these Bible scriptures inspired me to secretly fast daily. As I savored on fellowship with Jesus during fasting, my commitment to pray and fast every Friday for the salvation of lost souls started then, until now.
My Dad had inspired me to love Jesus. He would remind me and my siblings, “Anywhere you go, look for a Christ-centered church to worship and serve. Call Jesus in times of your victory, defeat, and danger. He will meet you where you are.”
As the eldest among seven siblings it would be hard for Mom and me to raise them. My intense prayer, “Lord have mercy on my family. Please extend my Dad’s life.”
For Dad’s sake I committed myself to my first seven-day prayer and fasting to pray to our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ for Dad’s recovery. I worked daily and focused on my job at the landscaping company and all the while I kept on engaging my Lord for Dad’s speedy recovery. I fasted from food and only had bottled mineral water to drink.
In the company housing, I spent most of my free time worshiping God by singing, praying, and reading the Bible. I was amazed by the strength, inner joy and peace I found in prayer and fasting.
Before the seven-day fast ended my fear had been replaced by hope and encouragement that God was in control. The love of Jesus overflowed in me. I knew that Dad would be healed in God’s mighty name.
That same month, Mom sent me a letter rejoicing, “Your Dad is back to the farm working.” For more than two decades we enjoyed the presence of my father who breathed his last on earth and his first breath in Heaven on December 26, 2009.
God’s Word and direct promptings from the Holy Spirit empowered my desire to pray and fast. Ramadan’s fasting fueled my curiosity to know the substance of Biblical prayer and fasting.
It’s heartbreaking to see faithful followers of Christ missing the joy and blessings of God’s intimacy through prayer and fasting.
Whenever I am confronted with challenging issues or I need more of personal touch by His Holy Spirit I pray and fast secretly for several days. My Friday offering of prayer and fasting for the lost souls and for the government leaders goes on as long as He empowers me to do it.
Most of the time the assurance that I received during these times were impressions about the situation and people through circumstances, Word of God that resonates in my heart and mind, and sudden change of the atmosphere wherever I am.
In summer of 2003, after my volunteer mission Cebu, Philippines for three solid years by faith (no job and financial support) and after completing my Bible Seminary degree, unexpected twists and turns bombarded my life. I wanted to go back to the mission overseas but the seminary president offered me a faculty position. I was moved to pray and fast longer to know God’s will for me whether to go to my former mission field or serve at the Cebu Bible Seminary in the Philippines.
My entire being was transformed when by God’s mercy and grace I was given a gift of full prayer and fasting for forty days at the Touch of Glory Prayer Mountain in Mt. Buso-buso, Antipolo City, Philippines, from April 1993 to May 1993.
My heart and mind were healed from fear, apathy, unforgiveness, and bitterness. Slowly some unresolved issues about family and other people involved with me in the past were exposed as I wrestled in prayers, worship, reading the Word, and interceding with fellow servants’ day and night at the prayer mountain.
These are the things that I learned from practicing prayer and fasting for almost thirty-two years under the Lordship of Jesus as my Shepherd and Lover of my soul:
When I have false assumptions or wrong attitudes to anyone, the Holy Spirit prompts me at once. I can hear the Holy Spirit’s whisper to me or words from God in the Bible resonate to my heart and mind to ease me according to His will and timing for His glory and honor.
Fear of sharing about Jesus’ love and forgiveness has less control over me.
My sensitivity to the Lord’s message as I reads the Bible is like healing waters that flow in me especially during my period of prayer and fasting.
When facing difficult situations, I can easily accept Yes or No reply on my prayers with assurance of God’s love.
Avoiding caffeinated drinks for decades is possible only by the help of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It makes my prayer and fasting easy without head ache and caffeine withdrawal.
When I pray for people with desperate needs like serious illness or unbearable situations, most of the time there is a special message or impression that the Holy Spirit gives me that I cannot explain in words.
My physical condition is extraordinarily good at my age. By God’s healing grace and mercy with His Word gives me contentment and peace.
My relationship with my precious husband, family, friends, and sphere of influence becomes meaningful and faith-enhancing even with trials and difficulties.
Even there are times of chaotic prayer and fasting due to my personal struggles, people or circumstances that surround me, still the love of Jesus resonates stronger on me.
Not all people are physically, mentally and spiritually fit to do prayer and fasting such as abstaining from food or doing partial fasting.
Anything you give up and replace it with quality time with the Lord Jesus, reading His love letters, the Bible, or doing your chores or work while engaging Jesus in all that you think, say and do, is considered fasting too.
When I abstain from social media or TV viewing just to listen to Christian music or continue my daily responsibilities focusing more on what Jesus Christ wants me to hear, say and do, highlights my day like fasting.
Fellow Christians, the more you intentionally submit to Jesus’ Lordship and empowerment by the Holy Spirit over you the greater your ability to enjoy and fulfill what God has started in your life. Nobody can resist God’s best for your life. Prayer and fasting may be your calling too.
God bless you and your loved ones. Share your comments and pray with me at http://www.lilianhosfeld.com.