Saturday, 23 May 2009

The Three Fold Cord: Fasting, Giving and Praying

Though one may be overpowered by another,
two can withstand him. And a threefold
cord is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:12

It is fair to say that most of us would have heard the verse above referred to, in the context of a marriage ceremony or around the meaning of what it means to work and walk together, in unity and strength as brothers and Sisters of God's kingdom.

However, I realise that this same 'three fold cord' principle can be applied to the three key disciplines expected of a believer - FASTING, GIVING AND PRAYING.

Fasting, Giving and Praying are key disciplines every believer must practise and often. It is expected of us. When we fast, give and pray - (all together), I believe it connects us to one another (through such things as interceding and helping the less privileged) and to God (humbling ourselves before Him and seeking His guidance).

Mathew 6:16, reads "And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get".

The operative word here is 'when', and I believe it means that - there will always come a time when the need for a fast (to humble ourselves before God, to get direction, wisdom and much more) will arise.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Reads (note verse 17) "16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

The operative word here is 'NEVER', which means "at no point in time" , which we can relate to the verse above as thus; "at no point in time, should we stop praying". At no point in time should we stop having conversations with God.

Mathew 6: 2 - 3 reads "2So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing..."

We see that word 'when' again, in this passage, and in the understanding of the word 'when', reading the passage above, it teaches us that we are expected to live a life of Giving, it is something we must do, continuously. We must help the poor or those less privilege, those in need of our help and much more. It also tells us how we should go about doing it.

I believe that when we operate the three fold cord of 'Fasting, Giving and Praying (together), NOTHING shall be impossible!.

So, are you feeling stuck in a rut, needing direction and focus
or wanting to know your very purpose on earth or
the season you are in? Why not seek God's guidance
in Fasting, Giving and Praying.

When we want to decipher how a new product that we have just purchased works, we either speak to the manufacturer (creator) or refer to the manual that comes along with the product. God is our maker, He created / invention us. If we need to know His will for our lives, to obtain clarity of purpose and focus or find out how to get out of a rut that we might be in, we need to ask Him, and read the life manual he wrote for us - The Bible

When we read Matthew 17: 20 - 21 (story about Jesus disciples not being able to cast out evil suicidal spirits in a boy, and the father of the boy brought him to Jesus for deliverance - please read the whole chapter for completion)

The passage reads: "20And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting

The key that unlocks the power of this passage is the word "Howbeit". Yes, the disciples of Jesus needed faith and the power (which had already been given to them by Jesus in Matthew 10) to cast out demons, but "howbeit - however or regardless" there are some type of demons (strongholds, blockages or curses) that cannot or will not be removed without fasting, giving and praying - done together.

Taking a step back, we must remember that not long before this incident took place, Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness (Mathew 4, please read for completion), whereby He prayed to the father also, and we know that His life was about giving and helping the people.
If Jesus Christ was able to accomplish all that
He came to earth to do without fasting,
praying and living a life of giving,
then why did He do them? Selah...

"Students are not greater than their teacher.
But the student who is fully trained
will become like the teacher"
Luke 6: 40

Could it be that we are missing the very reason or understanding of our purpose in life? Could it be that we are missing the very combination that will lead to that breakthrough that we desperately seek, because we fail to understand the importance and ramifications of the three fold cord of 'fasting, giving and praying'?

I envisage the ramifications of this three fold cord as the thirty fold, sixty fold and hundred fold return Jesus spoke about in Mark 4;8, 20 (please read for completion):
  • When praying is a constant part of our lives, we can release the thirty fold return

  • When praying and giving - together is a constant part of our life, we can release the sixty fold, and

  • When praying, giving and fasting is a constant part of our lives, we an release the hundred fold return.
When we hunger for God He will fill us. When we make time for God, pray to Him, have conversations with us, He will hear us and reveal secret things to us. When we live a life of giving, we show the good and perfect nature of God displayed through us.

Sometimes, when we are disciplined enough to Fast, give and pray, continuously, and we don't see or sense that anything is happening, there is the tendency to get discouraged. However, we must not be. We must hold on to faith, hope and expectation that God is good, and He has answered our prayers and accepted our sacrifices and He will reward our diligence. It's all about timing, all about His time.

We can also learn and be encouraged from the faith of our forefathers, those that were here before us. They went through most, if not all that we are experiencing today.

In Psalm 35:13 -14 David the psalmist said "13 Yet when they were ill, I grieved for them. I denied myself by fasting for them, but my prayers returned unanswered. 14 I was sad, as though they were my friends or family, as if I were grieving for my own mother".

It was obvious David had not received the answers to his prayers, but he still waited on God in faith. Do not be weighed down with discouragement.

