Matthew 17:21 (NKJV) "However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
The other week, I found myself in somewhat of a spiritual rut. I had recently started a prayer box that I pray over almost daily, and the things that I had been praying for just didn't seem to be coming together. Some of the prayers even pertained to other people, but I wasn't seeing any movement, my mind was cluttered with doubt and confusion, I was frustrated and just at a loss. So I went to God in prayer, and asked Him was I was doing wrong. I felt the Holy Spirit say to me, "How bad do you want it?" Now, I'm going to be honest...my first reaction was, "Excuse me? Have you not seen me consistently praying over this stuff?" The Holy Spirit didn't even entertain my question, but instead, again, I heard the same thing, "How bad do you want it?"
Then God reminded me of the story about the woman with the issue of blood found in Mark 5:24-34, and how desperate she was to have her issue resolved. She was willing to put her life in jeopardy in order to get to Jesus. Now, don't go thinking that God told me to go play in traffic or something, because He didn't. But, what He did do, was lead me to Matthew 17:21, which says, "However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” God wanted to test and strengthen my faith, so He led me into a week long fast.
I felt led to eat nothing but fruits and vegetables, drink only water, and turn off the TV from 6:00am Sunday to 6:00am Saturday, ending the fast at a 6:00am prayer service that was scheduled as part of a conference. So the week leading up to it, I scheduled my meals and my prayer topics for each day, and just prayed for strength to get through it. Was it hard? Yes. Did I feel foolish at times? Yes. Did I question whether or not I had actually heard from God? Yes. Did I question whether or not it was even going to be worth it? Yes. Even right up until the last day. I had made it through the week, but still wasn't sure if getting up for 6:00am prayer was even worth it.
When my alarm went off, I contemplated staying in bed, but I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, "You didn't come this far to give up now." And that was all I needed to hear. So I got up, got dressed, grabbed my prayer box, and went and laid everything that I had left on the altar. I was hungry, tired, and had nothing else to lose. But, deep down, I also knew that I had everything to gain if God is as faithful as I believe He is.
Now, almost a week later, I still honestly don't know how all of this is going to play out. I wish I had some miraculous story to tell you, but I don't at the moment. I didn't want to write this until I had some really great news to share, but God told me to write it anyway (and trust me, I've learned that I'm better off just doing what He says, rather than trying to argue). Even though I don't know exactly how all of this is going to play out, I do know that there was a shift and a breaking in the spiritual realm. I could just sense chains breaking and breakthrough coming forth, and in due time I will have a testimony to share.
So I say all of that to say, sometimes when you hit a spiritual plateau, you will be required to dig deeper and go further than you've ever gone before in order to get to the next level. It's not that you're doing anything wrong, but God needs to push you beyond your limits in order to strengthen and stretch your faith. Sometimes prayer may not be enough. Sometimes, next level breakthroughs require next level strength that can only be obtained through prayer AND fasting. It's almost like throwing a 1-2 punch in the spiritual realm. So if you feel like you've hit a wall in your prayer life, seek God, and ask Him if He desires to deepen His relationship with you through fasting. It just might be the final gateway to the answers that you seek.
God loves you!
Don't forget to visit my website www.ariannemockabee.com and check out my first book, "Destined to fly: The Pursuit of Purpose"