Prayer, Meditation and Fasting - Lesson 5

The Role of Fasting in Communion with God

The essence of fasting is hunger for God. Bread magnifies Christ in two ways: by being eaten with gratitude for his goodness, and by being forfeited out of hunger for God himself. When we eat, we taste the emblem of our heavenly food – the Bread of Life. And when we fast we say, “I love the Reality above the emblem.” In the heart of the saint both eating and fasting are worship. Both magnify Christ. Both send the heart – grateful and yearning – to the Giver. Each has its appointed place and each has its danger. The danger of eating is that we fall in love with the gift; the danger of fasting is that we belittle the gift and glory in our will-power.

John Piper
Prayer, Meditation and Fasting
Lesson 5
Watching Now
The Role of Fasting in Communion with God

Foundational Texts for the Practice of Fasting

The Newness of Our Fasting Is This

What Do We Long for and Experience in This New Fasting?

The Essence of Fasting: Hunger for God

  • Fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is the foundation and the source of our life in God.
  • God wakens and sustains our faith through his Word.

  • The presence of God is a mediated presence and the primary material of the mediation is the Word. Dr. Piper lists ten reasons to meditate and pray over biblical truth.
  • The purpose of prayer is communion with God, not to get things from him.  Whatever we pray for with the intent of glorifying God is worship. If we pray with wrong motives, it's idolatry. (1 Cor 10:13, James 4:1-5) Spontaneity is enhanced by discipline.
  • The essence of fasting is hunger for God. Bread magnifies Christ in two ways: by being eaten with gratitude for his goodness, and by being forfeited out of hunger for God himself. When we eat, we taste the emblem of our heavenly food – the Bread of Life. And when we fast we say, “I love the Reality above the emblem.” In the heart of the saint both eating and fasting are worship. Both magnify Christ. Both send the heart – grateful and yearning – to the Giver. Each has its appointed place and each has its danger. The danger of eating is that we fall in love with the gift; the danger of fasting is that we belittle the gift and glory in our will-power.

Prayer, meditation and fasting can help us learn to walk in communion with the living God. We can live a supernatural life that is empowered, led and filled with the Spirit.

We are thankful for John Piper's willingness to share these lectures with us. Copyright 2014 by Desiring God Ministries. Used with Permission. For more information, please visit www.DesiringGod.org.


Prayer, Meditation, and Fasting 
Dr. John Piper 
The Role of Fasting in Communion with God 
Lesson Transcript


The following message is by Pastor John Piper. More information from Desiring God Ministries is available at W WW dot desiring God dot org. We'll talk about fasting tonight, a text that is relevant for fasting. As you will see, I hope by the time we're done is the last three verses of the Prophet Habakkuk back in 317, though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olives should fail and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls. In other words, every kind of food is taken away. Yet I will exult in the Lord. I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. So the goal of Christian living to me is become, is to become and to help other people become the kind of people who would experience that loss and say that and mean it. No food wherever you turn. It's that desolate. Yet I will exult in the Lord. I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. And there's only one possible way that can happen, and that is if some 63 three is true for you. The steadfast love of the Lord is better than life. Let's start with the testimony from Carl Lundquist. Haaland is the president of Bethel College and Seminary. Until a decade or so ago, he wrote in a letter to some of us called An Evangelical Order The Burning Heart. My own serious consideration of fasting, the discipline as a spiritual discipline began as a result of a visit to Dr. Jungen Kim in Seoul, Korea. Is it true, I asked him that you spent 40 days in fasting prior to the evangelism crusade in 1980? Yes, he responded.


It's true. Dr. Kim was chairman of the Crusade, expected to bring a million people to your Ito Plaza. But six months before the meeting, the police informed him they were revoking the permission for the crusade. Korea at that time was in political turmoil and Seoul was under martial law. The officers decided they would not take the risk of having so many people together in one place. So Dr. Kim and so associates went to a prayer mountain and there spent 40 days before God in prayer and fasting for the crusade. Then they returned and made their way to the police station. Oh, said the officer. What he saw. Dr. Kim, we have changed our mind and you can have your meeting. And so I went back to the hotel. I reflected that I had never fasted like that. Perhaps I had never desire to work of God with the same intensity. His body is marked by many 40 day fasts during his long spiritual leadership of God's work in Asia. Also, however, I haven't seen the miracles Dr. Kim has. And then Dr. Lindquist said that in the latter years of his own ministry, he found a modified fast, very helpful. He discovered like this. Instead of taking an hour for lunch, I use the time to go to a prayer room. Usually the Flame room, the Flame room in the nearby Bethel Theological Seminary. There I spend my lunch break in fellowship with God and in prayer, and I have learned a very personal dimension to what Jesus declared. I have meat to eat, you know, not of. Now let's look at a couple of foundational texts for this remarkable thing that some know better than others. Some of you in this room have never fasted a day in your life, and others have fasted many times.


And so we're all over the map. Don't feel threatened by this. If you're 50 or 60 or 70 and have never fasted, it's not too late to learn a discipline, which I think Jesus taught to be fairly normal. Let's see if it's if that's true. Matthew six 1618 Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, Whenever you fast. Now, I quote this one first, because right after this section in Dr. Lundquist letter, he said that the text that arrested him and drew him into this discipline was this whenever not if, not if, but when. Whenever you fast do not put on a gloomy face, as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you win. Not if, but when. When you first anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your father who is in secret, and your father who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. So I'm going to come back to this text later. But here the only point I want to see is the foundational point of the win. I do think this text suggests very strongly that in Jesus mind, fasting was going to be a normal part of his disciples life, and it probably should be. I think there's an even more foundational text right here in Matthew 914 to 17. It goes like this. Then the disciples of John came to him. John the Baptist, the disciples of John the Baptist came to him saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast? But your disciples do not fast. And Jesus said to them, Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? Let's pause here.


