Day 11: In faith, you’re believing God for greater things in your marriage. I am too. But what will you do when you don’t see the growth you were hoping for? Give up on believing in the power of prayer?
Giving up is the equivalent of digging up a seed you’ve planted before the seedling has had time to pop its head above the soil. Giving up is robbing yourself of the HARVEST!
Faith and patience go together!
Are you watching other people receive their blessing and wondering where yours is hiding? Or are you doubting the word God gave you in your time of prayer because it hasn’t yet been fulfilled?
Remember the mustard seed Jesus talked about in Matthew 17:20? The story of this little seed teaches us that we don’t need BIG faith to receive from God. We only need little faith. Don’t focus on the size or strength of your faith but rather the size and strength of your God. When you magnify God, problems or mountains shrink.
Peter had little faith and yet he was able to walk on water. The minute he took is eyes off God, he began sinking.
The point of this little message is this:
1. The seeds of prayer you’ve planted this Spring will produce sweet fruit in your life and marriage throughout the year. Be patient. Don’t give up and thereby rob yourself of your harvest!
2. Receiving your harvest is not predicated upon the strength of your faith, but rather the ability to keep your focus on God and His strength.
Prayer for WIVES: Lord, Help me to keep my eyes on You and Your greatness rather than on my circumstances so I can receive rather than rob myself of my harvest!
Prayer for HUSBANDS: Lord, help my husband to see the power of Your love flowing through me. May he see with fresh eyes the movement of your Spirit all around Him and respond with newfound devotion.
Prayer of MARRIAGE: May our marriage be filled with the fruits of righteousness which will bring much glory and praise to God!
Day 10:Would you like to know God’s perfect will for your life and marriage? Fasting helps you prove or DISCOVER His perfect will. Paul was fasting when God shared his assignment for his life. Peter was fasting when God called him to take the gospel to the Gentiles.
“Fasting prepares the way for God to give you fresh revelation, fresh vision, and clear purpose.” Jentezen Franklin
I’m already seen fresh revelation as a result of this fast. 2 areas of concentrated prayers for my marriage are sex and money. Reading a great book by Dr. Juli Slattery, No More Headaches, I discovered a workable solution for connecting sexually at least twice a week. Battling busy-ness and fatigue, our sex life was suffering. Because I know sex works like a glue to hold couples together, I committed this area of our marriage to prayer. Dr. Slattery shared a creative solution on page 36 that jumped off the page when I read it. It’s working already : )
Reading Proverbs 27 today, I was convicted, inspired, and given direction in verses 23 and 24 concerning my role regarding our finances. God gives fresh revelation when you seek Him through prayer and fasting!
When you seek God concerning your marriage, He will be found by you (Jeremiah 29:13,14). And when you find Him, you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is!
Prayer for WIVES: Lord, help me to discipline myself as I near the end of this fast to seek you in your Word and through prayer. Give me eyes and ears to see and hear what you would have me know concerning your perfect will for my marriage.
Day 9: II Chronicles 7:14 states God’s requirements during a fast.
1. Humble yourself
3. Seek His face
4. Turn from wicked ways
Upon these conditions, God promises to hear your prayers as well as heal America (our land).
Last week during the fast, I was challenged by one of my mentors to deal with dishonesty in my relationship with Tom. You see, I tend to promise to do things in order to smooth over a tense situation which I’ve caused. When it comes time to fulfill my promise…well, I don’t always follow through if it’s not convenient for uh, me. If you see a pattern of selfishness and dishonesty here, you’d be correct.
Ephesians 4:22 implores us to throw off our old evil nature which is rotten through and through (point #4 above) full of lust and deception. Deception causes BETRAYAL and DISTRUST between spouses. Did I have that result in mind when I quickly committed to something in order to avoid the consequences of my behavior? In a word, no!
Spending time praying and fasting heightens our ability to SEE the insidiousness of sinful, casual actions that produce BAD results. What is God showing you today?
Prayer for WIVES: Lord, show me where the lust for pleasure and deception have crept into my life. Purify me by the blood of Jesus! Give me eyes to see as well as the strength to turn away from wickedness and embrace the life-giving truth of your Word.
