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Atomic Power Through Fasting & Prayer

Fires of revival ignited the land and powerful ministries were launched as thousands, inspired by Franklin Hall's book written in 1946, committed to fasting and prayer.

A great wave of fasting and prayer fervour swept America and the world in 1946-1947. A book, Atomic Power With God Through Fasting and Prayer by Franklin Hall, was the spark that enflamed thousands to go on extended fasts and to seek God for revival and the return of the gifts of the Spirit . Many went on 40-day fasts.

The Latter Rain brethren wrote that the truth of fasting was a major catalyst to the revival.

Then in 1947-1952 the great healing revival broke out with men like William Branham, Oral Roberts, and T.L. Osborne who were used of God to perform extraordinary miracles. Most of the evangelists followed Hall's fasting methods.

In 1948 the "Latter Rain" outpouring hit North Battleford, Canada, and swept into the United States. The Latter Rain brethren wrote that the truth of fasting was a major catalyst to the revival. After reading Atomic Power they entered a season of the "grace of fasting" and continued for three months. Then the Spirit fell.

In 1948 Bill Bright saw a vision of college campus awakenings, Billy Graham's ministry was released in 1949, and the Asbury College revival, along with many others, commenced in 1950.

When in 1946 fasting prayer was trumpeted, from 47 to 52 massive revival tremors shook the earth. Fifty years later, a jubilee call to fasting by Bill Bright in his book, The Coming Revival, anticipated greater harvest and glory than we have ever seen.

In my own life, I have on several occasions gone on lengthy fasts, including a 40-day fast on juices and water in January 1996 after I read Bright's book. Many of the people at our church in Pasadena, California, entered long fasts during that season. Out of it was birthed a 24-hour, mostly continuous prayer meeting. In fact, the renewal meetings in our city were birthed in a 21-day city-wide fast called by Wesley Campbell of Kelowna, B.C.

When we are faced with calls to enter into extended fasts, we must be careful that our goal is matched with knowledge and proper preparation so that the fast can honour God and fulfil its purpose. Let me share some thoughts from my experiences and those of others so that you can be helped and encouraged. For a full coverage of this subject, let me refer you to Bill Bright's book, The Coming Revival.

1. Fast and pray in order to humble yourself and purify your worship.

In fasting we are not trying to get something from God, but we are seeking to realign our hearts' affection with His. We do holy violence to the "pleasures which wage war against the soul" and open a way for the Holy Spirit's passion to dominate us. In fasting we can more readily say, "We love you Lord more than anything in the world." Lust of any kind perverts worship, but fasting enables us to cleanse the sanctuary of our hearts of every other rival. In Daniel's fast more stress is placed on the attitude of humility and confession, rather than the object sought.

2. Take time to pray and read the Word. This may seem obvious, but busyness and distractions abound.

3. Have a clear target for prayer focus. Without a vision (a clear, prophetic prayer goal) the people perish. During a fast I often pray into four or five prayer goals, but I must make sure they are clearly articulated. When I'm not deeply motivated by a clear goal I usually fast until breakfast! Write down the vision so you can run with it.

4. Do the fast with someone else. Two are better than one. If one falls the other picks him up.

5. If you fail, don't give in to condemnation. To-fast-or-not-to-fast schizophrenia can be a major tool of the enemy. Even though you may fail several times, God always extends grace. The Lord will give you fresh motivation. Recently I gave up on a fast and snuck some yoghurt and chips. The next day an intercessor came to me and said, "I saw you in a dream and you were supposed to be fasting, but you were eating yoghurt and chips." Pretty good motivation to start again!

6. Make your commitment and determine the length.

• A total fast is without water. Don't go beyond three days.

• A water-only fast is very difficult, but very effective. Depending on your weight and metabolism, you can go 40 days on water.

• A juice fast allows you to enter into the Spirit of fasting but still gives energy. Most people can do a 40-day juice fast.

• A Daniel fast with vegetables and water is good for those employed in manual labour or those carrying a heavy workload (like moms).

• A milk-shake fast isn't really a fast!

7. Prepare physically. Limit your intake of food to fruit two days before a fast. Fruit is a natural cleanser and easy to digest. Stop using coffee before the fast if you can. Prepare yourself for mental discomforts such as impatience, crankiness, and anxiety. Expect physical discomforts. You may experience dizziness, headaches, and different kinds of pains. The headaches are not a sign to stop fasting. Your body is working to cleanse itself of impurities.

8. Tips on juice fasting. Drink small amounts of low, or non-acidic, diluted juice. This gives you the desired effect of fasting while giving your body enough strength and needed minerals. Apple, cranberry, and watermelon juices and vegetable broth are excellent. It is best to schedule your juice intake. To continually drink juice may hinder the spirit of fasting and self control. A non-diluted juice fast is much easier and still very beneficial. For very thin people it may help to drink protein powder drinks.

9. Prepare for opposition. On the day of your fast you can bet donuts will be at the office. It is amazing how this works! Your spouse will suddenly be inspired to cook your favourite meals for the children. Press through. Many times you may feel more tension build at home. Work through this with your spouse. My fasts are just as difficult for my wife as for myself. She must be prepared as well. Satan tempted Jesus on the fast, and we must expect the same. Take your stand on the victory of Christ. Discouragement may come in like a flood—recognize the source.

10. Fast in secret. Don't boast about your fast but don't be afraid to let people know before going to their homes that you won't be eating.

11. Break the fast gradually. On a light juice fast or a water fast your digestive system has shut down completely. Here is the greatest danger. So as not to harm your body, you must exercise strong self control. Break the fast with several days of diluted, non-acidic juice. Then for several days take regular juice with liquid vegetable broth. After a week you may begin to drink light, non-milk soup with thicker juices like V8, carrot and green vegetable juice. Fruit and vegetables may follow. I broke one of my early fasts too quickly and almost needed hospitalization. Be careful!

12. Feel free to rest much and exercise lightly.

13. People with medical problems, or the somewhat aged, should seek medical advice and oversight.

14. Expect to hear God's voice in the Word, dreams, visions and revelations. There is a reward for fasting (see Matthew 6:18). Daniel prepared himself to receive revelation through fasting (see Daniel 10:1,2).

15. Many times breakthroughs come after a fast, sometimes long after. Do not listen to the lies that nothing is happening. It is my conviction that every fast done in faith will be rewarded.

… a greater glory is coming to the Church as she seeks God in fasting and prayer.

In 1987 several members of our church went on long fasts—some for 30 days. Nightly we prayed with strong desire for the release of His presence in our worship. The final Sunday of the fast a prophetic song came forth. As the spontaneous words were sung, "and we gaze into an open heaven," it was as if the heavens opened. People began running, dancing and shouting, "We see angels!" God had come! The next season of our church life was one of high level, atmospheric intensity. People were saved and healed during worship.

Brothers and sisters, a greater glory is coming to the Church as she seeks God in fasting and prayer.

Evangelist Mario Murillo wrote, "You stand before the greatest door of history. Beyond this door lie the most precious gifts of God. Beyond this door you will find the keys to the secrets of heroes of faith who have gone before you. They shook their generations and they stood at one time where you now stand."

Gordon Lindsey, founder of Christ for the Nations, and a Christian statesman, said during the healing revival that fasting prayer is the master key to the impossible. Let us turn that key in our generation.

Lou Engle, a pastor with Harvest Rock church, Pasadena, CA., has prayed for revival for more than 20 years. He authored the books, Digging the Wells of Revival, and Fast Forward. Lou Engle spearheaded the youth gathering, The Call, in Washington, DC., September 2002.

Originally published in Spread the Fire, December 1996.




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