God portrayed himself often in the Old Testament as the husband or bridegroom of his people, Israel. And so there is a very weighty claim being made here by Jesus about his own identity in relation to his disciples. He's the Messiah, but he's more than a son of David. He is the husband of the people of God, which in the Old Testament was God. And that's not anything more than what Jesus is claiming here. I believe as long as the bridegroom is present with them, the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away. So he he's with them now. He's going to be taken away from them. And then they will fast. Not might, but will. So when the son of man, the bridegroom Jesus, the Son of God is here, it's too good, too fast. When he's gone, my disciples are going too fast. Now, here's a break. Only not much of a break. And a little parable about an oven shrunk piece of cloth and some new wine. What's the relationship? Why does he follow this word on fasting? With this word on the cloth and the wine? No one notice. There's no there's no link here. This these have to do with each other. Fasting has to do with what's coming. No one puts a piece of ancient cloth on an old garment for the patch, tears away from the garment and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine poured into old wine skins. If it is, the wine skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is is put into fresh wine skins and so both are preserved. Now, here's the question. What's the old garment that should not have a new patch put on it? And what's the old? The old wine skins that can't hold the new wine? Well, the new wine is Jesus and his message of the arrival of the kingdom and all the glorious work that he's going to do.


And the old wine skin is fasting. I think why else it would be here. He got this old custom, goes back to the Old Testament. Happened a lot there. And here comes the new wine of Jesus. You don't put the new wine into all wine skins. So if I'm right, then there's a tension between verse 15 and verse 17, because verse 15 says They will fast when I'm taken away. So I've brought the new wine I've died for. I'm going to die for sins, I'm going to rise again. I'm in a sin into heaven to pour out the Holy Spirit. It's a new day with new wine. So the old one skins. If you try to get this into the old one skins, then they're going to be ruined. And so is the wine in the process. Richard Foster, in his book Celebration of this man, says that that this text is perhaps the most important statement in the New Testament on whether Christians should fast or not. Picking up on this, they will fast. So what about the tension between verses 15 and 17? Assuming that I'm right about construing the wine skins as fasting and here's my effort to adhere to their the great central decisive act of salvation for us today is past, not future. And on the basis of that work of the bridegroom, nothing can ever be the same again. The wine is new, the blood is shared, the lamb is slain, the punishment of the sins executed, death is defeated, the spirit is sent, the wine is new, and the old fasting mindset is simply not adequate. So my answer is fasting per say doesn't go, but the old fasting goes and a new fasting comes. Fasting conceived in a new way, fasting on a new basis.


Fasting with a new mindset. So now I'm going to ask what's new about it? What's new about the fasting is that it rests on all this finished work of the bridegroom, the yearning that we feel for revival, for awakening, for deliverance from corruption, or for the mere presence of the bridegroom, not merely long, is not merely longing and aching. The first fruits of what we long for have already come. So that's different from the old fasting in the Old Testament. The down payment of what we yearn for is already paid. The fullness that we are longing for and fasting for has appeared in history and we have beheld his glory. It is not merely future. We have tasted the manifestation of Christ's glory, and our fasting is not because we are hungry for something we have not tasted, but because the new one of Christ's presence is so real and so satisfying on the basis of what we've already tasted. That's what's new about the new once again. If you try too fast in order to get a taste of it, that's called legalism. If you fast because you've tasted it and it's met you and it's satisfied you by faith in Jesus, then fasting becomes evangelical, fasting, gospel fasting. It's just more, more, more based on the glorious free gift that we received through faith in Christ at the Cross and the resurrection. That's what makes it not old, one skinned or un shrunk cloth. So my argument is the New Testament fasting that we will do when the bridegroom is taken away is this. Let's put it in my own words. The bridegroom is come and he's shown us his glory and his love for us manifested it in his life, manifested it in his death, manifested it in his resurrection, manifested it by pouring out his spirit on us.


And we've tasted that by faith. And we've said, Yes, that's my life, that's my God, that's my savior, that's my Lord, I am his. And you saved by that. Not by any fasting. And then this bridegroom is taken away. He's not here. You can't find him anywhere. In person. You can't touch him. You can't put your head on his chest like John did. You can't ask him a question with your mouth and have him speak with a audible mouth back to you. And yet we long for that. Come, Lord Jesus, Maranatha. And that's why I think it says in Matthew 915, then they will fast, which means that the essence of the meaning of fasting is longing for the fullness of the presence of Jesus. The fuller measure we can have now and the coming of the Lord Jesus in glory, which is why on the first Tuesday of every month for now, over a year, we have been doing what we called the first Tuesday fasts, which are centrally fasts for the coming of the Lord. How many of you have ever fasted for the second coming? Come Lord Jesus, I'm hungry for you. And John Bloom, bless his heart, has written a great song. We are hungry for you, so hungry for you in a dry And we relied. We are so thirsty for you. We sing it every one of our first Tuesday fast because that's the meaning of fasting. Fasting is a creation of a hunger at the physical level that you then transpose into a spiritual offering to God and say This much of God, this much, I want you. And it can be for a lot of practical things, like a want you from a marriage. I would you from my lost child.


I want you for my colleagues at work. I want you for my health. I want you for whatever. I'd love to tell you a story about John MacArthur, who a lot of people think of just kind of a hard nosed Bible expositor who doesn't do things like fasting. That's not true. He's not hard nosed or or against fasting. And when his boy had a brain tumor, I think it was, or they didn't know what it was, he fasted long and the Lord released him from it one night and he tells the story about how in the very moment when the Lord just released him, since it's okay, a woman knocked on his door this late at night about 9:00, and she says, I'm going by and I didn't eat my lunch today. And I just thought you might want to ask John MacArthur, tell the story like that. The newness of fasting is this I'll put it again it's it's intensity comes not because we have never tasted the wine of Christ presence. You've got to taste it first. You can't fast your way into salvation. But because we have tasted it so wonderfully by his spirit and cannot now be satisfied until the consummation of joy arrives. So what do we long for and experience in this new fasting? I'll go back to this text now. Matthew six. Let's look at another part of it. 616 When you fast don't look dismal like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces. Their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you fast. Anoint your head and wash your face. That you're fasting may not be seen by men. I do not think this rules out corporate fasting.


I show you a text on corporate fasting in a minute, but it does rule out fasting to be seen. Motive is the issue here. It's okay for people to know you're fasting. It's not okay for you to want them to know you're fasting. This is a big difference. And when we're doing the corporate fast, your wife, roommate, they got to know you need your breakfast and your somebody's going to know you can't keep fasting secret if you fast for a day or two or three, just you just sit in the building. What about writing a book on it, sharing your experiences about it? I think that can probably be done. I wrote a book on it. I didn't talk too much about my experience. I think that's what you're asking. There's a line there. We all we all know it's a it's a difficult issue. And it's not just fasting. It's talking about any of your spiritual experiences. Right. The three issues. And in Matthew six, not just one, just doing doing your arms to be seen by man, just praying to be seen by men. There's fasting to be seen by men. Well, the arms cannot be kept secret. You give arms to somebody they know you've given it, but it says don't let your right hand know what your left hand is doing. So do it so silently that, yes, somebody is going to know you're doing. But you know, you're saying, here's my money, you know, thank you. So I think we we we know there's a motive issue here. And let's us all search our hearts. And when we talk about it and talk about our own experiences, only God knows, perhaps then you, whether you're doing it from the wrong motive.