So, do you want to know the Will of God for you life? Do you seek a breakthrough in any particular area of your life? Do you want to do great and mighty great exploits as Jesus declared? Do you want to see changes in your life for good?

If so, why not weave up a three fold cord of Fasting, Giving and Praying, seeking God's help, wisdom, and knowledge; calling forth that breakthrough, giving you tremendous testimonies to strengthen your brethren, glorifying God's name, and making Him famous along your way.

Much Love
***Pictures by photobucket***


Kémi Penélopê said...

First...first of all...

Kémi Penélopê said... I can go back and relax to read the post abt the fasting giving and praying...

Remi, United Kingdom said...

@ Kemi.. lol.. funieee.. :-) Hope you are good.. Have an awesome weekend. lots of luv x

Kémi Penélopê said...

I guess we have to realize that God has given us the power to do all things through Christ who indeed is our strength.

If we don't fast, how do we humble ourselve and when we don't give, how do we get back and if prayer is eliminated from our lives totally, then God has nothing to answer...

Thank you so much for sharing, I have to start training myself to tie these three fold cord into my life if I want to move from the place I find myself now.

God bless you, Remi and do have a wonderful and blessed weekend...

seye said...

Fasting! I HAVE SO SLACKED ON THAT. I am making it a duty. I am fasting this new week

chayoma said...

I need to incorporate the three fold cord into my life oh!

i bliv you have a gift! to spread his word.... thank the Lord for you.

first timer :0)

simeone said...

hmmm...thanks for this teacher..:)

Kafo said...

i have to come back adn read this when i am not so tired

aloted said...

hmm....i have been blessed by this...thanks..

i need to get back on track!

hope u doing well?

Lady A said...

Ok, so this is my 3rd confirmation, so THANK YOU! I don't wanna miss God in this next move He is doing. Need to get spiritual retuned. This was on time 4 me, thanks again...
Remi, if u r married and interested in the wives blog I did, send me your email through my comment and I'll send you a vip pass.
BTW, that was powerful what you wrote, WOW Ms. Preacher!

Remi, United Kingdom said...

@Kémi Penélopê... Yup he sure has. That's true, fasting humbles us before God, and whwne we don't give back, we won't be filled ourselves, and prayer, well, how else would we keep regular communication with God. Start, one day a time, you could start with one day a week and then as the spirit leads increase. You can give by doing little things, just helping a neighbour, dropping by to see someone once a week or so. God takes notice of it all. Amen, and God bless you too. Have an awesome favour filled week. x

@seye... Hallelujah.. just take it one day a time, and ask God to lead and direct you. I'm pretty sure you will see His hand move mighty in your life after this. Have a great week. x

@chayoma... Amen.. let God guide you and you will be amazed. Awe thanks, I hope that I am doing exactly what the master wants, sharing the knowledge He gives me to as many people I can reach via the internet.. :-)
and welcome to a day in God's will. I hope you come back often.

Have an awesome week. God bless. x

@simeone... hehehehe... meeeen I need to take this teaching thing seriously oh... praying for direction. I love to impact knowledge lol. I pray God is happy with it. How are you? I do hope you are having an awesome week. x

@Kafo... pele.. bank holiday eh? You good? x

@aloted.. Thank God -) ...x Yup, I'm good. we had a bank holiday so just recovering from plenty of sunshine.. woohoo. we hardly get that in England! lol. Have an awesome week.:-) x How are u doing?

@Lady A... lol, when God wants to confirm something to us eh, there is no way out, we will get the answers in everything and from everywhere! lol. Nope, I pray that whatever God is doing in this season, He should not doing it without us. I pray He counts us worthy of it all.

I am single and thriving, however I thank God that I take time to learn what it means to be married and equip myself, before that journey begins... wisdom and knowledge cannot be taken away from us. Besides being married to our husband and wives is like being married to Jesus Christ, so if we perfect that relationship when we are single, then absolutely nothing is impossible when we get married here on earth.

However, if I can contribute from a single's poin of view, I am happy to do so too..

Thank luv, and keep up the good work. You are hitting on relevant topics.. :-) x .

aloted said...

nice one! I am based in London so i was also a partaker of the wonderful sunshine:)

r u in london as well? maybe we could hook up one of these days

David C Brown said...

Very fine - but it's the fasting that's the test!

Olufunke said...

This is interesting, never thought of the 3 of them as a 'three fold cord'
@Kemi Penelope, I like your comment on this, I agree with you.

Hmmmmm Fasting, Giving, Praying.......................
Remi, thanks for this!

Tairebabs said...

This post reminded me that I have not fasted in ages. I mean I say prayers a lot but I just haven't fasted. The ironic part is that I have been waiting on God for something and asking him for direction I guess I really do need the Three fold cord. Lovely post.

deola said...

Really inspiring and loaded