PRAYER, FASTING & REPENTANCE
"As for this kind, it is cast out only by prayer and fasting. " Matthew 17:21
"I set my face to the Lord God, to seek by prayer and petitions, with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to Yahweh my God, and made confession. . . .We have sinned, and have dealt perversely, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even turning aside from your precepts and from your ordinances." Daniel 9:3,5
This prayer by Daniel came after he had read the prophecies given through Jeremiah. When he had read what was written he saw that, even though he hadn't sinned, as an Israelite he did share a part in the communal guilt of the nation.
The same is true today for us in the United States. Those of us who are Pro-Life are working to end abortion, fetal stem cell research & euthanasia. Yet, even though we don't directly support abortion, as US citizens we indirectly support it. Part of the Federal, state & local (esp school) taxes goes into Planned Parenthood's (PP) coffers. Life Decisions International (LDI)
has a list of 180 National & many more state corporations that support PP. Many charities support embryonic stem cell research. & while there are alternatives you can donate to for some charities, others like the American Diabetes Association so pervade the health industry so that again, you are often forced to use their materials as there are no others.
So, like Daniel, we need to repent for the sins of the nation, because we are a part of the nation. & this isn't just my opinion. I have been working on this post for well over a week & had in my what I just wrote before I saw Fr. Pavone's Defending Life
program on EWTN
last Friday night. At 1 point he said the same thing I said, we need to repent for the sins of our nation.
Now to get to the rest of the story about why Daniel was praying, fasting & repenting. He was seeking understanding of God's will in the circumstances that Israel was in. After he finished hir prayer of repentance, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to him with an answer to his prayer. As we pray, fast & repent, we will see God move powerfully. The quote from Matthew gives us the explanation why.
Jesus had just expelled a demon from a boy after His disciples failed. They asked Jesus why & this was the answer he gave. I remend you of a fact that is well accepted in the Pro-Life movement, abortion & the other parts of the "culture of death" have a spiritual componant that is demonic in origin.
Jesus has made it clear that we need prayer & fasting to win this battle. Repentance, prayer & fasting doesn't change God. Rather, it puts us in a position where God can work powerfully through us.
I've posted about the various calls to prayer leading up to the election. They have included prayers of repentance & calls to fasting as well. Prayer & repentance are important. But we need to fast as well.
Fasting doesn't simple mean going without food for a day, a week or some other period of time. Some people will be called to that, but there are others who, because of health problems like diabetes, cannot do that type of fast. If that is true for you, it doesn't mean you can't do some kind of fasting. You may have a favorite food/snack that you can give up, you can fast from TV or radio. There are many types of fasting that can be done by you. Whatever the fast is, it must be truly a sacrifice.
I've said it before, this country deserves to be chastised because of how far we have drifted from God. Time after time we hear the Old Testament prophets warn the Israelites about what will occur if they didn't repent. He is warning us again today. If we don't repent He will let us bear the fruit of our sins. He chastised the Israelites, not to merely punish, but to purify. He is calling us to be purified so He can have a people that will be witnesses to Him. As we are purified we wll be able to be better witnesses. That message won't always be welcome &, as I have also said before, many of us will (& already are) facing spiritual attacks, persecution & some may even have to die a martyrs death. But if we don't speak out, when the time of chastisement comes we will have to answer for our failures (See Ezekiel 33).
I know that it won't be easy. But if we say yes, surrender to the Holy Spirit & let Him work through us, we will be able to do what God wants, defeat the "culture of death" & build the "Culture of Life".