But here's what I want you to see that your fasting may not be seen by men, but by your father, who is in secret, and your father who sees in secret, will reward you. What are you after here? You're after a reward. But on the way to that reward, which is God, I think all that God is for you and Jesus is the way I'd sum up the reward. However, it might be manifest practically as well. But what I want you to see here is this. I'll tell you when you're doing when you're venturing some new spiritual disciplines, you're trying to read your Bible faithfully or you're trying to pray faithfully, you're trying to keep a journal faithfully, or you're trying to fast or you're trying to witness or something. And and you're you're you're you're getting some success. The temptation for wanting people to know what you're doing is huge. To want people to know that you've fasted for a few days. It's huge. And at those moments, you get tested on one main theme is God real to you. Is is God looking down upon you as a person from heaven and drawing near to you and putting his arm on your shoulder and saying, I'm with you in this hour, ministering to you in this and I'm loving you in this enough? Or do you feel like I've got to tell somebody so that they'll praise me? It's a huge temptation. Jesus wouldn't have dealt with it here like he does three times over if it weren't huge. So really, the task in quiet fasting is a test of whether you're after God, whether God's enough, whether this is a God issue or a mannish. And if it's a God issue, then you're being satisfied by God.


He knows he's drawing near. He delights in this hunger that I'm offering him. And that's enough. And the degree to which you feel content in that shows you how much he's your portion, he's your bread, he's your drink. And the degree to which you feel this growing desire that others know you're praying and know you're fasting and know you're doing alms. And no, he shows how utterly worldly you are a second hand man. And then what's the response? Repent. Question is, what's the response at that point is to crowd, Oh, wretched man that I am who will deliver me from this insidious man centered desire. We talked about this last time that everybody is wired this way. The desire for human praise is about is endemic as you can get, which is why I do not like very much evangelistic approaches that exploit it, because it is tapping into one of the most insidious and destructive and spiritually weakening forces in our lives, namely to be known as somebody great, great in our spirituality. Everybody likes applause, everybody likes compliments. And there's a whole philosophy of child rearing, a whole philosophy of education, a whole philosophy of psychological health that says, feed that. Well, there's there's a biblical way. And that's not here because these tax hearsay mortified that let God be that for you Let God draw near and say, I'm with you. I have what you need. You need the praise of men. I'm your portion here. And so I think fasting. Oh, there are so many sins that get exposed to fasting. I mean, the most obvious is lack of discipline. The most obvious is bondage to food. But anger's another one. Why? You want to see how short your fuze really is? Skip about four meals.


Drink water. Don't skip water, but just drink and your fuze will get shorter and shorter. And you're wondering. So it really is food that has been sanctifying me and not Jesus. It's a devastating thing to see what you discover when you fast to watch your very body move against you. And there are many other things like the praise of men. That's the one I was focusing on. Oh, that somebody would know. It's been a whole day or three days or 39 days. Oh, that. Somebody would know this. And that's the danger that Justin was pointing out in writing a book about your experience is very dangerous. Here's another thing we're after. We're not just after. Well, another way of saying the same thing. Let's look at it here. Acts 13. One, two, three. This. This is important because this fasting that we're going to read about here was done after Christ's departure, because one of the possible arguments from Matthew 915 was when the bridegroom is taken away, then you will fast would mean taken away in death. So fast between Good Friday and Easter. I don't think that's what it means. I think when the bridegroom is taken away, it means when he goes back to heaven. You will fast. So they're fasting here long after he's gone back to heaven. It's not as though you fast for three days while he's in the tomb because you're grieving and now he's back. But the power of the Holy Spirit and it's party time until Jesus comes. That's not the image there in that story at all. There is a sense of yearning, longing, aching in the absence of King Jesus. Even though we have Him present by the Holy Spirit, we groom inwardly awaiting our adoption as sons.


The redemption of our bodies. More, more, more is the heart cry of every true Christian. Now in the church, at any arc. There were prophets and teachers. Barnabas Simeon, who was called Nigel Lucius serenely Mandean, a member of the Court of Herod the Tetrick and Saul while they were worshiping the Lord and fasting. So notice worshiping and fasting. The theme of this course is Communion with God, Communion with God drawing near to God, getting close to God, feeding on God, tasting God. So they are worshiping God and fasting. So somehow or other in their mind, fasting would make worshiping better. The Holy Spirit said during this time set apart for me, Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. Then after here they do it again, fasting and praying. So there's another link of worshiping and fasting and praying and fasting. They fast and they pray when they lay their hands on them and send them off. So there's something about fasting years after Jesus is going back to heaven. When you are about to do something really remarkable and send out a Saul and a Barnabas on a venture that has not been undertaken yet, namely the expansion of the Gospel into Asia minor. And they fasted with praying and then they put their hands on them. And I think the reason for that is that fasting strips away your reliance upon the comforts and pleasures of food causes you to take that discomfort and that yearning that you're feeling and do something else with it besides slake it with food, namely directed towards God through prayer, and thus it intensifies the longing. That's what is supposed to do. You say to God, I not only say I long for you, I not only feel in my spirit, I long for you.


I'm telling my body you can't have this because I'm going to make you long and then I'm going to make you a servant of this prayer. That's how much I love you and want for you to bless my illness and soul as they go. It's a bodily intensifier of a spiritual hunger. The essence of fasting, then, as I understand it, is a hunger for God. So they just show you why this idea of hunger for God is so biblical. We'll just pile up a few text here and then make some concluding observations. Revelation 21 six. Then God said to John, It is done. I am the alpha and omega at the beginning. In the end, I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of water, of life without costs, without cost. What's the qualification for getting the water of life? Tell me in this verse. Thirst. I will give to the one who thirsts. And that's true on through life. It's a sad, sad day, really sad when Christians become satisfied with the way they are or their church is or their family is satisfied. Christians, that is, with their circumstances, their own life, their marriage, Their job. Satisfied. Christians are in danger. The only satisfaction that should be complete is satisfaction in God. And we don't have all of God that we need. We don't love him all that we should. We don't trust him. All that we should. We don't obey him. All that we should. Our lives are incomplete. Big time from what they should be in the experience of God. And therefore we should not be satisfied. But every yearning, ever questing, ever pursuing. I've got two little chapters in a God where life is called more, more, more.


