Read Esther and see how God rescued all the Jews in Persia just in time.

Julie and I have travelled and taught in over thirty countries. Our children used to tell us that they had to stop and think to remember whether we were in the country or out. We've been in some remote and dangerous places. The kids didn't really like for us to travel abroad. They often said, “We were afraid you were not going to come back.”

We have travelled a great deal in the Middle East ministering to Jordanian, Iranian, Iraqi, Tajikistani, Libyan, Armenian, Turkish, Armenian, and Azerbaijani pastors and Christians either in country or in pastors' conferences throughout Turkey. We prayed many a prayer for protection. We've been cursed in Azerbaijan, mocked in England, snowed in for a week in Armenia, frozen in Mongolia and just after the Iron Curtain fell, afraid of communist persecution in the Ukraine.

I own two bullet-proof vests because my life has been threatened four times. Julie has had to wear a vest because of threats on her life.

God protected us in every situation. Prayer and fasting are important when we are in danger and need protection.

7. when our relationship with him is intimate and we desire to Enhance Our Worship And Devotion to God

Eighty-four-year-old widowed Anna worshipped God through prayers and fastings daily in the temple as she waited for the Son of God to make His first trip to the Temple. When He finally arrived, she fell to knees and worshipped (Luke 2:36-38).

The early church fasted often as they worshipped God (Acts 13:2-3).

Remember, in worship we want to move spiritually into the throne room in Heaven. Fasting helps to facilitate our moving into God's presence.

Let's examine the two basic types of Fasts: NORMAL AND ABSOLUTE

1. A Normal Fast Is Abstaining From All Foods But Not From Water.

During the Temptation as recorded in Matthew 4:2-3  Jesus was hungry, not thirsty. Satan tempted Him to turn stones into bread. He didn't tempt Him to turn plants into water.

Usually a normal fast includes drinking water. I think that there are times when drinking juice or coffee is appropriate. However, the normal fast is usually undertaken with only water.

2. An Absolute Fast Is Abstaining From Both Drinking And Eating.

After Paul's Damascus Road experience, when he met the risen Lord, Acts 9:9 records: "For three days Paul neither ate nor drank."

Moses twice undertook absolute fasts of supernatural proportions. For forty days he fasted, no food or water, after he received the ten commandments and again for forty days when he saw the golden calf. Is it any wonder that God spared Israel.

How can WE begin FASTING?

If you have never fasted before, don't start off with forty-day fast. Our bodies grow accustomed to fasting by degrees. God doesn't call us to run until we have learned to walk.

Consider beginning with a partial fast. Fast one or two meals and soon extend your fast to one full day--three meals in a row. Perhaps you fast breakfast, lunch and dinner on the same day.

I have found it a litter easier to begin after lunch on one day, have dinner that evening and miss breakfast and lunch on the next day. Then, conclude the fast by eating dinner.

You may discover that on the first day you experience a headache and/or some depression. This is normal. The headache is only caffeine withdrawal from drinks like coffee, tea and coke, etc. These feelings will not kill you!

When do you conclude a fast? When you sense God saying that it is time to stop/

By the way, and this is really important, certain medical conditions may need doctoral approval and/or may be incompatible with fasting.