I didn’t understand the power of fasting and praying until I had no where to turn but to God.
The enemy had had his way with much of my life. My marriage was painful; many dreams had been shattered. My health was sliding downhill, and my faith was right behind it.
I was in a desperate place.
I dug into the Lord’s Word, longing for comfort and hope. I prayed. I cried.
I threw rocks at the sky. I screamed on the inside at everything and on the outside at nothing. And I sat in dirt refusing to move until the Lord spoke to me.
When my anger and frustration were spent, the Lord surrounded me. He comforted me, He quieted me with His love, and He gave me strength to breathe.
Through all the pain and heartbreak life can hold, we are not left to flounder about like lost sheep. We have a Great Shepherd who feeds us and pursues us. He longs to bring us to comfort and rest.
My two favorite ways of petitioning the Lord’s heart are through prayer and fasting.
I didn’t pray much in great detail until I needed someone to talk to who understood my pain better than I did.
I definitely had no great interest in fasting until I was desperate enough to have a divine intervention.
In fact, when I heard that prayer softens my heart toward others, I was a bit indignant at the thought that I might be the one needing a spiritual heart transplant.
But I prayed anyway. I prayed for my husband. I prayed for my marriage. I prayed for our home. I prayed like I had never prayed before.
Then, for an added measure, I started fasting…
…with the attitude of “that man has to change!”
And he did.
But not before the Lord did a beautiful work in my heart.
You see, fasting and prayer, even when done with wrong attitude, can open the door just enough for the Lord to do His work of giving us a new heart.
That first half hour of knee time with the Lord did exactly what it was supposed to do – it softened my heart toward my husband.
It gave me the perspective that my husband is a sinner, and as such he will sin.
I am not his mom, nor his God. I am his wife, and I get to choose whether I want to be a nagging force or a powerful force by standing in prayer.
I chose the power of prayer, because the power of nagging and manipulation doesn’t work so well.
When I prayed I became so blinded by the Lord’s goodness and graciousness toward me that I couldn’t focus on my husband’s failures so much anymore. When I did see them, I was able to be more forgiving and gracious toward him.
The added measure of fasting did a far greater work.
Isaiah 58 promises that fasting will “loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free…then your light will break forth like the dawn and your healing will quickly appear.” (v.6,8)
While prayer softens hearts and moves mountains, fasting is intended to deepen our dependency on God. It isn’t just some activity we put ourselves through in hopes of a granted prayer.
God is not a genie. We cannot manipulate Him into fixing things the way we want them fixed. However, He is in the business of fixing things in better ways than we could imagine.
Long story short, fasting changed my heart. Not God’s mind.
In the Bible, fasting was most often associated with the removal of food. Today we can fast from many different things.
The intent is that when we remove something we regularly depend on, we come face to face with the fact that we are not self-sufficient. We are forced to look at how frail our lives are and Who sustains us.
Fasting helps recenter us on our faith. It helps us return to the initial awe of His greatness and produces a greater thanksgiving for His sovereignty.
Through fasting and prayer, God has healed the many broken pieces of my heart and given me a true love and appreciation for my husband and our marriage union.
If you, too, are needing some divine intervention, get on your knees and pray like you’ve never prayed before.
Then fast and trust God to fill your needs both physically and spiritually.
For added motivation and encouragement you could also use this FREE 7-day Fasting and Prayer Guide for wives.
You can also find Forty Prayers to Pray over Your Husband on this Pinterest board.
God is in the business of healing hearts.
Yours is one of them.
Claim it today.
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Kaylene is just a girl with a sword, a shield and a strong cup of coffee. She finds her first ministry to be in her home living out her calling of wife and mother. In her spare time she writes to encourage women to thrive well in their current roles. Be it through sweet encouragement or an occasional dose of humor or spunkiness, her goal remains the same… to point women to the Lord. You can find her on Facebook and Pinterest.