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Fasting & Prayer

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Fasting & Prayer; A compilation from the works of Ellen G. White


How to Handle Your Problems

"Pray is the answer to every problem in life. It puts us in tune with divine wisdom which knows how to adjust everything perfectly. So often we do not pray in certain situations, because from our stand point the outlook is hopeless. But nothing is impossible with God. Nothing is so-entangled that it cannot be remedied; no human relationship is too strained for God to bring about reconciliation and understanding; No habit so deep rooted that it cannot be overcome; no one is so weak that he cannot be strong; no one is so ill that he cannot be healed. No mind is so dull that it cannot be made brilliant. Whatever we need, if we trust God. He will supply it. If anything is causing worry and anxiety, let us stop rehearsing the difficulty and trust God for healing, love and power."

But only with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26
Ellen G. White
Review and Herald October 7, 1865 

My brethren, be not satisfied with a superficial knowledge of truth, with a surface view of the law of God. Dig deep in the Scriptures of truth, and with an understanding enlightened by the Holy Spirit, dwell upon the holy requirements of the law of Jehovah, until you can reveal to the people their spiritual and eternal character. Your researches have not been deep enough. You need the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to aid you to search into the truth with reverence and awe, bringing your mind to the task with intense desire, that will not be quenched until you see wondrous things out of the law. Dig deep into the mine of truth, and be not satisfied until you have a more perfect comprehension as to what constitutes the strength of the law of God. You need to search and search, and to weep and fast and pray, in order that you may have revealed unto you such a view of the law of God that you will be fitted to go forth and watch for souls as they that must give an account.

The Signs of the Times 10-02-93 

Sensing the need of immediate help from God, the General Conference Committee appointed a four-day season of fasting and prayer, beginning Wednesday, May 9, and continuing to the close of the following Sabbath. Meetings were to be free from discussions, and characterized by humiliation, fasting, and prayer on the part of the church. Business was to be suspended; the members of each church would meet at one o'clock each weekday, and both morning and afternoon on Sabbath. The following counsel was given concerning the fast:

During these days of prayer we recommend on the part of all a very abstemious and simple diet, Daniel 10:3; while some may more or less abstain from food as their health may permit, or their feelings prompt.

The hours were to be spent in meditation, heart searching, and prayer. . . .

Ellen G. White Volume 2 The Progressive Years 1862-1876, p. 134
The Agonizing Year of Captivity

Daniel 10:3 "I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled." 

The Need of Earnest Effort

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 02-11-04

Now and onward till the close of time the people of God should be more earnest, more wide-awake, not trusting in their own wisdom, but in the wisdom of their Leader. They should set aside days for fasting and prayer. Entire abstinence from food may not be required, but they should eat sparingly of the most simple food. No one should lift up his soul unto vanity, walking in pride and self-indulgence. We are living in a time that demands genuine humiliation and most earnest prayer. We are nearing the most important crisis that has ever come upon the world. If we are not wide-awake and watching, it will find us unprepared.

For certain things fasting and prayer are recommended and appropriate. In the hand of God they are a means of cleansing the heart and promoting a receptive frame of mind. We obtain answers to our prayers because we humble our souls before God. If our appetites clamor for the flesh of dead animals, it is a necessity to fast and pray for the Lord to give His grace to deny fleshly lusts which war against the soul.

Medical Ministry, p. 283 

The religion of the Bible is not detrimental to the health of the body or of the mind. The influence of the Spirit of God is the very best medicine that can be received by a sick man or woman. Heaven is all health, and the more deeply the heavenly influences are realized the more sure will be the recovery of the believing invalid. . . . It is true that there are persons with ill-balanced minds who imagine themselves to be very religious and who impose upon themselves fasting and prayer to the injury of their health. These souls suffer themselves to be deceived. God has not required this of them. They have a pharisaical righteousness, which springs, not from Christ, but from themselves. They trust to their own good works for salvation and are seeking to buy heaven by meritorious works of their own instead of relying, as every sinner should, alone upon the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Christ and true godliness, today and forever, will be health to the body and strength to the soul.

Testimonies for the Church Volume Three, p. 172 

Candid Investigation Necessary to an Understanding of the Truth

The Signs of the Times


There are men among us who profess to understand the truth for these last days, but who will not calmly investigate advanced truth. They are determined to make no advance beyond the stakes which they have set, and will not listen to those who, they say, do not stand by the old landmarks. They are so self-sufficient that they cannot be reasoned with. They consider it a virtue to be at variance with their brethren, and close the door, that light shall not find an entrance to the people of God. It will require heavenly wisdom to know how to deal with such cases. Light will come to God's people, and those who have sought to close the door will either repent or be removed out of the way. The time has come when a new impetus must be given to the work. There are terrible scenes before us, and Satan is seeking to keep from our knowledge the very things that God would have us know. God has messengers and messages for his people. If ideas are presented that differ in some points from our former doctrines, we must not condemn them without diligent search of the Bible to see if they are true. We must fast and pray and search the Scriptures as did the noble Bereans, to see if these things are so. We must accept every ray of light that comes to us. Through earnest prayer and diligent study of God's word, dark things will be made plain to the understanding.

