by Rick Warren — November 10, 2017
“As I prayed, I fasted and wore rough sackcloth, and I sprinkled myself with ashes” (Daniel 9:3b TLB).
Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 9 provides us with a great model for how to pray during a crisis. In the last few devotions, we’ve learned from this passage to:
Fourth, the kind of prayer God answers during a crisis is one where we demonstrate our seriousness. You need to signal to God that you mean business about your need. It isn’t just a whim or a casual thought. You need to let God see how important it is to you.
Daniel described three different ways he signaled his seriousness to God. “To show my sadness, I fasted, put on rough cloth, and sat in ashes” (Daniel 9:3b NCV).
We’re going to focus on the first thing he did: He fasted from food. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that people have employed for centuries.
Jesus said some miracles could only happen through prayer and fasting, not by prayer alone. Why? Fasting tells God you’re serious about your prayer.
Moses fasted before he received the Ten Commandments. The Israelites fasted before they went into many of their major battles. Daniel fasted in order to receive guidance from God. Nehemiah fasted before he began a major building project. Jesus fasted in victory over temptation.
When you have a crisis, you need to show God you mean business. Fasting is an effective way to do this.