02-09-20 The Discipline of Fasting, Part 3

“The Discipline of Fasting” (Pt. 3) Matthew 6:16-18

This January we are focusing on how we can grow in our relationship with God by using the spiritual discipline of fasting. In Matthew 6 Jesus first emphasizes the negatives of fasting [see message on 1/19] and then he
focuses our attention on the positives of fasting:

I First, fasting allows us to reach up to God as whole persons.
II Second, fasting gives us a concrete way to express repentance.
III Third, fasting provides a way to share in the sufferings of Christ.

IV Fourth, fasting helps our ______________.
A. This is why we emphasize fasting at the beginning of the New Year, because we need to pray for God’s d______________ and p_____________ for 2020.
B. How can fasting assist our prayers?

1. First, we need to talk about how it _____________ help our prayers: It cannot help our prayers by _____________ God to answer us.
2. How then, does fasting help our prayers?

a. First, fasting _____________ us to pray.
b. Second, fasting removes ___________________.
c. Third, fasting shows us when our ___________ is really in our prayer.

C. What kind of prayer calls for fasting?
1. First we ought to fast when we pray for our _______________.
2. Second, we ought to fast when we pray for the ____________.

a. The Bible describes sickness as ________________.
b. By fasting we can pray for the sick, not as s______________, but as i______________.

3. Third, we ought to fast as we pray for ____________________.
4. Lastly, we ought to fast as we pray for the _______ of God to be done in this _______________.

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