And I just collected all the verses in the New Testament where Paul is saying that you might have bound more and more. He compliments them for where they are to encourage them, and he says, Oh, that you might have bound more and more in your love for one another, a bound more in your faith, bound more in your hope. Contented Christians who don't cry out much for more are in danger and are spiritually sick. When you lose your appetite, you're sick physically and you're sick spiritually. Revelation 2217. The Spirit in the bride say, Come and let the one who hears say Come and let the one who is thirsty. Come, let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. I love this verse. I memorize Isaiah 55 one time and these verses are some of the reason who everyone who thirsts come to the waters. You who have no money come by any bankrupt people only allowed to come by wine. The great paradox. I think I've got another little article called How to Buy Gold When You're Broke. That's it right there. Only this is food, not gold. Gold comes from Revelation, where you're blind and naked and poor and he holds out gold to you. Come by wine and milk. Without money and without cost. You can't get this any other way than. Than just receiving just hunger. Why do you spend your money for that? Which is not bread. Bread is not bread. Bread is not brand. And that and your wages for what doesn't satisfy bread does not satisfy. Listen carefully to me and eat what is good and delight yourselves in abundance and clean your ear. So this is how you eat. Listen to me. Incline your ear to me.


This is the eating that he's talking about and come to me. Listen. That your soul may live. That will give you life. This bread will satisfy the bread that comes down from heaven. Jesus mediated through his word, will satisfy. And I will make an everlasting covenant with you. The faithful mercy shown to David. The very mercy shown to King David will be shown to you if you come broken and bankrupt, hungry and thirsty, and turn away from the white bread, the world and all the drink of the world and say You are all I need and want. Jesus in John six answered them and said, 626. Truly, truly. I say to you, you seek me not because you saw signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled the loaves and fishes. And here you are trying to get more. Do not work for the food that perishes. It's the same bread here. This food perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the son of man will give you for on him. The Father, God has said, is sealed. Therefore, they said to him, What shall we do so that we may work the works of God? He said, Don't work, don't work, don't work for this food that perishes. And they say, Well, what shall we do? That we may work the works of God? And Jesus said to them, This is the work of God, believe in Him whom He has said and believe in. John 635 on the Bread of Life, who comes to me shall not hunger and who believes in me shall never thirst. Believing in John is a coming to Jesus to eat all that He is for us unto satisfaction. Don't. Don't labor for the food that perishes.


Labor that is, believe for the food that endures to eternal life. Some 63, three. One, two, three. Oh, God, You are my God, I. I seek you earnestly. My soul thirsts for you. My flesh yearns for you in a dry and weary land where no water is thus I have seen you in the sanctuary to see your power and your glory. Because your loving kindness is better than life. And if it's better than life, it's better than food. And if we're going to experience it is better than life so that we don't get angry at him when we die or lose a loved one. It would be good to practice dying now and test ourselves. There are some more verses, but I will read you a concluding statement. Bread magnifies Christ in two ways by being eaten with gratitude for his goodness and by being forfeited out of hunger for God himself. When we eat, we taste the emblem of our heavenly food, the bread of life. And when we fast, we say, I love the reality above the emblem. And so I would just ask you, do you do you love the reality above the emblem? In the heart of the saint. Both eating and fasting are worship should be both eating and fasting. Magnify Christ, both send the heart grateful and yearning to the giver. Each has its appointed place and each has its danger. The danger of eating is that we fall in love with the gift, and the danger of fasting is that we belittle the gift and glory in our willpower. Final. I'll read this and I'll be done. Fasting is peculiarly suited to glorify God. It is fundamentally an offering of emptiness to God in hope. It is a sacrifice of need of hunger.


It says by its very nature, Father, I am empty. But you are full. I'm hungry. But you are the bread of life. I'm thirsty. But you are the fountain of life. I'm weak. But you are strong. I'm poor. But you are rich and foolish. But you are wise and broken. But you are whole. I'm dying. But your steadfast love is better than life. When God sees this confession of need and this expression of trust, He acts because the glory of his all sufficient grace is at stake. The final answer is that God rewards fasting because fasting expresses the cry of the heart that nothing on earth can satisfy our souls besides God. God must reward this cry because God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. I have three sets of overheads here that I could fill up our time with, but I'm inclined to think we should take some significant time for you to ask questions about the whole array of practical and theological biblical issues relating to prayer, meditation and fasting. And you can be thinking about questions that you'd like to ask and we'll just see how that goes. If it slows down or becomes unhelpful, then we'll retreat to the overheads. But I think I've said the basics of what I want to say and you can of course talk forever about prayer and forever about meditating on the Bible and forever about fasting, and so might as well stop sometime and we'll see how that goes. Raise your hand and ask me a question and be the one that gets it going here. Don't move around here. Hold my Bible as a security blanket in my hand here. What what types of thoughts should go through our head? What should the attitude of our heart be? What should we think when we feel the pain of hunger? The question is, on days of fasting, if you set aside a day for fasting.


What kinds of thoughts should go for through our head? What? What should we do with our feelings? What should we do with our hunger? The answer to that is going to depend partly on what your aim is in fasting, what prompted it, and what of my sets of overheads is six aims in fasting. So maybe we'll do that before we're done. But I think you should set your mind on that towards which you're fasting and meditate on it and God's ability to do it. I said last time, two weeks ago, now that the I think the essence under all fasting is to take a physical longing that you are creating by denying the body food and. Transpose that physical longing into a spiritual key and say, Lord, just as and even more than I now feel hunger for food. I long for you. Then what you want is for him to manifest himself in a bunch of different ways. Probably it might be that somebody's terribly sick. My guess is right now Rick Jarmusch and Dylan don't feel like eating supper with their little Cosette down at Children's Hospital with possible cystic fibrosis. That is something that takes your appetite away. And so I think we have lots of instances in the Bible of that kind of fasting. So they would, for the time being, say, Lord, there's nothing we can do here. And yet we long for you to stand forth and show your power. We long for it so much. We're going to deny ourselves food and take our stomachs and turn them into long hours as well. It's that taking physical longing and making it bear witness to a spiritual longing. And I say bear witness to and I would also add add an addition to I think sometimes we just need to fast for no particular thing except to prove that we're not living by bread alone mentioned, not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God.


