Fasting, combined with prayer and worship is a powerful combination! When you find yourself surrounded by evil and destruction, remember this story of Jehoshaphat and his call for a corporate fast, which led to a mighty work of God.
“After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to wage war against Jehoshaphat. Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, ‘A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar’ (that is, En Gedi). Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to enquire of the LORD, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the LORD; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him. Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the LORD in the front of the new courtyard and said: ‘ LORD, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no-one can withstand you. Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it for ever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, “If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.” ‘But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.’ All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the LORD. Then the Spirit of the LORD came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly. He said: ‘Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.” ’ Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD. Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the LORD, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice. Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, ‘Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.’ After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendour of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: ‘Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures for ever.’ As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another. When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked towards the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no-one had escaped. So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value – more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berakah, where they praised the LORD. This is why it is called the Valley of Berakah to this day. Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the LORD had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the LORD with harps and lyres and trumpets. The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel. And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.”
2 Chron. 20:1-30 NIVUK
In this story, there is a very real, physical threat to the nation. What does the king do? He calls for a fast. The entire nation came out to seek the Lord with fasting, even the little ones.
When they cried out to God, they spoke his promises out loud. After God gave the prophetic word that he would save the nation, the leaders began to worship.
Worship is key throughout this passage. During your fast, have you spent time worshipping the Lord? It is your great and mighty weapon for deliverance from evil. It reinforces what God has promised you.
Spend time singing and worshiping the Lord for his goodness, his greatness, and his power. Focus your heart and mind on Jesus and everything he did for you on the cross, and with his resurrection. Ask the Lord to fill you with his Holy Spirit. Allow yourself to get lost in his love and in everything that he is. Praise is our mighty weapon.
Lord oh God, you have brought me out of slavery to sin. You say that I am a child of Abraham, because I am rooted in faith in Christ. Remember your faithfulness. I pray you deliver me, deliver my family and deliver my friends from the devil.
Lord, O God, deliver us from our enemies. Confuse the enemy and turn the enemy against himself. I pray Lord against the enemy schemes and the great army that is opposing us. I pray Lord God that your angels will go ahead of us and fight for us, as we worship you. Thank you that even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me, your rod and staff they comfort me.
Lord, you lead me in paths of righteousness for your namesake. May your name be exalted and glorified in this battle. May people not forget that you are my God and my Lord. I pray that you will defend us oh Lord and that our plunder of the enemies kingdom will be great. I pray that you will deliver many people from the enemy’s clutches. I pray that you will deliver many people from darkness. I pray that many will walk out of sin and death. I pray that you will heal the sick, and set the captives free. Jesus, you came to destroy the works of the devil, and give us life everlasting. In this life, I know we have trouble, but I am taking heart in you. You have overcome the world. I declare this out loud with my mouth. May my mouth always sing of your praises and always worship you. You are my strong tower. Your name is a strong tower, Jesus, and I run into it and I am safe. Praise your name!