Prayer for HUSBANDS: Lord, give my husband eyes to see You and YOUR ways in a new light and may he desire them for himself, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer for MARRIAGE: Lord, may the beauty, delightfulness, and favor of the Lord our God shine on and through our marriage! AMEN!
Day 7: In Ezra 8: 21-23, we read of Ezra’s declaration to king Artaxerxes that those who worship the living God are protected by Him. That was a significant declaration coming from a bunch of exiled Jews about to travel through some very dangerous territory on the way to their homeland. Realizing he was in deep water, what did Ezra do? He called a fast.
Fasting acknowledges your total dependence on God.
Are you travelling through dangerous territory in your marriage? Are there threats lurking around the next corner? Are you fearful concerning an area of your marriage?
Depend on God as Ezra did. The result of dependence? Ezra and tribe enjoyed God’s complete protection, safety, and peace. Victory in the spiritual realm must be won before experiencing victory in the natural.
The victory can only be won using spiritual weapons…one of which is fasting.
Prayer for wives: Lord, help me to be direct with my husband when I address sinful issues in his life, remembering first to determine whether it’s actually sin or an annoyance which I’m observing, and secondly to apply love to the direct words I use. (Ephesians 4:15, explained in Chapter 8, The Beautiful Wife).
Prayer for husband: Lord, give my husband ears to hear what the Spirit is speaking through me when I speak the truth in Love. When my husband speaks to me about an issue, help me to lower my defenses and LISTEN to the truth he’s conveying.
Prayer for marriage: Lord, as my husband and I each do our own special work, help our marriage to become healthy, growing and full of love.
Day 6: Some of God’s choicest blessings can only be obtained through prayer AND fasting. My pastor frequently reminds our church of this fact.
The Bible reminds us that God has good plans (or good and perfect will) for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11). In Colossians 4:12, Epaphras reminds the Colossians that he is praying that they stand perfect and entire in ALL the will of God. This is a high standard!
One spiritual means of attaining the ENTIRE will of God is through fasting.
Think of a triangle right now. The full triangle represents God’s will for your life. Through prayer, you enjoy much of God’s will or the bottom two thirds of the triangle. But when you pray AND fast, you begin to move up and experience the choicest blessings of God’s will for your life represented by the upper third of the triangle.
As you fast, keep your eyes on the prize—the FULLNESS of God’s good and perfect will for your life.
Prayer for you: Lord, help me to apply your love to my words when I must address a sinful issue in my husband’s life (Ephesians 4:15 explained in chapter 8 The Beautiful Wife).
Prayer of husband: Lord, soften my husband’s heart to receive the truth spoken in love concerning sin in his life.
Prayer for marriage: Lord, I claim spiritual health, provided by Jesus’ finished work on the cross, over my marriage.
As you approach the finish line of the Fast-for-Your-Marriage Challenge, I want you to believe with absolute CERTAINTY that God has heard your prayers and been blessed by your devotion to seek Him. You are already victorious even though you may not see the fruit of your fast quite yet. Don’t be discouraged, it WILL come! Watch for it! If you’ve recorded requests and prayers in a journal, look back at it in the coming weeks and watch as God answers your prayers in ways you’d never choose or imagine.
When unusual or unexpected things begin happening, train yourself to say,
“God, I consider this an answer to my prayer!”
Next, thank Him for answering your prayers–even if what you see doesn’t make sense. Hebrew 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Thanking Him is an act of faith when you don’t see what you want to see.
Now read all of Hebrews chapter 11 and believe that God keeps His promises to those who have faith.
Keep your eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of your faith race because He will move on your behalf. Your labor is not in vain. You will be rewarded!
As you begin to see answers to your prayers, please share with us on Facebook! It will encourage OUR faith to hear YOUR story. This is what God had in mind in Titus 2:3-5 when he encouraged women to come together and share God’s work in our lives.
Together, we’ll be encouraged, challenged, and confident that we are not alone!
During the fast, God has spoken to me about the vision of Beautiful Womanhood. It’s a God-sized vision that only He can fulfill.
