In Acts 27, the apostle Paul was a prisoner on a ship with 276 passengers onboard. Launching the voyage in the winter, the ship headed into a violent sea storm, called Euroclydon. The ship tossed like a leaf in the wind and was in danger of splitting into pieces. No stars or light from the moon was seen for many days, and because of the dangerous rocks and quicksand, it appeared that Paul and the passengers would drown in the murky waters.
“But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, ‘Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For there stood by me this night an angel of God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, “Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.”’” Acts 27:21-24
In the midst of a life-threatening storm, God sent assurance through an angelic messenger that the ship would be destroyed, but not one of the 276 passengers—many of whom were prisoners—would die in the process.
After Christ was baptized by John in the Jordan River, He was then directed by the Holy Spirit to spend days in solitude, fasting and praying (Matt. 4). After 40 days, the tempter (Satan) came and began to harass Christ, demanding He prove He was the Son of God. The temptation involved three aspects: Lust of the flesh— turn the stones into bread to eat; Lust of the eyes—throw yourself from the high point of the temple so angels can rescue You; Pride of Life—bow and worship Satan, and he will give you the world’s kingdoms.
Following the fast and the testing from Satan, Christ was physically weak, and the heavenly Father sent angels to personally minister to Him (see Matt. 4:11).
Toward the conclusion of Christ’s ministry, when He was in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, we read that, “Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him” (Luke 22:43). Thus, during the two most stressful moments in Christ’s life—His 40-day fast and prior to His crucifixion—angels were commissioned to personally minister to Him and strengthen Him. This would have included not only physical strength but emotional and spiritual strength as well.
During my earlier ministry, I lived what I call a “fasting life.” Instead of eating throughout the week and selecting a specific day to fast, I would often go days on end without eating, or eat only one time a day just to maintain strength. When fasting, my spiritual senses were sharper and keener, and I was able to discern both good and evil more clearly. I could also sense when there was a strategy of the enemy or some form of danger that lay ahead.
Early one morning, I departed from Northport, Ala., and was traveling by car on a four-hour drive to Mississippi. I recall being very tired, and several times I found my eyes becoming heavy. Without realizing it, I dozed off. Suddenly I was struck in the back of my shoulders by what felt like a man’s hand. The sudden slap did not hurt but it jerked me forward, awaking me. Unknowingly, I had already veered off the road and was driving head-on toward the corner of an interstate bridge. I had a split second to jerk the car away from the bridge and barely miss colliding head-on with the concrete support. I began to cry because there was no one else in the car, and I knew the Lord had sent a heavenly messenger on my behalf to protect me.
Fasting is like a magnet that attracts your soul and spirit closer to the heavenly realm. Isaiah wrote about the power of fasting and revealed that a fast would: “Loose the bonds of wickedness, undo the heavy burdens, let the oppressed go free, and … break every yoke” (Isa. 58:6). In verse 8 Isaiah predicted: “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward” (KJV, emphasis added). Notice that God will be thy “rereward.” Believers often read this as “thy reward,” but it is not reward but the word rereward.
When the word rereward is used in other passages it alludes to someone being in the rear guard of the army. When we fast and earnestly seek God, He has us covered from the backside. He can prevent the adversary from a “sneak attack” that would catch you off guard!
Adapted from Angels on Assignment, by Perry Stone, copyright 2009, published by Charisma House. For believers, there are many Scriptures promising God can and will protect us. This book reveals in detail one of these promises, the Mizpah Covenant, and is filled with faith-building stories that show you how angels are involved in our lives on a personal and practical level. To order your copy, click on this link.
PRAYER POWER FOR THE WEEK OF 1/30/2012
As you face the many challenges of 2012, be encouraged that God will provide miraculous answers when you fast and pray. Thank Him for the breakthroughs He’s planned and you will experience this year. Continue to pray that believers would unite in prayer and purpose for our nation. Pray for the persecuted church around the world and for the protection of Israel. Pray for our military and their families. Ask God to direct you concerning the upcoming elections, and remember those suffering through loss of jobs, homes, and loved ones. Phil. 4:6,7; Isa. 58:6-12
To enrich your prayer life and learn how to strategically pray with power by using appropriate scriptures, we recommend the following sources by Apostle John Eckhardt: Prayers that Rout Demons, Prayers that Bring Healing, Prayers that Release Heaven on Earth and Prayers that Break Curses. To order any or all of these click here.