40 Days of Prayer and Fasting – Day 23- War in the Heavenlies

What many people do not understand about fasting is the spiritual connection between fasting and spiritual warfare. Throughout scripture, fasting is a tool in the battle between the powers of evil and the powers of God. What is incredibly mind-blowing is that we little, insignificant human beings are called by God to have a pivotal role in the battle with our prayer and fasting.

Compared to our Father in heaven we are small, but his love for us is not small and his desire to work alongside of us in the battle is not diminished. We are his children- his family- and we are all involved in the success of the mission at hand.

Jesus crossed heaven and earth to rescue us with his own blood. He didn’t rescue us so that we could be helpless. He rescued us and brought his authority to us so we could be equipped in the battle with the power of God.

Our example today of the way that fasting affects the heavenly realms is found in Daniel 9 and 10. Daniel starts his fasting in Daniel 9, when he realized that it was the 70th year since the Jewish people were taken to Babylon. He remembered what the prophet Jeremiah (a contemporary of Daniel) said when they were still in Jerusalem when Daniel was a boy. He said that the nation would be in captivity 70 years. He knew the prophecy may be coming true soon, but he wasn’t going to sit back and hope it would happen. He went to “battle” to pray that it would come to pass. What follows next is one of the most epic spiritual warfare accounts in scripture:

Daniel 9

 In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes[a] (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian[b] kingdom— in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.

I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed:

“Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of lovewith those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land.

“Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame—the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you. We and our kings, our princes and our ancestors are covered with shame, Lord, because we have sinned against you. The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; 10 we have not obeyed the Lordour God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets. 11 All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you.

“Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you. 12 You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing on us great disaster.Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem. 13 Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come on us, yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth. 14 The Lord did not hesitate to bring the disaster on us, for the Lord our God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him.

15 “Now, Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong. 16 Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us.

17 “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.”

The Seventy “Sevens”

20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill— 21 while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. 23 As soon as you began to pray,a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision:

24 “Seventy ‘sevens’[c] are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish[d] transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.[e]

25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One,[f] the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing.[g]The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’[h] In the middle of the ‘seven’[i] he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple[j] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.[k][l]

Daniel 10 

In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel (who was called Belteshazzar). Its message was true and it concerned a great war.[a] The understanding of the message came to him in a vision.

At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.

On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, the Tigris, I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like topaz, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze,and his voice like the sound of a multitude.

I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; those who were with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves. So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless. Then I heard him speaking, and as I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground.

10 A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees.11 He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.

12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”

15 While he was saying this to me, I bowed with my face toward the ground and was speechless. 16 Then one who looked like a man[b]touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing before me, “I am overcome with anguish because of the vision, my lord, and I feel very weak. 17 How can I, your servant, talk with you, my lord? My strength is gone and I can hardly breathe.”

18 Again the one who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength. 19 “Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed,” he said. “Peace! Be strong now; be strong.”

When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.”

20 So he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; 21 but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.)

Because of Daniel’s fast, warfare broke out in the heavenliness. God was getting ready to unleash his plan for his people to be rescued and the enemy the devil and the spiritual authorities in high places were going to fight it with all that they had. But, somehow, through Daniel’s fasting, the angels were dispatched and the devil was overcome. The angels were able to deliver the message.

Many people refer to the Daniel fast and they are super specific about what you can and can’t eat. But, here, Daniel eats a very plain diet that isn’t any of his favorite foods. It may be all vegetables, it may just be bread and water. But, God hears Daniel and intervenes. I wonder if we would have the prophetic words penned in scripture today, if Daniel hadn’t fasted.

There are currently major battles going on in the heavenly realms for our nation and for the nations of the world. Do we have the resolve like Daniel to seek the face of God- to pray for repentance for the nations and to cry out for a word from the Lord? Do you need direction? Do you need confirmation? Seek the Lord and fast. It’s not a ritual- it is worshipping God in a humbling sacrifice.

Let’s Pray!

