Fast Forward

Devotional

Fasting For Crisis

Fasting to seek God for mercy during a personal or national crisis is biblical. Let’s look at an example of both in the Bible. Hannah fasted for a personal crisis, and Esther, Mordecai, and the Jews fasted for a national crisis.

In the account in 1 Samuel, Hannah was brokenhearted. She could not have children, which was a source of much emotional pain. Childlessness was a travesty in these times, and infertile women invited the disdain of their husbands and other members of the community. Although her husband loved and showed favor to her, his other wife continually teased and mocked her barrenness. This mockery continued year after year, and Hannah came to a breaking point where she fasted and wept bitterly. Finally, she vowed to the Lord that if He granted her a son, she would surrender the son to serve the Lord in the temple. The Lord heard Hannah. After a bit of time, Hannah conceived a son named Samuel, who eventually became a prophet of God.

In the book of Esther, Mordecai heard of Haman’s plan to destroy the Jews. He asked her to go to the king and beg for mercy on behalf of her people. Esther was insecure in her standing with the king and knew that speaking out of turn could cost her considerably, yet Mordecai challenged her. God would save His people one way or another, but it didn’t have to be through Esther. Perhaps her position in the court was “for such a time as this?” Esther called a three-day fast for herself, her attendants, Mordecai, and the Jews. We know the end of the story. Haman’s evil plot was exposed, and the King had mercy on the Jews.

So what happens when your world is falling apart like Hannah or Esther? When the crisis you face is massive and beyond your ability to solve? When, like Hannah, living one more day in the mental or emotional state you’re in isn’t an option? When, like Esther, a decision is being made that is so critical, that the future of your family and people hang in the balance? We see a powerful intervention by God in both circumstances of crisis. If you face a crisis, pray and fast. Cry out to God, and see Him intervene in a significant way.