Welcome to day 2 of our 7 days of prayer and fasting. Today, we are exploring the profound intersection of fasting and forgiveness. We will delve into the spiritual and physical effects of unforgiveness and discover how the discipline of fasting can become a catalyst for breaking the chains that bind us.
Let us ground our reflections in the Word of God. In Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus teaches, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,” this foundational truth underscores the significance of forgiveness in the life of a believer. In Matthew 18:21-22, Peter asks Jesus, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus responds, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.” Forgiveness is not just an act; it is a way of life for those who follow Christ.
In the Lord’s Prayer, found in Matthew 6:12, Jesus teaches us to pray, “and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Our fasting is an opportunity to reflect on our own forgiveness in Christ and extend that forgiveness to those who have wronged us. Colossians 3:13 reinforces this, urging us to “bear with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”
Often, we carry the heavy burden of guilt and shame for our own mistakes. Psalm 103:12 assures us, “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” Fasting provides a space for us to seek God’s forgiveness for our shortcomings and, in turn, learn to forgive ourselves, recognizing the boundless grace God extends to us.
The Spiritual Effects of Unforgiveness:
Scripture warns us of the spiritual consequences of harboring unforgiveness. In Matthew 6:15, Jesus declares, “But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Unforgiveness creates a barrier between us and God, hindering our spiritual growth and intimacy with the Father.
Physical and Emotional Toll:
The effects of unforgiveness are not confined to the spiritual realm; they permeate our physical and emotional well-being. Medical studies show that harboring resentment can lead to stress-related illnesses, heart problems, and a compromised immune system. Proverbs 14:30 attests, “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.” Unforgiveness corrodes our inner being, affecting our physical health.
Fasting as a Spiritual Detox:
Fasting, as a spiritual discipline, not only draws us closer to God but also opens our hearts to the work of the Holy Spirit in addressing unforgiveness. Isaiah 58:6-7 provides insight: “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?” Our fasting is a powerful tool in breaking the yoke of unforgiveness that binds us.
Enter the transformative practice of fasting. Isaiah 58:9a proclaims, “Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.'” Fasting provides a sacred space for us to cry out to God, laying bare our hearts and seeking His healing touch. As we fast, we detoxify not only our bodies but also our souls, purging the toxins of bitterness and resentment.
Freedom through Forgiveness:
The ultimate goal of today’s message is freedom—freedom from the shackles of unforgiveness. Galatians 5:1 declares, “For freedom, Christ has set us free; stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Unforgiveness is a yoke that binds us, but through Christ and the power of forgiveness, we find true liberation.
As we continue fasting, let us do so with a heart attuned to forgiveness. May our fasting be an expression of our desire to reconcile with others and find healing in the forgiving embrace of our Savior. Let us release the burdens of resentment and self-condemnation, embracing the freedom that forgiveness brings.
As you go about your day, try to make God your focus. Set the tone by beginning your day with praise and worship. I have a Spotify playlist that we use for the prayer line, click here to access it. Avoid TV, social media, drama, gossip, or any other distraction that’ll lessen your spiritual focus. Invite the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you during this time. Ask Him about what you should be reading and give your revelation on what He wants you to meditate on when it comes to God’s Word, as it is your spiritual food.
Fasting and Prayer Details:
Each day fasting from 6 AM to 6 PM Water Only throughout the day.
After 6 PM Fruits and Veggies Only, no meat.
What you need:
- Bible (Read at least a chapter a day)
- Get your prepare your fruit and veggies in advance
- In a journal, write down what God may be speaking to you through His Word or your dreams.
- 3 prayer points, what are you looking for God to do for you during this time of fasting and prayer?
- Have 3 -7 scriptures concerning your prayer points
- At least one person you want to focus on praying for.
- Prayer points for the body of Christ list
Church Prayer Points
- Pray for unity in churches and in the body of Christ.
- Pray for the pastor and church leadership.
- Pray for revival and a great awakening in the world.