How do you want this year to turn out or what are your expectations for the year? The year has started rolling out her days; soon we will be counting weeks and months down the year. It is important that we guide it down the path that will be in our favour, and prayer and fasting is one of the tools to use in achieving this. It is a good way to take towards actualizing your desired outcome for this New Year.
Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer – Ezra 8:21, 23 (NKJV).
However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting – Matthew 17:21 (NKJV).
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail – Dr David Oyedepo.
Many people start a New Year with no preparations. They just expect to tackle issues as they unfold. This may not be a bad idea but you can do better than that. The year you prepare for, especially spiritually, will yield greater results than the one you are not prepared for. Jotham became great because he prepared his ways before the Lord (2 Chronicles 27:6).
The Lord made this year (Revelations 4:11) and so has the manual for it. Therefore, it is wisdom to go before the maker and ask for the manual to avoid abuse and unpleasant eventualities as much as possible. Prayer and fasting is the right way to seek God for such issues. During this process, you humble yourself before God and subdue all fleshly desires that may stand on your way of connection with God. You spend time studying the word and praying, while listening for instructions for the year from God.
Prayer and fasting at the beginning of the year gives you the opportunity to seek from the Lord the right way for you and your family and all your possessions, just like Ezra and the children of Israel did. The scripture says that God answered their prayer. God will answer yours too. It is important you get it right from the beginning.
Prayer and fasting gives you the opportunity to scatter the plans of the enemy for you for the year. There are certain oppressions of the enemy that will not go out except through prayer and fasting. Through effective prayer and fasting you ascend into the faith realm of Christ and exercise your authority as a believer over oppositions of darkness against all your open doors (1 Corinthians 16:9).
This spiritual exercise also allows you to speak into your future, declaring what you want to see and have, for you will have what you say in faith (Mark 11:23). Remember, the world was created by God and perverted by the devil with spoken words, and they are still that powerful. Therefore, open your mouth wide (Psalm 81:10-14), decree and it shall be established unto you (Job 22:28) and you will eat the fruit of your lips (Proverbs 12:14).
How long should you fast? Fast as you are led by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will not lead you beyond what you are able. Some churches declare a certain number of days for fasting at the beginning of the year too, if that is the case with your church, that is good enough, join fervently and be a partaker of the blessings. This year shall be great for you in Jesus name.
Ngozi Nwoke is a teacher, speaker, counselor and author of “Peace Money Can’t Buy” and “The Man Jesus: What You Need to Know About Christ”. She has a passion to teach people how to enjoy peace, God’s love, and Christian living for a more fulfilling life. Want a more fulfilling life?