Well, how do you know if you're living by bread alone until you can see if you can deny yourself bread and then see what happens to you. And when you feel that longing, you got hunger in the hand just kind of automatically reaches for a tangerine or whatever while you're walking through the kitchen. You say, What are you doing? Hand Reach off. Why are you so wired? Immediately to reach here. Reach up. Me and then you. You. You say May all the hands of my heart. And may all the hands of my mind be that naturally reaching up like I'm right now, reaching for a cookie or reaching for milk or reaching for pop or reaching for a tangerine. Why can't I have a heart that is so wired to reach to God the same way my body is? The body in the heart are so interwoven that I think if we just build fasting into our lives in some kind of regular way, that we will learn much about our own souls. So this little advertisment here, this coming Tuesday is the first Tuesday of the month, and it's we call it the first Tuesday fast. We as a staff skip our lunch that we usually eat together. We gather in the chapel. You're all welcome to come for one hour with us from 1230 to 130. Skip your lunch, come down and we just sing, pray and say to the Lord, We want you more than we want lunch today and we want you back. We want you to come, Lord Jesus. So do what ever you have to do to set in place the second coming of. Talk more about the relationship between fasting and spiritual breakthroughs. Talk more about how fasting and spiritual breakthroughs relate to each other.


My guess is there's some mystery there that we don't know, but I'll make a stab at it. If you if you have my book on hunger for God, what you do is just you don't have to read that book straight through. You just bounce around in it. But the last thing I wrote, I think, was about five or six pages on why does God respond to fasting? Why? I mean, you know, we bribing him. Is we twisting his arm? What are we doing? Why does God respond to fasting? And I presume he does because the Bible holds that out to us as one of the means by which we pray. And I think the answer would go something like this. When you fasting a right spirit that is not to be seen by men, you are both expressing and intensifying a longing for and a dependance on God rather than something else. And that's what God seems to respond to in the Bible God. And that's what makes it a gracious response. In other words, if you can find a form of petition that shows more dependance on him, less dependance on you, then his response would show more of him and less of you. And that's what God's into in the universe, big time. See, our whole theology here is God glorifies God above all things. That's his main passion. So what we're always on the lookout for is ways to live and ways to talk in ways to act that will highlight his action, not our action. Now, prayer is the main one because prayer is a saying I'm helpless and you're the great helper. Call upon me in a day of trouble, I will deliver you and you will glorify me. You see the the dynamic there in Psalm 55.


Now fasting simply kicks in as an intensifier. As far as I that's my best judgment. It kicks in as an expression and an intensifier so that we really mean what we say when we say, I want you, I need you, I depend on you. And God does seem at times anyway, I don't think he's limited to this at times to make his answers dependent on the authenticity and reality and intensity of our dependance. Otherwise, I don't think would say things like Jeremiah 29, which says, If you seek me with all your heart, then I will answer with all your heart. Well, how do you how do you do that, I wonder? You're praying and you're you're kind of looking at yourself in the mirror of your own soul and saying, this doesn't feel very intense. This feels kind of halfhearted this morning. What would you do? I mean, can you just push a button, Say, no, it's intense. No, it's with all my heart. I don't think we have that simple control over our own hearts. But we can take steps. We can meditate on promises. We can ask other people to pray for us. And we can fast. And if you fast for something. Then I think your own soul starts to bear witness to your soul. You really mean this, don't you? I feel that you mean this. And the body bears witness to your soul. Hey, would you please feed me? And you say no. At least the body says why. And the answer that comes back is I really need God. And nobody says, Well, I need food. And you say, Well, wait, just wait. You're not God here. That that's just an acted out, dramatic way of showing how the intensification works and how the body begins to bear witness to the soul.


Hey, you serious? Be serious about this. Give me what I want to know. So I think, Jason, it has to do with the measure of authenticity and intensity with which we lean on God. That's my best effort anyway. Go ahead. Good question. What say the reference again? Some 60 to 1. My soul waits in silence for God only. So the question is, what's the role of silence? Do you do you always want to fill up a moment of communion with God, with word? That'd be one way to ask the question anyway. Hmm. Hmm. I wonder, I. I haven't studied the psalm in this regard, so I don't know. I wonder if silence there means absence of meditated word or if it doesn't mean something like be still and know that I am God. Some 4610 be still, be still be quiet, stops driving and know that I'm God. Maybe the word quiet there I'd have to just check is a bigger word than just don't let anything come out of your mouth. Maybe it's a stillness of soul. It's a it's a gathering of your thoughts. It's a a ceasing of frenzy. You're not running around doing things in a kind of noisy, hectic life. You've settled yourself, you've focused yourself. And maybe it's you're not just rattling away right off the bat to God you're stopping thought in your mouth. Like when Jonathan Edwards died at age 54, his wife wrote a letter to their daughter and said, I put my hand on my mouth. Meaning I mustn't say anything here because I might say something inappropriate and she simply silences her her mouth so that we don't just blab out something. And I would guess I've tried this now and then as you come to your place of prayer and your time of prayer.


Don't just run into it and start chattering away about the need that you feel. Just get settled. Be silent for a moment. You probably should whisper at least something like the Lord. I offer this silence to you. Please use it to prepare me to meet you. Or just something like that. And then. And then be silent. So I when I stress meditation like I have been, I don't want to rule out moments of silence. Give you an example. I was with some pastors today for lunch, the at Ground Fellowship, and there came a point in our discussion about our into it where we were not sure what to do, where to go, and some planning we were making. And so I said, why don't we just stop and seek the Lord about what He might want us to do here and what he might be pleased to bring to mind that we have not yet thought of in regard to our planning. Well, now, if you if you pray a prayer like that, you better shut up for a minute. So to say, Lord, we've been talking, we've been reading, we've been studying, we've been discussing, but we have blind spots and we see through a glass darkly and we may be missing entirely something important. So would you just come and help us to know what way you want us to go? And I think at that moment, it's very good to be still, not to demand that some verse be in your mind at that moment. And so you wait and. He may well bring something to mind. I think he did. I think we made good progress after that. I really believe the Lord can bring thoughts to your mind about where you lost your brooch.


