Fasting and Prayer

Scripture Reading — 2 Chronicles 20:1-15

Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord. . . . — 2 Chronicles 20:3-4

Do you ever feel stuck spiritually? Maybe your life seems in a rut, and you have no idea how to grow. What can you do?

God has provided us with many spiritual disciplines to help us get closer to him, such as prayer and fasting.

In the Old Testament we find that God’s people often fasted and prayed in times of repentance and in times of great distress, recognizing they needed the deliverance that only God could give.

Jehoshaphat did this when a group of nations threatened to conquer Judah. The opposing army was vast, and only a miracle could keep Judah safe. Jehoshaphat was learning that the nation needed to turn back to God (2 Chronicles 18-19). So the king declared a fast and led the people in prayer, saying, “Lord . . . we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” God then told the nation through a prophet that the battle was the Lord’s and he would fight on their behalf.

As we humble ourselves before the Lord, God fights on our behalf in ways that we cannot even fathom. Powerful enemies self-destruct, and oppressive, unjust forces wither away.

When we adopt habits of following Christ, through God’s power we can grow, serve, and praise the Lord again.

Prayer

Father, “our eyes are on you.” You rule over all nations and over our hearts. Power and might are in your hands. We cry out to you to rescue and restore us. Amen.