When we look at the dust clouds and see the animals suffering, we could feel deserted or hopeless, but we need to remind ourselves of the full truth; “Blessed are those who mourn”; the very ones who weep and mourns are the ones that will experience God’s comfort.
You will hardly find a person in the Bible who has not been on his face before the Lord. When Nehemiah heard the report about Jerusalem he sat down and wept, mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. In the book of Acts, Paul and Barnabas appointed leaders in the church with prayer and fasting.
David in Psalm 35:13 gives the key attitude in fasting: “I humbled my soul with fasting”. We need to be careful not to boast about our fasting, we are exalting God, not ourselves. We deal with our ego in fasting, that is why Jesus said, “He who will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). Fasting makes us feel weak, and it reminds us that we are made out of dust. It is our humility that God is pleased to listen to and we find it easy to submit our spirit to His Spirit, it blesses us with a new perspective.
When we pray and fast for rain for Namibia on the 11th and 12th October we rely on the God who seeks to bless His children with the early and latter rains (Zech10:1). As we totally rely on God’s mercy we come to the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4).
In Isaiah 58 the Lord reminds Israel of a “true fast”. The people did the outward thing, but it did not seem to work. In verse 3 it says “why have we fasted, they say, and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves and you have not noticed?” God’s answer comes in the next verse, “Yet on the day of your fasting you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarrelling and strife, you cannot fast today and expect your voice to be heard on high.
As we bow our knees let us also bend our hearts before Him. God is looking for the heart that knows how little it deserves and how much it owes. During our fast God wants us to take our eyes off our needs and look to Him.
He is the immortal invisible only wise God… the invitation is fast and pray.