You know, you can just stop. Here's what I do. I don't do it often enough, and I kick myself for not doing more often. I'm going to a meeting or I'm going elders meeting. I'm coming to church, or I'm running off to somewhere or on a vacation or I've just packed up, got around to Winnipeg for 24 hours and give to talks. And I stop at the door as I leave my study. I say, No, Lord, what have I forgotten that I'm going to be so upset with myself with on the plane? I have saved myself so much trouble by doing that. Now, what are you saying you believe? What do you believe? There can be new revelation from God? Well, I don't know what you're going to call it, but God can say pajamas, you know. Or toothbrush or your lectures or This has happened most often. The ticket. The plane ticket. Really, I have. I just try to at that moment, give yourself about 30 seconds of silence. Lord, am I ready? To book ought to be put in my briefcase. I've done that. This happened. This happened Friday. And he said, Why don't you take a little couple of copies of Desiring God You, like, meet somebody at a hotel and might meet the maid who cleans your room and be able to leave her book. I do that a lot. I sign books and leave and say thanks for cleaning my room and leaving free book. That's my best effort was silence. I'm sure I'm I'm just nowhere near where some of you are in this issue of learning how to commune with God. So I'm just talking from where I am and take it if it's helpful and go beyond me, please.


2423 Related The fasting Colossians two 2023. If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why? As if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees such as Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch, which all refer to things destined to perish with use in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men. These are matters which have to be sure the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-effacement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence. So he lists off these verse 21 Don't handle, don't taste, don't touch. And he says, No, why are you submitting to these worldly decrees? You have died with Christ, to the elementary principles. Maybe that's the right translation Stokie of the world or the universe. Why? As if still living in them. Do you submit yourself to these? Not my sense there's. What that verse means is the elementary principles are a a way of relating to God that relates to Him mainly through rules. Don't eat, don't taste, don't handle, don't touch. That's the way you get right with God. That's the way you maintain your rightness with God. There's these ceremonial things or and fasting would be one of them perhaps. And don't eat catfish because it's slimy on the outside and doesn't have scales and etc.. And those are the elementary, elementary things of the world. Why? Why in the world are you still doing that? He says these are matters which have to do to be sure. With the appearance of wisdom and self-made religion and self a basement. So there he he's addressing the issue of self-obsession, and that is denying yourself food and severe treatment of the body that would be possibly extended fasting but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.


So I think I quoted this verse in the very first page of the book. The book starts by saying Beware of books on fasting and beware of fasting. Fasting carries as many dangers probably as it does benefits, and this is one of them. Namely, the flesh can use fasting as much as the flesh can be subdued by fasting, because the flesh is not in Paul's thinking only, or perhaps mainly what the body feels. You read the works of the flesh in Galatians 519, following the things like anger and pride and divisiveness. Those are as the body stuff, as soul stuff. So the flesh are those outcroppings of the human heart that aren't reliant upon God and aren't manifestations of the Spirit. And he says fasting per say is not going to fix that. In fact, it might deeply because you can boast in fasting big time, which is why Jesus had to warn against doing it in front of people right in in Matthew six, those folks were fasting to be seen by men, which means it was pure flesh. So I take those versus not to be a wholesale condemnation of fasting, but one of those great warnings that outward things and it can be anything, it can be Bible reading, it can be prayer, You can post in prayer, can stand on the street corner and pray long prayers to be seen by men. Jesus said. It can be preaching. It can be the clothes you wear. It can be all kinds of spiritual disciplines or other things. We are capable of turning every human act into a sin. I mean, that's a carefully thought through thought. We are capable of turning every single human act. Act meaning what you do and your body into a sin.


And so I take it as a warning, not a condemnation. And the reason I don't take it as a complete condemnation that all all things you would do severe with the body just play into the flesh is because other places Paul and Jesus talk about self-denial, denying yourself and and self-discipline that the last fruit of the Holy Spirit is anchored. Tire has to translate it with celestial Holy Spirit. Self-control. That's. That's a sex word in Paul's vocabulary. I think it has implications for other kinds of self-control. But Anchorite taia in Greek meant mainly continence. Able not to have sex when you shouldn't. Don't do stuff with your brain that you shouldn't. So there are things that you should do bodily that put governors on desires where the food desires or sex desires. Remember what Paul said. I will not be enslaved by anything that was in the context of food in first grade in sex. I will not be enslaved by anything. Food for the stomach. The stomach for food. Go to enjoy both in hell. He says you're free to eat. You're free not to eat. But don't be enslaved. So I think self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, but it's got to be a fruit of the Spirit, which is what Colyton says it might not be. It might be a thing you boast in, etc.. So that's my grandmother way. Something has to be right for you. Okay. Say something about duration of fasting. You mean fasting is something to be strived for? I don't know how you decide that. I know of nothing in the Bible that would tell you that a 40 day fast is better than a 28 day fast or a seven day faster or a 24 hour fast.


You have models, you have models, and that is illustrations in the Bible. Jesus, 40 days. Moses 40 days. What are what are the examples are in the Bible? There's seven day. What? Esther. Esther, Three days. It is different ones. So should we. What should we in our spiritual lives between now and when we die? Should we be moving towards a longer period? So that. The idea would be everybody would do a 40 day fast before they were done. Got a question about that. And they help me with it, kind of. Depends on how you define it, doesn't it? So let me say a word about that. They can say you can't imagine by fasting 40 days. Well, they do it and they do it a lot, but probably most of them drink juice. Juice fast. Very, very, very few people go 40 days on water. You can't go 40 days without water, without a miracle. And God has done that, I think. But you can do 40 days with juice. You'd lose a lot of weight, but you could do it. There's a lot of people who do it. I mean, there are people in Korea who do it all the time. But back to the question, is it something to be pursued? I don't feel any impulse to do a 40 day fast myself at this time in my life. And I think one of the reasons and here judge the temperature, my own spirituality is that it would be so incredibly disruptive to about a thousand things in my life. It would be hard to be a it hard to be a family member. You never eat with your family for 40 days. And it would be hard to be with staff. It would be hard to travel.


