While fasting is a private discipline that yields many personal benefits, the promises of fasting can also impact your community and your nation. In the Bible, there are two cases in particular where fasting literally changed history!
72 HOURS THAT SAVED THE JEWS
In the book of Esther, the Jews were on the verge of destruction because of the evil conspiracy of Haman, one of the king’s advisors. Haman was “filled” with wrath against a Jew named Mordecai because he did not “bow or pay him homage” (Esther 3:5). “Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus—the people of Mordecai” (Esther 3:6).
Mordecai sought help from Queen Esther, who was his niece. Mordecai’s request meant Esther would have to literally risk her life for it was very dangerous for her to approach the king without being summoned first. So, Esther called a fast.
“Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law, and if I perish, I perish!” (Esther 4:16).
Those 72 hours of fasting changed the history of the world. When Esther approached the king on behalf of her people, they became a nation not of defeat, annihilation, suffering and shame, but a nation of favor. They received honor and promotion . . . all because of three days of fasting and prayer.
You and I can help change the history of our own nation through prayer and fasting. Yes, we have become a world void of morality and truth. But we don’t have to accept it! I want to challenge you to make a habit of regular prayer and fasting for our nation. Fast and pray for our leaders. Fast and pray for our religious freedoms. Fast and pray for the multitudes who have been deceived by the enemy.
When the economy is in trouble . . . when we are worried about wars and hostile nations . . . when natural disasters take homes and lives, we are to call a solemn assembly and fast. We are the ambassadors of Christ and we can affect change.
In the book of Joel, God promises a latter day outpouring of His Spirit. “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days” (Joel 2:28-29).
But this great end time outpouring can only come through prayer and fasting. Joel 1:14 says, “Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; Gather the elders And all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, And cry out to the LORD.” Will you join God’s people in crying out for His Spirit? Just like the people of Nineveh and with Esther’s people—your fasting and prayers can change history!