Father in Jesus’ name, I lift you up. You are in heaven. I am on earth, but you have seated me with Jesus Christ in heavenly realms, because of your love and because of your great compassion. You have called me and chosen me. You have adopted me into your family, because of your great love, which you have lavished upon me through Jesus Christ your son.

I lift up your name. I lift up the name of Jesus. You are the great I AM. You are the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. You are holy. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty who was, and is, and is to come.

I worship you today. You are in all and through all. In you, Lord Jesus, all things are held together.

Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Establish your kingdom. Bring it forth. Raise up your people to serve you. You dwell in your people. Please move them by your Spirit to repentance. Fill your people with your Holy Spirit.

I pray right now that you will reveal to me anything that I need to repent from. Spend time repenting of anything the Lord lays on your heart.

I forgive anyone who has sinned against me. (Spend time forgiving anyone who has hurt you, in the name and power of Jesus.)

Give us this day our daily bread. Lord, please provide for my needs according to your riches in glory. Lord, you know what my needs are before I know what they are. I pray that you will lead me in faith. Build my faith for daily living. Give me, Lord, the faith for trusting you in these perilous times. Pour out your Spirit for faith to trust you. Lord, lead me and guide me in how I spend my money and my time. You have given me time and money and resources. I need to be led by you, Lord. Establish my steps.

Lead me in what you want me to do to prepare for the days we are living in. I need your leading, Oh Lord. Lead me. Lead me by your Spirit.

Lord, lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from the evil one. Father, you know that the devil has been cast down and he knows his time is short. I pray, Lord, that I can overcome him by the word of my testimony and by the blood of the Lamb- Jesus Christ. I resist the devil’s call to hate. I rebuke the confusion and depression that he is trying to put on me. I rebuke the enemy Satan in the name of Jesus Christ. I pray for the blood of Jesus Christ to cover and protect my life, my home, my family. I plead the blood of Jesus over my church and my community. I pray against all of the witchcraft that is being done against my family, my community, my church and my nation. I pray that you break every curse that is being spoken against the church of Jesus Christ.

May your people stand up strong against the enemy the devil, in Jesus Name. Praise you, Lord. Strengthen leaders, strengthen prayer warriors. I pray for those who are being severely opposed by the enemy. Strengthen your people that they can be a light for you. Rise up church! Rise up! Lord, raise the church up, in Jesus’ name.

Lord, I pray as Daniel did, “

“Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we – the church in America have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes/presidents and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land.

“Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame—the people of America both near and far, in all trauma where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you. We and our presidents, our leaders and our ancestors are covered with shame, Lord, because we have sinned against you. The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; 10 we have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the laws- the law of the Spirit of life- he gave us through his servants the prophets. 11 All America has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you.

“Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you. 12 You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing on us great disaster. Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to America. 13 Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come on us, yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth. 14 The Lord did not hesitate to bring the disaster on us, for the Lord our God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him.

15 “Now, Lord our God, who brought your people out of religious persecution around the world with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong. 16 Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors have made America and your people an object of scorn to all those around us.

17 “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.”

Remove confusion, insanity, anger, hatred, jealousies and oppositions to the truth of God, in Jesus’ name. Lord, go to battle. You are the Lord Almighty! Raise up your people to represent you well. Lord, may we be filled to overflowing to meet the opposition of evil. May we be shining lights, Lord God.

Lord, pour out your Spirit! Please give me understanding for the times we are living in. Fill me with the knowledge of your will with all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit brings. Fill me with revelation, Lord. Open the eyes of my heart, Lord!

Lord, you know what is going on in the heavenly realms. I trust you. Teach me to battle. Strengthen my heart and my life for the battle I am in. Break every chain in my life. Use me mightily for your glory, Lord. Have mercy, Oh Lord! In Jesus’ name.

Pray for the issues that come to your heart- the racial riots and injustices and violence in the streets, the issue of abortion, the issue of sexual perversions in the land, the issue of the broken homes, the issue of child trafficking, the issue of apostasy, the issue of anxiety, the issue of depression and suicide and hopelessness, the issue of pride and a haughty spirit in our nation.

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