The vision of Beautiful Womanhood is to grow a coalition of 18,000,000 wives by 2018 who are strengthened in Christ, praying for their marriages, and encouraging and teaching others to do the same. Therefore, Beautiful Womanhood will measurably decrease divorce statistics within the church from 42% to 20% by the same year. Once this is accomplished, the covenant of marriage will more clearly reflect God’s glorious covenant with the church and lives will be saved.
How do YOU fit into this vision? By spreading the word! WE NEED YOUR HELP! Please share with others all you are learning in The Beautiful Wife, from your fast, and from others in the Beautiful Womanhood community (think of 10 women and act now!). They will be grateful that you cared enough to share. Forward them the blog link, share the fb page, or meet for lunch one-on-one. As you lift up Jesus, you can change the world one woman at a time until you cross the finish line into Heaven.
With whom can you share Beautiful Womanhood?
Are you in a desert of desperation? Then you cannot afford to miss God’s will for your life.
You may feel
If so, you WILL survive ONLY by drawing near to God, and fasting will get you near Him and his life-giving, healing water quickly!
II Chronicles 20 tells the story of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, who was in a desperate place surrounded by a powerful enemy army. Without God’s help, his people would all be destroyed. What was King J’s response? He proclaimed a fast for all the people–even women and children. What was God’s response? He spoke to His people through a prophet who encouraged them with these words.
“Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s…You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you O Judah and Jerusalem!”
God continued by telling Judah exactly how the enemy would approach and exactly what they should do in response.
God did the fighting for them and Judah got to collect all the riches from the enemy army. The fighting took one day but it took them three days to collect all the spoil. Let that thought sink in. IT ALL BEGAN WITH A FAST.
Maybe you’re skeptical that God will do this for you. I might be too if I hadn’t experienced it myself. The following is an excerpt from The Beautiful Wife Mentor Guide containing a personal experience I had after fasting for my marriage. Immediately prior to leaving on vacation, I had been on a Daniel fast for 40 days. (for more info about a Daniel fast, read the preceding blogs)
“While on vacation in 2011, I was struggling with a recurring issue
that had plagued my marriage for five years. Addicted to thinking
through my problem, my thoughts were in turmoil and our unity was
deteriorating. One day I felt prompted to take an early morning walk,
and while I was out, the Holy Spirit arrested my tumultuous thoughts.
His words? “Sandy, be still and worship Me.” In other words, turn
to God. Once I was still, He spoke again. “What would you say to
another woman in this position?” I knew the answer immediately—I
would tell her, “Go get help!” In other words, share within community.
When I returned home, I shared my struggle with mentors and
a Christian counselor. While in community, my role in the problem
was revealed and I was able to make much-needed adjustments in
my thoughts and actions, which ultimately increased unity between
Tom and me. Turning to God, understanding your role, and sharing
within community are effective marriage-building tools.”
I truly believe I was able to hear the Holy Spirit’s instruction because I had fasted. I know you will too! I’m now enjoying the life-giving, fruitful riches of increased unity between my husband and I instead of wandering in a desert of desperation.
I want to encourage you to keep seeking God through this fast. Break-through will happen! He will cause streams to run through your desert of desperation.
We’re approaching the second week of our fast and I’m praying and believing you’ve begun to experience more of God’s RICH blessings as you spend increased time in His presence. I felt impressed to send this blog a couple of days early as I sense many of you may need encouragement to continue.
Today I want to share WHY fasting produces break-through so you’re motivated to stay the course. Read and re-read this blog throughout the week-end and coming week–every day if possible!
Fasting breaks the power of your carnal desires or sinful nature which is opposed to God and His Word.
Galatians 5:17 speaks about this.
The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit GIVES us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict.
When you fast, the desires given you by the Holy Spirit get the WINNING EDGE in the fight against sinful desires. Now you have increased capacity to control your words and actions which affect your life and marriage. When your sinful nature is “dethroned”, the fruit of the Spirit rises to POWER in your life. When this happens, barriers WILL shatter and breakthrough will occur because God’s power is AWESOME!
- Imagine being able to “catch” yourself BEFORE uttering a disrespectful word to your husband (Chapter 5, The Beautiful Wife)
- Envision an increased ability to LISTEN to your husband without defending yourself (Chapter 7, The Beautiful Wife)
- Picture yourself CONFRONTING your husband’s sinful behavior in a God-honoring way that captures his attention (Chapter 8, The Beautiful Wife)
Fasting changes man, not God. You will experience increased POWER to make godly CHOICES.
