Welcome to day 6 of our 7 days of prayer and fasting. We are almost at the home stretch! Today, with grateful hearts we will explore the connection between fasting and thanksgiving. As we are on our second to last day of the fast, let us discover the beautiful harmony that arises when gratitude becomes the melody of our hearts.
- Psalm 107:1 (NIV): “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
- Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV): “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Fasting as a Spiritual Symphony:
Fasting is not a solitary note in the Christian journey; rather, it is part of a grand symphony orchestrated by the hand of God. In the cadence of our abstention, thanksgiving harmonizes with our prayers, creating a melody that ascends to the throne of grace.
The Instrument of Gratitude:
- Gratitude as a Foundation for Fasting:
- Fasting is often associated with sacrifice and denial, but it can also be a powerful expression of gratitude. In our fast, we willingly surrender the comforts of the physical to seek a deeper connection with Almighty God. As we abstain from food, let us remember that Thanksgiving is not just a holiday; it is a way of life, a constant acknowledgment of God’s goodness. Fasting without gratitude is like music without a melody. In Psalm 100:4 (NIV), we are called to “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” As we continue our fast, I pray our hearts are overflowing with gratitude.
- Thanksgiving in All Circumstances:
- The Apostle Paul, in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV), challenges us to “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Our fast may be a circumstance of self-denial, but even in this, we find reasons to be thankful. Thanksgiving is not contingent upon our circumstances; rather, it is rooted in the character of God. Whether in abundance or lack, sickness or health, our hearts can overflow with gratitude. In 2 Corinthians 9:11 (NIV), Paul writes, “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
The Symphony of Christ’s Example:
In exploring the connection between fasting and thanksgiving, we must pause to reflect on the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Matthew 26:26-28 (NIV), during the Last Supper, Jesus took bread, gave thanks, and broke it. Jesus took the bread and, before breaking it, gave thanks. In the act of giving thanks, He demonstrated the union of gratitude and abstention. This act of thanksgiving was a recognition of God’s provision and consecration of the bread for a sacred purpose.
In giving thanks, Jesus goes beyond a simple blessing. He imparts a profound meaning to the bread, stating, “This is my body.” This moment signifies the impending sacrifice of His body on the cross for the redemption of humanity. Similarly, Jesus gives thanks for the cup, identifying it as “my blood of the covenant.” This act of giving thanks is an acknowledgment of the significance of the covenant—a new covenant that would be established through His sacrificial death.
The shedding of Jesus’ blood is connected with the forgiveness of sins. The act of thanksgiving is not only for the provision of bread and wine but also for the initiation of a new covenant that brings forgiveness and reconciliation between God and humanity. Reflecting on Jesus’ words during the Last Supper reminds us as believers of the depth of God’s love and the forgiveness offered through Christ’s sacrifice. This can inspire a sense of gratitude and awe.
Thanksgiving as Spiritual Nourishment:
- Gratitude for God’s Sustenance:
- Fasting reminds us of our dependency on God. Just as we abstain from physical nourishment, we recognize God as the source of our ultimate sustenance.
- Thanksgiving for Spiritual Nourishment:
- In fasting, we feast on the Word of God. In Deuteronomy 8:3 (NIV), we are reminded, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Our thanksgiving extends to the spiritual nourishment received during our fast.
A Symphony of Prayer and Thanksgiving:
- Intensified Prayer with Thanksgiving:
- Fasting provides a unique opportunity for intensified prayer. Our supplications become expressions of gratitude for God’s faithfulness, mercy, and grace. Philippians 4:6 (NIV) encourages us to present our requests to God with thanksgiving. This verse provides a powerful encouragement for believers to approach God with a heart of thanksgiving in every circumstance, even amid challenges or uncertainties. The call is to cast away anxiety, replacing it with a posture of prayer, petition, and gratitude. It emphasizes the importance of maintaining a thankful heart as we bring our requests before God, acknowledging His sovereignty and goodness.
- Thanksgiving in Anticipation:
- Our fast is not a time of deprivation but an anticipation of the spiritual banquet prepared by our Heavenly Father. As we fast, we anticipate tasting and seeing the goodness of the Lord (Psalm 34:8, NIV).
- Cultivate a Thankful Heart: In our daily lives, we can strive to cultivate a habit of thanksgiving, recognizing and appreciating God’s blessings, both big and small.
- Pray with Gratitude: As we bring our concerns to God, we can follow the model presented in Philippians 4:6, incorporating thanksgiving into our prayers. This shifts our focus from anxiety to gratitude.
- Trust in God’s Faithfulness: Remembering God’s past faithfulness and acknowledging it in our prayers can strengthen our trust in Him during challenging times.
Philippians 4:6 serves as a guiding principle for a Christian’s approach to challenges—rooted in prayer, characterized by thanksgiving, and grounded in trust in God’s sovereign care.
During our fasting, let our hearts resound with gratitude. As we abstain from physical sustenance, may our spirits feast on the goodness of our God. Let thanksgiving be the melody that accompanies our fasting, transforming it into a symphony of worship. May we enter His gates with thanksgiving, knowing that our fasting and thanksgiving are a fragrant offering before the throne of the Almighty. May our lives be a continual hymn of gratitude, and may our fast be a testament to the richness of God’s love. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
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.