The spirit of true fasting and prayer is the spirit which yields mind, heart, and will to God.-

Manuscript Releases Volume Three, p. 324 

When the time shall come, in the providence of God, for the world to be tested upon the truth for that time, minds will be exercised by His Spirit to search the Scriptures, even with fasting and with prayer, until link after link is searched out, and united in a perfect chain. . . .

Difficult points of present truth have been reached by the earnest efforts of a few who were devoted to the work. Fasting and fervent prayer to God have moved the Lord to unlock His treasuries of truth to their understanding. . . .

For certain things, fasting and prayer are recommended and appropriate. In the hand of God they are a means of cleansing the heart and promoting a receptive frame of mind. We obtain answers to our prayers because we humble our souls before God.

It is in the order of God that those who bear responsibilities should often meet together to counsel with one another and to pray earnestly for that wisdom which He alone can impart. Unitedly make known your troubles to God. Talk less; much precious time is lost in talk that brings no light. Let brethren unite in fasting and prayer for the wisdom that God has promised to supply liberally.

Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 187 

We are to be doers of the words of Christ; THEN our fasts and prayers will be effectual in bringing upon the church the Holy Spirit. Let there be decided work done to answer the prayer of Christ, that his disciples should be one as he is one with the Father. . . .
Advent Review and Sabbath Herald

Brotherly Love Needed

God will arouse His people; if other means fail, heresies will come in among them, which will sift them, separating the chaff from the wheat. The Lord calls upon all who believe His word to awake out of sleep. Precious light has come, appropriate for this time. It is Bible truth, showing the perils that are right upon us. This light should lead us to a diligent study of the Scriptures and a most critical examination of the positions which we hold. God would have all the bearings and positions of truth thoroughly and perseveringly searched, with prayer and fasting. Believers are not to rest in suppositions and illdefined ideas of what constitutes truth. Their faith must be firmly founded upon the word of God so that when the testing time shall come and they are brought before councils to answer for their faith they may be able to give a reason for the hope that is in them, with meekness and fear.

Testimonies for the Church Volume Five, p. 707

The Mysteries of the Bible a Proof of its Inspiration

How to Meet a Controverted Point of Doctrine

Selected Messages Book 1, p. 413

This scripture applies to those who live under the sound of the message, but who will not come to hear it. . . . All self-sufficiency, egotism, and pride of opinion must be put away. We must come to the feet of Jesus, and learn of Him who is meek and lowly of heart. Jesus did not teach His disciples as the rabbis taught theirs. Many of the Jews came and listened as Christ revealed the mysteries of salvation, but they came not to learn; they came to criticize, to catch Him in some inconsistency, that they might have something with which to prejudice the people. They were content with their knowledge, but the children of God must know the voice of the True Shepherd. Is not this a time when it would be highly proper to fast and pray before God? We are in danger of variance, in danger of taking sides on a controverted point; and should we not seek God in earnestness, with humiliation of soul, that we may know what is truth?

The Holy Spirit is grieved and driven away by the self-sufficiency and rude traits of character which are cherished. These unhallowed elements must be burned out by the Spirit of God. In dealing with our brethren, we must remember that they are children of God, and that he will teach one of his faithful workers as readily as he will teach another. There is no respect of persons with him. He would not have any man receive the idea that God will teach him only, and that all must come to his light. Brethren, go to Jesus, fast and pray, and wrestle with God. Let every one know for himself what the will of the Lord is; then he will not move blindly.

Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald


Need of Earnestness in the Cause of God

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald


The truth should be woven into our life, that it may influence our spirit and govern our actions. . . . His words must become a part of our very life; then we shall offer fervent, effectual prayers with that faith which will bring returns. . . . When they see in themselves sins and wrongs that must be confessed and renounced, they must exercise faith that when they repent of their sins, God forgives; that renovating power is given to the soul. By faith, living faith, the victory will be gained. In this work there should be no indolence indulged in, for God calls upon men for the exercise of every power, that he may work with their efforts. Man can never be saved himself, or be an instrument for the salvation of others, until he exercises living faith, and with determined effort acts his part in the work of God. He must take hold upon the strength of Christ, which will subdue every unholy passion, and enable him to conquer self. . . .

