FOREWORD by Pastor Jeff Leake
I have known Chris Griffin since he was a young boy. He and his family have attended the church that I pastor for over three decades. Chris came up in our church as a young man, and it was obvious that God had called him to be a pastor. One of the key marks of his life has been a hunger for God and a passion for prayer. Chris has served in many roles on my staff for 20 years, and currently serves as the Campus Pastor for our Mt. Nebo location.
In that role, he sets the tone for the rest of our team in his front-row leadership when it comes to prayer, fasting, and efforts to bring spiritual breakthrough answers into people's lives and into our world.
What you can expect from Fasting For Breakthrough are challenges and insights into what it means to fast and pray as a regular personal spiritual discipline. Fasting is tricky. It is possible to fast in a way that makes us feel entitled. Some people think that fasting is like earning an answer to prayer. Others can fast in a pressurized way, in an attempt to gain God's approval through extreme religious performance.
Neither of these is the proper motivation to fast.
It is important that you fast. But it is even more important that you know why you should fast, how you should go about it, and what you can expect to gain from the process. As Chris outlines the practical basis for prayer and fasting, he does it from both a Biblical perspective and from his personal experience as well. He is speaking to you out of a lifestyle, not out of theory.
My hope is that you will use this book as a companion and as a guide to a season of fasting and prayer in your life. As you fast and pray, you will gain insights each day regarding "the how" and "the why" of the journey. May God bless you abundantly as you seek His face!
"Someday the Groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast." Luke 5:35 NLT
In Luke chapter 5, some people ask Jesus this question, "The disciples of the Pharisees and of John the Baptist regularly fast and pray—why are your disciples always eating and drinking?"
In true Jesus-fashion, He answers a question with a question. "Do wedding guests fast while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast." He's talking about Himself here when He references the groom. Jesus is prophesying about His Crucifixion and about how we as the Church (or the Bride) will fast and pray.
After Jesus rises from the dead, Thomas makes his infamous statement, "Unless I see the nail marks in His hands, I will not believe!" Jesus responds by saying, "because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 20:25,29).
Fasting helps us with the balance of seeing and believing. Jesus said there was no need for the disciples to fast when they could see Him physically. But He made a clear and definite statement for all of His current disciples: When I'm gone, then they will fast.
In Jesus' mind, this was to be a regular discipline for His followers to help them in this seeing- versus-believing tension.
The apostle Paul said, "Knowing that while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor 5:6,7).
Fasting is a gift to us. It definitely doesn't feel like that when we see that pizza commercial or when our stomach growls, and we feel tired or weak. But the truth is, we need to fast. It helps us tip the scales in our favor. And I'm not talking about the pounds we'll drop from not eating. I'm talking about the balance of our life when it comes to walking by sight or walking by faith.
When we fast, we make a bold statement that says to our body, our soul, our spirit, and to the world around us that our unseen, spiritual relationship with God far outweighs our natural and physical relationship with food. Fasting is a faith journey.