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Contributing Authors:
Alison Bowling A.Bowling@utas.edu.au, Lucy Deliganis deliganis@worldnet.att.net, Paul Gaskin gaskinp@messages.co.uk, Teresa Seputis ts@godspeak.net
EDITOR:Alison Bowling

Prayer Resources

Lesson 3

By Lucy Deliganis

Book Review

The Hidden Power of Prayer and Fasting

By Mahesh Chavda

After being encouraged by an intercessor friend at church to read this book, I was so glad that I did. Mahesh Chavda has written an encouraging and Biblically sound book on the power of prayer and fasting. (The ISBN is 0-7684-2017-2.)

Mahesh Chavda is the founder and senior pastor of All Nations Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. He and his wife, Bonnie, have led more than 100,000 people to Christ around the world. They also oversee the "Watch of the Lord" prayer movement and conduct training conferences that teach Christians to do the works of Jesus and to move in the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Mahesh begins the book by giving a powerful example of the power of prayer and fasting. Many years ago, Mahesh worked at a state hospital for the mentally handicapped in Lubbock, Texas. He tells the story of a mentally retarded boy of 16 named "Stevie". Stevie not only had the handicap of mental retardation, but he also hurt himself by crying out and beating himself in the face constantly. Despite all the medical treatment at the hospital, Stevie continued to get worse and worse. Mahesh shares that Stevie could sense God's love coming from him because Stevie would put his head on Mahesh's shoulder and cry.

Mahesh began to ask the Lord what His answer was for Stevie. God spoke clearly to Mahesh saying, "This kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting". Mahesh immediately recognized God had replied by giving Matthew 17:21.

So Mahesh responded to the voice of the Holy Spirit and began fasting and praying for Stevie. On the 14th day, the Lord told Mahesh to go pray for Stevie.

Mahesh asked Stevie to come into his small office. He then prayed a prayer of authority in Jesus' Name. Stevie was instantly delivered of an evil spirit. From that point on, Stevie never hurt himself again on purpose. All the wounds on his face healed over the next few months. What an awesome story!! In the decades that have passed since, God took that revelation truth about fasting and prayer that Mahesh received through Stevie's deliverance and made it a foundation stone in his life and ministry in Christ.

Mahesh points us to Jesus as our ultimate role model. In John 14:12, Jesus shows us the Father's heart saying, "the works that I do, you will do also; and greater works than these you will do, because I go to My Father". The point being made here is that since Jesus is our model and we have been appointed to do the same works as He did, we need to look in scripture to see what He has for us.

Mahesh shares that Luke, Chapter 4, reveals the first work of Jesus. Jesus was filled with the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

"Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for 40 days by the devil. And in those days, He ate nothing, and afterward, when they ended, He was hungry" (Luke 4:1-2).

Mahesh states here (page 19), that "Jesus was hungry, but it says nothing about Him being thirsty. So, Jesus fasted for 40 days, drinking only water".

There is an important phrase here that Mahesh wants us to notice - "being filled with the Holy Spirit". Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit before He was sent by the Spirit to the wilderness and tempted for 40 days.

At the end of the 40 days, Jesus had totally defeated Satan and Luke 4:14 states, "Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out throughout the surrounding regions".

Jesus came out of that experience in the wilderness in the power of the Spirit. Mahesh shares in his book that there is a difference between being filled with the Spirit and operating in the power of the Spirit.

He shares on page 21 that "being filled with the Spirit does not make you ready to move in the fullness of your calling in power. We need to submit to the discipline of the Holy Spirit and during this time God will disciple us in the crucial works of prayer, fasting, and the skilful use of His word as a weapon. Then we will go forth in the power of the Spirit".

There is so much of the Lord's grace in this book. Mahesh points out that you do not have to go on long fasts to receive the benefits of fasting and spiritual warfare. He also believes that everyone is not called to do what God demands of certain leaders who are ordained to teach great truths (page 23).

In other chapters of this book, Mahesh shares with great detail the importance of prayer, stating on page 139, "Jesus was a man of prayer before anything else. Every response He made to the people around Him was solely at the direction from the Father in prayer".

For those of you who desire some really good teaching and encouragement on the subject of prayer and fasting, this is a great book to read. I could hardly put it down. I know it has encouraged me to make fasting along with prayer a greater part of my Christian walk.

-- © GodSpeak International 2000 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

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