When you are filled to a greater degree with the Holy Spirit’s
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22)
you will experience an increase in supernatural power that shatters barriers in your life FIRST and THEN your marriage. The key to experience this power is fasting. There are some places of God’s will for your life that can only be reached by prayer and fasting.
Many of God’s choicest provisions for His people lie within the area [of prayer and fasting]. –Derek Prince
Your decision to fast is powerful and you WILL see the fruit of it in your life–YOU will experience break-through!
- Journal all you sense the Spirit revealing to you in God’s Word
- Record any thoughts or impressions as you pray
- Write down any verses that “jump” off the page at you
- Spend time thanking God for all that is causing you to depend upon Him
Meditate and think about these things each day. These are God’s POWER words to you and for YOU!
As you celebrate Easter this week-end, may the God of ALL POWER fill you with His love, peace, and joy.
Hallelujah! He is risen!!
Welcome to the Beautiful Womanhood Fasting-for-Your-Marriage Challenge!
I’m so glad you’re here because God has great things in store for YOU!
Once you read and re-read this blog, hop on over to Beautiful Womanhood on Facebook and share your thoughts and journey with others so we can connect and grow together! I’ll be posting videos and questions there for discussion.
OK. Let’s get STARTED!
What is a fast? Before I describe what fasting is, I want to explain what it is not. Fasting is not going without food or particular foods for a certain length of time. That’s dieting. Fasting is removing food or a certain food or drink from your life for a SPIRITUAL purpose. During the fast, time is spent seeking God about your particular struggle(s).
When I was fasting for my marriage, I would
- Read the Bible daily
- Sit quietly with a journal to capture any thoughts or impressions that came to my mind or verses which spoke to me about my situation
- Thank God for all He’d done and was going to do for me
- Pray morning, noon, and night seeking God for the answers to my problems (even if 5 minutes)
In a nutshell, fasting is a time period you set aside to seek God’s knowledge and thoughts about the particular struggles you face. It’s also a time to listen to what He’s saying to you. God is always speaking and fasting “unplugs” our ears and makes us more RECEPTIVE and ATTENTIVE to His words. During this time, try to cut back on entertainment such as TV, movies, and Facebook (except Beautiful Womanhood!) so you have more time to spend with God.
There’s a saying I repeat often: When we do what we can do, God does what we cannot. This describes fasting to a tee! When you remove food from your diet in order to place your attentions more fully on God, God will reward your search with POWER! Luke 4 tells us that Jesus entered the wilderness to fast and He was FULL of the Holy Spirit. When He exited, He returned full of the Holy Spirit’s POWER!
When your fast is over, you will have more of the Holy Spirit’s POWER! You also enjoy more peace and joy because you’ve spent time drawing NEAR to Him. In God’s presence is fullness of joy!
For years I believed that fasting was forcing God to give me the thing I was asking for. I was wrong!
When I’m fasting specifically for my marriage and husband, God reveals
- Words of encouragement
- The Knowledge of Sin in my life
- VERSES that can be used as prayers to pray for my marriage and husband (Record these in The Beautiful Wife Prayer Journal or a journal you have on hand)
When I act on these revelations I’m strengthened with hope, dignity, and BREAKTHROUGH!
DID you know that there are supernatural breakthroughs that can only be released through FASTING! In Matthew 17:20-21, Jesus says nothing is impossible and that faith, prayer and fasting are the KEYS which open the door to impossibility! That’s why Jesus fasted while He walked the earth.
If Jesus needed to fast in order for demons to flee and bodies to be healed, how much more do we need to practice fasting in our marriages?
Are there any difficult, seemingly impossible, events taking place in your life right now?
Together, let’s fast for our BREAKTHROUGH!
To join in the Fast-for-Your-Marriage Challenge
On the blog, I’ll be giving you HELPFUL information so you can experience all you can from your fast.
On Facebook, we’ll be connecting, sharing, and growing in community with each other.
What can you expect?
Tell your friends, family, and neighbors–they won’t want to miss it!