God's people are rising, said the angel, never to fall again. Be careful, said the angel, lest the branches be cut off and others are raised up in their stead. I saw that some would bear fruit and work to the glory of God. I saw we must keep close to Jesus and fast and pray if we could not get the victory over the powers of darkness. . . .

Manuscript Releases Volume Five, p. 201

The Formative Years of the Church

I then saw . . . that Jesus' work was almost finished in the sanctuary, and that we must work while the day lasts, and when Satan comes up with his power to oppress us we must have faith in God and beat him back, and if we could not get the victory we should fast and pray and we should surely get the victory and triumph over Satan.

Manuscript Releases Volume Six, p. 250

God has a work to do in our world that many finite minds do not see or understand, and when God unfolds truth to His people, and it does not come in harmony with their ideas, many are ready to despise and reject it. I entreat you, brethren, reverence your Bible. Plead with God for light. Fast and pray in your closet upon your knees. Ask God to lead you into all truth. Tell Him that you want the truth as it is in Jesus. . . . The Scriptures must be your study, then you will know that you have the truth. Open your heart that God might write the truth upon its tablets.

The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials , p. 170 

Putting Away Sin

Selected Messages Book 2, p. 379

Let the sin of pride be put away, let all superfluities of dress be overcome, and repentance toward God be exercised for the highhanded robbery toward Him which has withheld money which should flow into the treasury to sustain the work of God in its mission fields. Let the work of reformation, of true conversion, be set before and urged upon the people. Let our works, our deportment, correspond with the work for this time, that we may say, "Follow me as I follow Christ." Let us humble our souls before God by humiliation, fasting and prayer, repentance of sin and putting it away.


Family Religion

Spiritual Gifts. Volume 4B, p. 103

When poor souls have been fascinated with the eloquent words of the teachers of Spiritualism, and they have yielded to its influence, and afterward found out its deadly character, and would renounce and flee from it, some cannot. Satan holds them by his power, and he is not willing to let them go free. He knows that they are surely his while he has them under his special control. But if they once free themselves from his power, he can never bring them again to believe in Spiritualism, and so directly under his control. The only way for such poor souls to overcome Satan, is to discern between pure Bible truth and fables. As they acknowledge the claims of truth, they place themselves where they can be helped. They should entreat those who are experienced, and have faith, to plead with the mighty Deliverer in their behalf. It will be a close conflict. Satan will reinforce his evil angels who have controlled the individuals; but if the saints of God with deep humility fast and pray, their prayers will prevail. Jesus will commission holy angels to resist Satan, and he will be driven back, and his power broken from off the afflicted ones. Mark 9:29. "And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting."

Mark 9:28- 29 "And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, 'Why could not we cast him out?' And he said unto them, 'This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.'"

In such cases of affliction, where Satan has control of the mind, before engaging in prayer there should be the closest self-examination to discover if there are not sins which need to be repented of, confessed, and forsaken. Deep humility of soul before God is necessary, and firm, humble reliance upon the merits of the blood of Christ alone. Fasting and prayer will accomplish nothing while the heart is estranged from God by a wrong course of action. Read Isaiah 58:6, 7, 9-11.

Counsels on Health

The Christian Physician, p. 377

Isaiah 58:6, 7, 9-11. "Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

"THEN shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not."

Jesus had conferred upon his disciples the power to work miracles of healing; but their failure in this case, before so many witnesses, had deeply mortified them....They had not fitted themselves for their holy office by fasting and prayer. It was impossible for them to vanquish Satan except as they received power from God; they should go to him in humiliation and self-sacrifice and plead for strength to conquer the enemy of souls. NOTHING but entire dependence upon God, and perfect consecration to the work, would insure their success. Jesus encouraged his disappointed followers in these words: "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."

The Spirit of Prophecy Volume Two, p. 335 

If they cannot settle such things among themselves by prayer and fasting, then let them continue [in] fasting and prayer till they can.

Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce.

Counsels to Church Administrators, p. 234 

"Pray Without Ceasing"

The Signs of the Times11-29-83

A precious lesson is this for all Christians. Whenever we are brought into positions of difficulty or danger, even when surrounded by those who love and fear not God, the heart may send up its cry for help, and there is One who has promised that he will come to our aid. This is the kind of prayer that Christ meant when he said, "Pray without ceasing." We are not to make ejaculatory prayer a substitute for public or family worship, or for secret devotion; but it is a blessed resource, at our command under circumstances when other forms of prayer may be impossible. Toilers in the busy marts of trade, crowded and almost overwhelmed with financial perplexities, travelers by sea and land, when threatened by some great danger, can thus commit themselves to divine guidance and protection. And in every circumstance a condition of life, the soul weighed down with grief or care, or assailed by temptation, may thus find comfort, support, and succor in the unfailing love and power of a covenant- keeping God."

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