It would be hard to just do a lot of things. Now that's those can be overcome. Clearly, people do it. If you look at the one or two meals thing versus two or three. Is it? Well, the question is, can you accomplish the same thing by skipping one or two meals a day as opposed to, say, a two or three day fast? I don't know. I don't know. I think the Lord will will probably if you if you go to the north, we all go to the Lord and say, Lord, I'm willing on any given issue, like a lost loved one or a sick daughter or $9 million to be given in the church or whatever. What would you have me do by way of denying myself food in order to seek you with greater intensity? And I bet if we all did that, we'd all come up with a whole bunch of different strategies. Probably about 250 different strategies in this room. And they would all be good and they would all be blessed by the Lord. And we shouldn't point a finger and say, Oh, you didn't do the three day thing or so. Let me just hold out to you wherever you are. I'm sure there are people in this room who've never fasted today in your life. Last thing on your agenda is too fast. And so let me just hold out to you that that you do contemplate another step. Let's just all do that, okay? You have been three weeks fasting or 40, and if you're doing a 14 day fast and we'll ask somebody to raise your hand, that's not biblical, but just probably don't go beyond 40 days if you've reached where you need to go. But wherever you've arrived, take one more step.


At least ask the Lord if you should. Which would mean, you know, the easiest kind of fast to do, at least for me anyway, is a day. It's a 24 hour thing where you you eat supper and you go to bed and you don't eat again until supper. I'm breakfast and lunch. Good night. That's no big deal. If it is a big deal, metaphysics metaphysically, isn't the right word metabolically, whatever the word is physically for you. Then you you say, All right, I'll do what I can do. And I'm the kind of person that if I don't have apple juice every hour, I get sick. I can remember one time I should be honest with you here. It was a prayer week and I was I was fasting and I had to speak to the young people on fasting on Wednesday night. And I had started on Sunday and I got so sick, nauseous on Wednesday afternoon that I was in the pastor's office up there heaving these dry, awful heaves and sweating like a loon and had to speak in about 10 minutes to these teenagers. And, well, I learned what my body is capable of and what is not. And I don't press it anymore. I drink juice when I'm fasting. And so go ahead, J Just ask for anything other than food. Yeah, good question. Say something about fasting on things other than food. Very important. I got an email a few years ago when I was preaching on this from a woman so helpful. She said, I'm a diabetic or something like that. And my doctor has said, Don't ever do that. And and so I have joined in. We were we were asking for the fasting 40 that year. You remember that we every month.


It was a month, I think every month we published a different card and we said we'd like 40 people in Bethlehem to fast one meal a day for that month. And you are the fasting 40. You represent our US as a church and I forget just what we were fasting toward that year, but it was significant. Well, she wanted to be a part of that and she said, I'm going to do television. And I say that is perfectly legitimate. Find the thing that you lean on. What do you lean on? All of us lean on food. But there are other things we lean on that we also could test how unhealthily and spiritually inappropriately we lean on them by denying them for a season. So might be a week. No TV or. Or every night. Skip that. How to make $1,000,000, whatever that show is, that that man watches all the time. Maybe I can get $1,000,000. Yeah. He wants the building fund to be helped. I've heard that before. Anybody that goes to the casino for the building. Fine. You're fired. We don't take that money. Television. And I want to give a little testimony here. I mean, my mind is about other things that that you have found it helpful to target as a discipline in your life to say no to that for a season. I mean, that's what Lent is all about, right? And choose think. Go ahead. Yeah, I spent a few days a week. That's interesting. Okay. Driving walk. I think that's a good idea if you live close to it. I do. Especially get out of your car, for goodness sakes. You find you have a tendency to go to someone else. Huh? I thought of that one.


If you lean on people too much. Hmm. No other question. I think that's perfectly legitimate, especially if you can't miss food because of medical reasons. And please don't feel your spiritual inferior or something. If that's the case, there's no nothing sacred about that form of denial. The principle is, do you want more of God enough to be without something that you would ordinarily lean on? Whereas in the place you know, okay, what do you do when you're fasting and you get to the place of pain and anger? When I was referring to that. Let me make sure I'm understanding you. My my reference to anger and having a short fuze, you remember I said was not anger towards God, though that may come out, but just towards cabinets that get in the way or clutches that aren't working or door that won't get turned a lot. My office has a door that you try to turn and you know that's bad. Jonathan Edwards Jonathan Edwards had a resolution. He said it is sin to get angry at an inanimate object. There's no moral quality to indict here. This lock is not in your face. If this key isn't turning God doing that, not the law. Don't kick this door. That's a sin. But you're more serious than this. Your question is, if the anger and the pain are there, what do you do with it? Well, I think you measured the degree of pain probably. And like I did nausea, not going to I'm not going to ruin my week. I mean, why why be sick all week, Right. If your your aim is to get your mind clear, to pray and bless people, you don't want to be in the bathroom all week long.


So I think you back up and you find what you can do. Apple juice, orange juice or whatever, one glass, every meal or something like that. So that that if that's what you mean by pain, I would say don't push yourself beyond what would be healthy or useful for your life with regard to the anger. That's just real good for us to be have that exposed in our lives. The Bible talks about putting away anger, so there are steps you can take, I think, to actually absorbed the anger in your life. You need a probe to see what the roots of it are, what is going on in my life, why I've got so much anger. It is a huge problem. By the way, we had we did a men's retreat a few years ago and we had a little survey and a hand raising. And just so you know, I think anger was above lust in the problems that these men had. There's a lot of anger in the world, a lot of anger. And the reason there's a lot of anger is because there's a lot of frustration. Things don't go your way. Things don't go with your spouse, things to go with your kids, things to go with your job. Things don't go your way with your health. Things don't go your way with church. Just you walk through the day and nothing's going your way. And every time something doesn't go your way, there's this. There's this sense of. Tension that rises and and it becomes a bitterness and anger. And the Bible says, don't let the sun go down on that. Don't let the sun go down on that in the next phrases. Don't give place to the devil. So if you're if you got a lot of anger and it starts showing itself during fasting, you've got to develop some strategies to pull the plug on that anger.


And there's a bunch of strategies to use. There's not just one I'll mention. See what comes to mind here. I'll just mention a few. One is the anger is being directed towards a person who's sinning against you. That work there always sinning against you or a spouse who's abused your kids or something. Just there's a sense against you or your parents or whatever. Romans 12 was about 18. And first, Peter, to about 21 or two or three. Both of those texts say do not avenge yourself, give place to wrath. Vengeance is mine. I will repay, says the Lord. So what does that little phrase give place to wrath? Me? Give place to wrath. Vengeance is mine. I'll repay. I think there's a psychological dynamic that by faith, you're able to take anger against the legitimate sins against you and give place to God's wrath by saying, God, this is wrong. I am being treated wrong here. I am being let down wrongly here. But I know you have told me not to return evil for evil, but to bless and not to curse. I feel very much like cursing right now, and I feel very much like vengeance in some form or another. But I will now consciously take this anger and give it to you and trust trust you to do whatever should be done with it for justice sake. I do believe that's possible. And it says in Peter, that was Romans in Peter. It says he, when he was reviled, did not reviled in return. And when he suffered, he did not threaten, but he handed over to him who judges justly and that many translations say he handed himself over. That's not what it says. It just says he handed over to him who judges justly.


