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Fasting Day 8: Gaining Thirst

 Gaining Thirst

Maybe you read yesterday’s post and it made you frustrated because your thirst for God hasn’t increased on your fast. Your desire for Him and His word hasn’t changed at all.

If this is you, I encourage you to pray God’s word on this matter. (I’ve compiled a page of scriptures and prayers for you.)

Why Pray God’s Word?

There are three reasons to pray God’s word:

1. God’s word is alive!For the word of God is alive and powerful” (Hebrews 4:12). The original Greek word translated “powerful” is energēs (notice the resemblance to the English word “energy”?). The word was used in secular society of the day to describe a medicine effectively engaged in the work it was designed to do.

What if you had a physical condition that kept you from ever wanting to drink liquid…and there was a medicine just for your condition? Wouldn’t you want to take it? Yes, because without liquids you’ll become dehydrated. Go very long without any liquids and you’ll die. Without Living Water you’ll die too — you’ll become spiritually dead and lifeless.

God’s Word was designed to treat your condition of inadequate thirst! And it has a 100% cure rate!

2. God ordained our words to have power.

“From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:20-21).

There is a harvest from what we speak. The ‘crop’ we reap from our words can be good or bad depending on what seeds we’ve sown through them. We sow seeds through words spoken aloud, but also through words spoken silently in our thoughts.

When we agree with God and His Word, taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, the harvest is immeasurably good and satisfying.

Why respond to a matter by speaking and praying God’s word?

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

This is war. We have an enemy who will stop at nothing to keep us from God’s word and prayer.

Lack of spiritual thirst is a stronghold. A stronghold is any argument or pretension that “sets itself up against the knowledge of God.” It’s anything that exalts itself against God’s will for us — in this case, spiritual thirst for Him. A stronghold is something that raises itself up in our minds, pretending to be bigger or more powerful than God. It strangles abundant life, keeps us from fulfilling our callings and renders our lives ineffective for Christ. Is that not the enemy’s goal for our lives?

This is a spiritual battle. And as such, we have God-given weapons that are powerful — completely capable of demolishing this stronghold.

What are these weapons? In Ephesians 6:10-12, Paul listed the whole armor of God. Just one piece of the armor is a weapon. The rest are defensive pieces of armor. The Sword of the Spirit, identified as the Word of God, is the only offensive weapon listed in the whole armor of God.

Second Corinthians 10:4 uses the plural, assuring us we have weapons for warfare. What would the other weapon be? I believe the other weapon is given right after the words identifying the Sword of the Spirit as the Word of God in Ephesians 6:17. The next verse says, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions.” There are two weapons with divine power in our warfare: the Word of God and Spirit-empowered prayer.

These two weapons have divine power. The original Greek word for power is the adjective form of the term dunamai meaning “to be able.” Our English word dynamite is derived from the same word. Our lack of spiritual hunger and thirst is a stronghold, a fortress, that can’t be merely brushed aside. It won’t disappear if we ignore it. It has to be demolished with dynamite!

In Praying God’s Word, Beth Moore writes:

God has handed us two sticks of dynamite with which to demolish our strongholds: His Word and prayer. What is more powerful than two sticks of dynamite placed in separate locations? Two strapped together… What makes these two sticks of dynamite so powerfully effective when strapped together?

Prayer keeps us in constant communion with God, which is the goal of our entire believing lives. Without a doubt, prayerless lives are powerless lives, and prayerful lives are powerful lives: but, believe it or not, the ultimate goal God has for us is not power but personal intimacy with Him. Yes, God wants to bring us healing, but more than anything, He wants us to know our Healer….The primary strength we have in warfare is godliness, which is achieved only through intimacy with God; therefore, God will undoubtedly enforce prayer as one of the weapons of our warfare because His chief objective is to keep us connected entirely to Him. We will never win any spiritual battle without prayer….

What makes the Word such a powerful stick of dynamite to demolish strongholds? Take a look once again at 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. In the process of demolishing strongholds, our objectives are to cast down anything that exalts itself in our thought life and to take our thoughts captive to Christ. What does Scripture mean by “taking captive every thought to make it obedience to Christ”? … We take our thoughts captive, making them obedient to Christ, every time we choose to think Christ’s thoughts about any situation or stronghold instead of Satan’s or our own. What are Christ’s thoughts? The Word of God revealed to us. [i]

I encourage you to not only pray scriptures about spiritual thirst silently, but to pray/speak the verses aloud also. Phrase the verses as a prayer, but also phrase them as a declaration. A confession. As praise and thanksgiving to God for fulfilling that scripture promise in your life. (God speaks of the things He promised as if they already existed. See Romans 4:17.) These are ways that we exercise faith and actively believe God.

“I believed; therefore I have spoken. With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak” (2 Cor. 4:13).

(I’ve spoken about this in the Faith for the Supernatural Series. The recordings and the study guide are available for free here.)

“We act out what we believe. Not what we know.” ~ Vicki Arruda

3. God answers prayer — especially when we pray His word.

One reason praying God’s word is effective is that we’re praying His will. When we pray what we know to be God’s will for our lives, we know he hears and answers.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5: 14-15).

This is why George Mueller would be found praying with His finger on a promise from God to plead. In The Power of Prayer R.A. Torrey said of Mueller:

When it was laid upon George Mueller’s heart to pray for anything, he would search the Scriptures to find if there was some promise that covered the case. Sometimes he would search the scriptures for days before he presented his petition to God. And then when he found the promise, with his open Bible before him, and his finger upon that promise, he would plead that promise, and so he received what he asked. He always prayed with an open Bible before him.

