Invariably, as you invest in discipling people in your world, you will be confronted with times when they are facing diverse struggles. Struggles that you can't do anything about! So, what do you do when it seems that you can do nothing?!
In our last blog, we agreed that a discipler ought to intercede through prayer and fasting.
Now the power of prayer has been established in the last blog, let’s explore fasting, another powerful method of intercedence.
The power of fasting can be seen throughout the book of Esther.
In Chapter 4, Esther is informed by her cousin Mordecai of an evil plan that has been put into place to annihilate the Jews. Esther, Queen at the time, is told that the only hope of saving God’s people was if she entered the presence of the King and begged him to save her people. However, in order for Esther to do this, her life would be put at risk. This was because the law stated that if anyone who entered the King’s presence without being summoned would be put to death.
After speaking to Mordecai, Esther agreed that she would go to the King, giving the instruction for all of the Jews to fast on her behalf. They were not to eat or drink for three days. Esther said that even if it was against the law, and even if she was to perish, after the three days of fasting had taken place, she would go to the King.
The outcome of both Esther and the Jews committing to fast saw the supernatural occur.
Esther disobeyed the law and entered the King’s presence, rather than getting angry and condemning her to death, the King was not only pleased with her but held out his gold scepter that spared her life. Then, when Esther finally informed him of the evil plan that his advisor Haman had set up to destroy the Jews, the King was immediately enraged. He then reversed the order, saving the entire Jewish nation and leaving Haman to face the consequences of his actions.
How crazy is the power of fasting?! As Esther and her people stopped, humbled themselves before God and fasted, a whole nation was saved!
I hope you are encouraged learning about how you can intercede for those in your world. How awesome is it that while we can only see and work in the natural, we don’t have to be discouraged but rather can trust in our God who sees and works in the supernatural?!
In the meantime, I encourage you to continue to think outside of the box, thinking of other ways where in addition to praying and fasting for your disciples, that you can show love and support to them in a practical way.
Maybe you could continue to spend time in prayer with them or time just simply listening to them.
Maybe there is something you could do for them to help them out in an area of their life that would be of assistance to them.
On a final note, while we want to support and encourage our disciples as much as we possibly can, it is also important to remember that carrying their burdens are not our role or responsibility, but rather that it is Jesus’. Even more, if there is something that a disciple is struggling with that you believe to put either themselves, yourself or others at harm, please consider encouraging them to seek professional help.
Let me pose this final question to you: How can you best stand in the gap and intercede on behalf of your disciples?
Blessings in Jesus,
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