The wind-swept summit held no treasures or mysteries to be discovered, just another mountain to climb. Within 300 feet of the top, every inch extracted excruciating effort. Shivering, weak and soaked with sweat, the peak defied the solo climber. It mocked his tiny hammer and pins. Resolve strained like a worn thread, yet deep within, in the place where dreams are forged, determination held. After three months of preparation, ten days of hiking and three days of climbing, the moment of glory came; the climber stood at the top of the world, the edge between heaven and earth, for nine wondrous minutes. Transparent blue sky above, mountain peaks and cumulus clouds below, the sweetness would linger for months.
Fasting and intercession is like climbing a mountain. Not for the weak at heart or the undisciplined. No cheering crowds to stir you on and the mountain is just another request before God that defies conquering.
Fasting and Intersession Creates Humility
Before the mountain climber climbs, he must get to the mountain, and so the intercessor must first descend to a dark valley before climbing the mountain of God. The valley is a smelly place full of the dirty garbage of sin. It is all laid out before God in painful remembrance. It hurts, we want to believe the best about ourselves and to do the opposite is indeed painful. Yet, through repentance, humility grows strong. Only when we realize how weak and powerless we are before God, can we begin to realize how much we need Him in every aspect of our lives. A humble, broken soul stripped of the weight of sin stands prepared at the base of the most powerful mountain on earth.
The mountain of intercession and fasting is the ultimate pain zone for pride. It becomes a giant groan before God. When the flesh is the weakest, the Spirit is the strongest. When pride is stripped away with humble remorse and heartfelt confession, angels gather to watch.
You cannot climb the mountain of intercession with the weight of pride on your back. It has to go. If you want to kill pride in your life, pray for another; if you want to develop compassion, empathy and patience then take on the burden of another soul. Feel their sorrow and embrace their pain and you will grow in humility and compassion will burn bright.
Intersession with Water Fasting
Water fasting is tough enough, but intercession and fasting are like climbing a mountain with a hundred pound backpack. You carry the weight of another sin or even an entire nation. Every cell and emotion ache. Blackness never seemed so bleak and God so far away. No stirs of the Spirit, only weakness that drains faith.
During water fasting and intercession, faith can waver and be weak and miniscule. You don’t believe your own prayers. Yet, God listens intently and moves each request to the top of His To Do List. Your prayers will be answered.
If you were to sneak into my room during one of these fasts, you would not see a guy glowing with a halo in the presence of God. Mostly, I lay in bed with a glass of water and an open Bible. My mind gets foggy and it is hard to pray or read. Feeling lethargic makes it easy to dwell on problems, and so I have to fight to think victorious thoughts. I can start to believe the fast is pointless. Somehow, I keep going, doing my best and knowing that this is enough for God. I know this because the mountain has moved many times, and if it does not I will know why and be given the patience to accept it.
Waiting on God
Each time I have fasted in prayer, my prayers have been answered in only three days. They were the three longest days of my life. Exceedingly difficult and requiring much resolve but when the presence of God came, weariness was washed away with joy.
I have heard many people say that they are water fasting for long periods then quit after the first day. Forget 40 days of water fasting for your first fast. A fast of that length is like climbing Mount Everest on your first climb. It is good to learn to walk before you climb a mountain and juice fasting is a perfect preparation for water fasting and intercession.
For those with a fast metabolism and intense work demands, water fasting can be impossible, but a restricted juice fast can become the vehicle of intercession. When choosing the length of time, listen to your body and you will know when to quit. During a water fast, you can alternate to juice fasting to get through some demanding times, then return to water fasting and prayer. You can intercede on a juice fast, but for me, it has to be water fasting. Juice fasting is a high-energy burn, but water fasting slows me down and demands inner reflection, which is so important in intercession.
Once you get the hang of it, and get a few prayer fasts behind you, it becomes an instant reaction. I can be in the midst of woes and concerns of regular life when a catastrophe hits and my faith flickers. I thank God and believe in the best, but I know it is not enough. Conviction wells up inside that I need to get serious before God. The greater the problem, the greater the conviction. Instead of water fasting being a huge undertaking, the conviction reduces the process to a simple act of filling a glass of water, closing the door to the room and kneeling in prayer. No preparation needed, the only requirement is a problem big enough to rock the soul.
Moses Fasted and Interceeded
When Moses climbed Mount Sinai in obedience to God, he did not know the reason or the length of time. All he knew was that his next step and a growing sense of importance. He knew God and had fasted many times. He lived a life of sacrifice and service. He could feel the pulse of God heart.
Ancient Israelites were a hard people. Even in the presence of the glory of God, they hung onto carnal beliefs that mocked God. God initial desire was to love and bless His people. God also has anger. He can become provoked, and the last thing you want to do is get God angry. That what the Israelites did. Destruction was imminent, then Moses argued with God, pleading for mercy, offering his own life in sacrifice, and then the impossible happened. God changed His mind, and a man who stammered in speech altered the fabric of eternity.
Like Moses, the intercessor, wrestles with God, refusing to take nothing but a yes as an answer. In Scripture, she is the irritating woman who tenaciously implored the Judge until her request was granted, and the midnight doorknocker who would not let his friend sleep until he gave him bread. The intercessor holds the most powerful position on earth. Whoever moves the hand of God alters the outcome of eternity.
Intercession is Joyful
Faith smiles when the problem is hopeless because you have decided that God will make this work out for the good. No fluffy spiritual theory, faith is an action, doing the opposite of how you feel. Rejoicing, dancing around, acting silly and being happy releases the problem to God. Imagine yourself happy with victory. Plan for a victory celebration. If you fill your mind with victorious thoughts, then faith can do its work.
A church filled with bulging bellies must bring great sorrow to Christ. Instead of a trained army skilled in spiritual warfare, He sees a motley crew of tired, groggy complainers. What is a disciple without discipline or an intercessor without fasting? It is no wonder that North America has degraded into a modern day Babylon. The guards on the watchtower are asleep.
Most Christians that come to Fasting.ws to start fasting want to get real with God. They are tired of empty, meaningless religion and desperately hunger for Christ. If you are one of these people, you will suffer much in your life, for anyone who called to intercession will be a target for Satan from a young age. Nothing will come easily, and your life will have more problems than most. You may even think there something wrong with you and that you have a mental problem, but in reality, Satan is moving in your life, and he will not quit. You have no other choice than to pick up the standard of Christ and fight.
The intercessor has one of the most unappreciated positions on earth. No Masters in Intercession degree to attach to your name, no pulpit lights or applause, no support staff, no works to show and no recognition. Instead, the intercessor stands before a heavenly audience of millions, illuminated by the light of God with angels as support staff, and eternal recognition given to your name in the Book of Life.
There is no request too big or challenge greater than the power of God. If He is willing, He is more than able, but big prayer requests cost, and the price is paid on your knees, interceding and fasting.
When God looks down in this world, He sees each prayer request as a tiny light but the intercessor burns bright before the Throne of God. The flames consume his/her very being, and if that fire burns bright enough, hot enough and long enough it can set fire to a nation.
By Tom Coghill of Fasting.ws Articles may be copied or reproduced as long as the back links to fasting.ws are intact and the author’s name is included.