Seeking the Lord through Prayer and Fasting
The following was contributed by Guest Blogger Lisa Thompson, National Liaison for the Abolition of Sexual Trafficking at The Salvation Army National Headquarters.
In the opening passage of the book of Nehemiah, the Jewish cupbearer to the Persian King Artaxerxes, explains how he was so greatly moved by the plight of his people in Jerusalem that, “For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 1:4).
When confronted with the prospect of ethnic annihilation because of a national edict calling for the destruction of the Jews, among the Jews in every province of the Persian Empire “there was great mourning . . . with fasting, weeping and wailing” (Esther 4:3). Before launching his earthly ministry of teaching and healing Jesus himself fasted for forty days and nights (Matthew 4:2).
From examples such as these, we learn that believers should seek the Lord with prayer and fasting — before taking action in our personal ministries, when facing incredible hardships and doom, when confronted with the pain and suffering of others.
Surely then, it is appropriate for us to fast and pray on behalf of the victims of sexual trafficking. May our hearts cry out on their behalf and may our stomachs growl in remembrance of their suffering, as we take part in this weekend’s observance of the International Weekend of Prayer and Fasting for the Victims of Sexual Trafficking. ‘
Such humility before God and partaking in the suffering of others will unleash God’s heavenly forces for earthly action!