This kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting. Matthew 17:21 (NKVJ)
Just TEA, no cookies. What’s up with that? What’s a TEA party without cookies and cake and other yummy treats? That doesn’t sound like much fun, or does it? Why would we want to skip the food? God tells us in His Word that sometimes we need to fast (give up food for a time) to give more power to our prayers. And so, every so often My TEA CUPP Prayers with Jesus are truly just TEA and no cookies.
“But the days will come when the Bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast in those days.” Luke 5:35 (NKJV)
What types of prayers would cause me to give up food for a day or more? There have been many over the years…illness of family or friends, surgeries, struggles, mission trips, need for miracles, etc. When I am fasting, every time I feel a hunger pain I am reminded to pray. One friend had surgery for cancer and I fasted all day and remembered to pray for her. Another friend had surgery and I didn’t fast, and I know I just didn’t pray as much for her.
Sometimes when we fast and pray, we may never know how our prayers were answered. Other times we may get immediate results. Two days ago our son left for the Philippines on a mission trip with his youth group. Yesterday my husband and I fasted for his safe arrival and for other prayer requests. Today, before we even had breakfast, there was an email from his pastor saying they all arrived safely. Praise the Lord! It makes me so happy when God answers our prayers so speedily! Now today we can celebrate with some cookies (and we’ll keep praying).
If you’d like to learn more about fasting, there is a book you might like to read. For a long time I looked for good information on prayer and fasting. A few years ago I found this book by Jentezen Franklin entitled Fasting. You can check out his website at http://www.jentezenfranklin.org/fasting/
Pastor Franklin presents some big challenges to us in his call to fast, as he gets his entire congregation to fast every year. If you read his book, perhaps you would like to start out with just a one day a month fast, and work up to the other fasts he suggests. During your TEA CUPP prayers, ask God to show you when you should try fasting.
When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Then I said: “O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant of love with those who love Him and obey His commands, let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer Your servant is praying before You day and night for Your servants, the people of Israel… Nehemiah 4:1-6 (NIV)
When Your words came, I ate them;
they were my joy and my heart’s delight,
for I bear Your name,
O LORD God Almighty. Jeremiah 15:16 (NIV)
How sweet are Your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103 (NIV)