And the context is real clear. He's being reviled. Natural human tendency. Spit back, hit back. Get the last word here. He's suffering. At least feel angry towards this person instead of saying Father, forgive them for they don't know what they're doing. So what did he do with it? He's human. He's being sinned against. It's not wrong to feel indignation about that. People shouldn't sin against you. What do you do with it? Answer He handed over to him who judges justly, I think on the cross. Jesus, when he's. Just walk with him through, you know, everything the when they press that thing down in his head. I mean, just if somebody were to walk up to you with long two inch thorns, actually thorn bushes that aren't like stickers I grew up with in South Carolina. If somebody were to put that on your head and it hit you with a rod, one of those would go in about three quarters of an inch. And at that moment, you just want to hit him. I mean, it's just it's just a reaction or you want to say quit that or. You know, of course you you whitewash wall or something like that. What is it? What do you what can what can control that? What can release that? And I think what Jesus did at every point along the way, just like he didn't get so many say when that happened, he whispered quietly, Oh, God, take it. Do with it whatever you have to do and give me a spirit of meekness. Here. I must maintain my lamb like substitution, airy senselessness. Here. Oh, God. Take it and do whatever you need to do. Now, when he said, Father, forgive them. They don't know what they're doing.


God had given him a grace. That was a step beyond I hand over to you their judgment. So judge you. He handed over their judgment and then he asked that the judgment be a certain thing, which is the most gracious thing imaginable. So my my first strategy is simply to say that one one strategy is a conscious faith based handing over. That may sound naive to you, but I can testify that it works and it works in a lot of other areas. It works in lost sexual temptation. You can learn to take those thoughts. Men and women here, women have different kinds of thoughts and fantasies, but they got their own issues here. And men and you can as soon as one comes into your head, you can form that same thing. You can say no, no, right out loud, or you can say it to the brain. No, you will not occupy my brain in my thought process here for the next 2 minutes. No. And you consciously say, take it, Lord, and then you very consciously direct your mind toward a superior satisfaction or some other thing that would be valuable to you. Let me say one other thing. Second strategy. That's a forward looking strategy. That's a future great strategy. A backward growth strategy is. Romans I mean, Ephesians 432, forgive as you have been forgiven. Meditate when you get angry on how you have been forgiven. I think that's probably as powerful or more than the other one. So here you are getting angry that this happened and this happened and this happened and this happened against you. Take those and measure those against what you have done that were so bad Jesus had to die. And then look at him dying.


Look at him dying and see if you can emotionally muster the same anger towards these offenses against you when he's dying to rescue you from offenses against him. The cross is the bottom line key to this issue of anger? Those are two strategies and there are more. But. Let's go another direction. This will be the last question then. Woodstock. Do you think a lot of the price of purchasing your victory when. Ukraine saying there'd be any break in wanted by one man. Right. What I can say is this. Regularly, let's just say regularly. I think of Romans 832 because it's just sort of my warp and woof. Favorite verse. He who did not spare his own son but gave him up for us all. How shall not with him freely give us all things meaning are the answers to our prayers plus lots more. So every answer to prayer that I plead for is owing to the father, not sparing the son. Now, let me just say one other thing about that and then we'll dismiss. You know what you mean when you close your prayer in Jesus name? Hey, man, I know what you mean. And that's what you, me, the reason we pray in Jesus name. And it bothers me when people in their prayers without saying that. I mean, I usually cut him Stark and say they usually say it and they mean it. And they didn't feel like they had to toss those words in. Frankly, I think they're very important words to say out loud and to mean in a certain way, namely, when you say give us this day our daily bread in Jesus name. Amen. You mean I don't deserve daily bread? Jesus deserves daily bread and in his name and put in the check on the table.


He signed the check. I'm writing the check for food, and he signed it with his blood. That's what you mean by in Jesus name. You deserve one thing you ask God for, except hell, if you get anything better than hell, Jesus bought it for you. And therefore, when you end your prayer, you should say in His name and for his sake and for his glory. And because he died and because of his worth, not my worth. So I think even though we may not have in our heads some verses, that little phrase at the end in Jesus name ought to carry a megaton of fruit, which is what if you have children, get this into their heads early. That's not a throwaway phrase. Jesus died so that you could pray to the Father and not be squished like a bug, but be received like a child. And the child father relationship was of course, the basis of a lot of prayer teaching in the in the Bible. And our adoption was bought by the blood of Jesus. So when we what we pray in Jesus name, we're saying I'm your child. I have an approach. I can come boldly. I have a high priest because of the blood. That's a good place to stop as pray. So here we are doing it, Lord, just one more time. And we would of do it all night long. We want to be a people who pray without ceasing. And you've said, Come boldly. Let's come boldly to the throne of grace, because we have a high priest who has passed through the heavens and one who's been tempted in every point, like as we are, yet without sin. And he's a high priest because he carries blood into the temple and the bloody carries is his own blood and not the blood of bulls and goats.


And so when we say in his name, in his name, father in the name of a high priest, in the name of our sacrifice, we mean in the name of Jesus who loved us and died for us and bought our access and bought our answers. O Lord, let all of our praying be the exaltation of Jesus. I pray. In Christ name in Jesus name because of his worth, because of his purchase, because of his righteousness, because of his shed blood. They met. Thank you for listening to this message by John Piper, Pastor for preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Feel free to make copies of this message to give to others, but please do not charge for those copies or alter the content in any way without permission. We invite you to visit desiring God online at w WW dot desiring God dot org. There you'll find hundreds of sermons, articles, radio broadcasts and much more all available to you at no charge. Our online store carries all of Pastor John's books, audio and video resources. You can also stay up to date on what's new at Desiring God. Again, our website is w WW dot desiring God dot org. Or call us toll free at 1888346 4700. Our mailing address is desiring God. 2601 East Franklin Avenue. Minneapolis, Minnesota. 55406. Desiring God exists to help you make God your treasure because God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.