Get Aggressive

I encourage you to print the scriptures and scripture-prayers in the Gaining Spiritual Thirst page. Or copy and paste the verses into a document and add additional verses about spiritual hunger and thirst.

Either way, get a list of scriptures and put them by your Bible to pray each day. It’s time to get aggressive!

The kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it” (Mt. 11:12).

Print a few other copies and put in strategic places in your home and workplace to pray throughout the day. Put one in your car to pray, for example, when you’re stopped at a red light or waiting to pick your kids up from school (not while driving!). Put one up on your bathroom mirror to pray while you’re brushing your teeth. Put one by your bedside to pray first thing when you wake in the morning and before you go to sleep at night.

A second step could include something like programming your phone to send you scripture alerts throughout the day, like it would calendar alerts or reminders. Rather than calendar event info, type out a verse and have the text pop up as your reminder. You might even send yourself an email every day with a few of these scriptures to remind you to take a moment to dwell on them, pray them and claim them.

Your aggressive measures may be different than mine, but no matter how you do it, it’s time to shake off spiritual laziness when it comes to God’s Word and prayer. It’s time to demolish strongholds! Especially the lack of thirst for Living Water — a lack of getting into the Word of God and waiting on Him in prayer!

Your Ammunition

This is war. We’re wrestling against principalities and powers and rulers of darkness that want to steal our intimacy with Christ. They want to keep us from our ammunition against them — prayer and the Sword of the Spirit, God’s Word.

We don’t work to earn God’s attention and affection — we already have them.  But we do have to exert effort in the battle in which we’re engaged. Violence is constantly taking place against us in the spiritual realm. It must be countered with aggressive measures. We can’t afford to become spiritual couch potatoes.

“From the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize—a share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion]” (Matthew 11:12, AMP).

I’ve never seen a lazy, lackadaisical army win a battle. We must be intentional! Forceful! Zealous! Willing to pursue our share in the Heavenly kingdom with intense exertion!

In Your Shoes

If you’re fasting and not gaining spiritual thirst, you’re not alone. I’m in your shoes. As I was fasting, my spiritual thirst wasn’t increasing . . . and I was frustrated.

Yet, I’m totally exhausted physically and mentally, largely stemming from my illness and life’s demands. I’m drained in every way. So I would love to be spiritually lazy and have things just happen for me.

But there is a forcefulness that is called for! As I typed and prayed the prayers and scriptures in the Gaining Spiritual Thirst resource page, God began answering. He immediately began increasing my spiritual thirst! His word and prayer are dynamite against our enemy!

I encourage you to let the Holy Spirit be aggressive through you. You won’t be doing this alone in your own strength.

“[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight” (Phil. 2:13, AMP).

It’s not a matter of exerting in our flesh. It’s a matter of no longer resisting God and squelching what He longs to do through us in prayer.  All we have to do is make a simple choice of the will and discipline ourselves to crack open the Bible and get started. For you this might involve printing the prayers and scriptures and setting aside time to pray.

Think of it as lighting the fuse on the stick of dynamite. The explosives do the real work. All we do is make a decision to light the fuse.  We merely have to make a choice to be a conduit for God’s power . . . and the Spirit of God does the rest. Rest assured, as you do this, you will not be left to fleshly effort. But you do have to choose to get off your spiritual Lazyboy and let the Spirit of God work through you. And He will!

From Isaiah 58, the Faster’s Chapter:

“Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I” (Isaiah 58:9).

(You can find the heart-thirsty scriptures and prayers I compiled for you in a special Gaining Spiritual Thirst page. There are many scriptures for you to choose from, so I didn’t include them in this post. When you visit the page, you’ll find the scriptures and prayers below content from this post. Also included is a list of Bible study apps and websites. I believe you’ll find this page a helpful resource in many ways.)

A Moment of Worship: We Are Hungry

Everything_Jesus Culture

 

We Are Hungry / I Will Not Be Silent led by Chris Quilala and Jesus Culture
From the Album Everything by Jesus Culture

 

Lyrics:
Lord, I want more of You.
Living Water, rain down on me.
Lord, I need more of you.
Living Breath of Life, come fill me up.
We are Hungry, We are hungry, We are hungry for more of You.
We are thirsty, Oh Jesus, We are thirsty for more of You.

Bible Reading: Psalm 63:1, 84:1-2, 143:6, 107:9; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:17-18; Isaiah 58:9

Focus Questions: Do you want to gain more spiritual thirst? What aggressive measures are you willing to take for this to happen?

FROM THE ARCHIVES:

__________________

[i] Beth Moore, Praying God’s Word (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 6-7

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Shades of Grace will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

5 Responses to “Fasting Day 8: Gaining Thirst”

  1. leyla says:

    Truth — "This is war. We’re wrestling against principalities and powers and rulers of darkness that want to steal our intimacy with Christ. " Thank you so very much for your website Natalie!!!! Blessings <333

    • Hi Leyla! It's great to see you here again! 🙂 Thank you for your kind words about the website. It blesses me deeply to know God is using it!! AND it blesses me to see that the insight He gave me about the subscription form apparently fixed the problem. ??? If so, this is one TEXAS SIZED HALLELUJAH you're hearing from me right now!!!! O/ May God bless you richly, my sister!

  2. DJG says:

    I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

    9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

    10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

    11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

    12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

    13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

    14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

    15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

  3. Faith wairimu says:

    This website is giving me the much required knowledge during this period of fasting and prayer. Thanks and be blessed.

    • Thank you, Faith! I'm glad to hear the website has been helpful to you in your season of prayer and fasting. God is so faithful to take us to just what we need — to the scripture … the sermon … the webpage. He is so good! May He bless you, draw near to you, and speak to you intimately as you diligently seek Him!

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