A man was having a conversation with a dear sister in Christ when she received a text message on her phone from a childhood friend of hers. The friend said in the text message that she had finally decided to leave her husband and get a divorce.
The man and the sister he was talking with were both deeply concerned about this situation. The woman who sent the text message had been having problems with her husband for a while, but no one wants to see another marriage end in divorce.
What a thought to know we worship a God who is able to intervene and make crooked things straight! He's able and pleased to help us, but He tells us in his word that we have not because we ask not. (I discussed some of these ideas in my previous two posts on the subject of prayer.)
The man who heard this news decided to take action. He began fasting and praying for this dear couple who were experiencing problems. He is a sinner like all of us, so he forgot to pray sometimes. But he kept after it, diligently asking for God's help. He prayed multiple times daily. This is for a couple he didn't even know, but he cared deeply for his sister in Christ (who is, again, a childhood friend of the married woman).
The married woman had decided to meet with an attorney to discuss divorce options. The day of her appointment fell on the third day of the man's prayer and fasting. That evening, he received good news. The woman had received an email about a Christian marriage counseling seminar that was coming to town. She forwarded the email to a friend and asked if she should attend. The friend told her, "Why not? You have nothing to lose, and you should do whatever it takes to save your marriage." The woman decided to attend the upcoming seminar, and she cancelled the appointment with her attorney! What glorious news!
Brothers and sisters, the God who created the heavens and the earth is the same God who is ruling today. Jesus Christ is on his throne! He can and does intervene in our lives by His divine providence to help us. We should be in earnest prayer, and fasting when necessary, to seek His help.
Fasting is a New Testament concept that many have overlooked. In the sixth chapter of Matthew, Jesus said, "when ye fast," not "if ye fast". Fasting is something Christians did once upon a time. Some still do, but in our prosperity the United States of America has lost the concept for the most part. The Christians who do fast typically do not follow Jesus' teachings about it.
Past presidents of our country such as Abraham Lincoln have declared national days of prayer and fasting, but when was the last time you heard of that happening? What happened to us? Have we gotten so comfortable that we've forgotten where our blessings come from? God warned His people about this in Deuteronomy 6:10-12. I was thankful a few years ago when it was brought to my attention that fasting is a New Testament concept that is still very much relevant. I'm thankful the man I mentioned above feels the same way.
The couple I mentioned will still have problems. They are not perfect—they are both sinners like each one of us. We should all be in prayer for them that the Lord will continue to heal and help in this situation. However, they are on a better road already. For today, their marriage is saved because of the mercy and grace of an Almighty God. Praise and glory be to Him!