pt.3 Fasting and Praying
Lou Engle says he read the classic book “Rees Howells: Intercessor.” (covered in pt1.of this series)
Rees Howell mentions fasting 18 times. On p.136 “He saw that the point of fasting is to bring the body into subjection to the Spirit." Each fast, if carried out under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, means that our bodies become more equipped to carry burdens." “The Lord told him then that the intercession was gained and the fasting could finish, although he himself wanted to complete it.”
In other words he is saying progressive fasting prepares us to pray with success (carry the burdens).
In the Latter Rain movement Franklin Hall believed the Church was hindered in power and answered prayer. His solution was also by fasting for long periods, Christians can receive a powerful anointing to have their prayers answered, would never be sick and would lead certain “overcomers” to full holiness.
How did Jesus say to fast: Mt. 6:16-18 “when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
Jesus instructs to fast secretly, so that God who sees these things in secret will reward you by answering your prayer in His way and in His time. What you do not do is let people know how long you or they intend to fast, such as 40 days. That is considered spiritual bragging to impress others, and you will have your reward. Our decision to fast is personal, between you and God. We cannot use any Old or New Testament passage as a pre-scripted promise in fasting for God to break the sin of a people or save a nation as Engle is teaching.
We see a few examples of fasting by the church. Acts 13:2 -3 states: And as they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.”
Those who fasted were certain prophets and teachers in Antioch. When the leadership fasted they did not enlist the church for participation to gather numbers.
Acts 14:23: And when they had appointed for them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting.” This having to do with their appointment of leadership in the local church.
The early church “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42). Fasting is absent in this list of what they did regularly as they gathered as the church.
Fasting is not required to move the hand of God, nor make demons weaker. Continued prayer and fasting around the clock (24/7) does not alter the spiritual atmosphere, or destroy the demonic strongholds in the culture. The Bible gives no such solution.
In the Old Testament King David also fasted and prayed for seven days that his son by Bathsheba whom he committed adultery with, would be spared (2 Sam.12:15-22), but God did not answer this prayer.
Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for their hypocritical pretenses in the fasts that they observed (Matt. 6:16–18). He did not appoint any fast as part of His teaching (9:14-15; 11:18-19). We do not find long periods of fasting required or expected. The main purpose to fast and to pray, means one is to have more time alone with God to seek His will.
In Judaism no fasting was permitted during the month of Passover. Even on the Day of Atonement[o1] . The Bible does not command fasting. This is a Jewish tradition that came later based on Leviticus 23:29; Num. 29:7: you shall afflict your souls. In their tradition’s there are also commands to feast on certain days, like the 8 days of Channukah.
Unger’s Bible Dictionary states on fasting, “Superstitious ignorance could easily interpret this compulsion into an expression of divine will, and so consider fasting as a religious duty. It was believed that the gods were jealous of the pleasures of men and that abstinence would propitiate their favor. As a result we find that fasting as a religious duty is almost universal.”
The Jewish fasts were observed with various degrees of strictness. When the fast lasted only a single day it was the practice to abstain from food of every kind from evening to evening, whereas in the case of private fasts of a more prolonged character it was merely the ordinary food that was abstained from. To manifest a still profounder humbling of the soul before God is repentance and mortification on account of one’s sin and the punishment with which it had been visited. It was not unusual to put on sackcloth, rend the garments, and scatter ashes over the head (2 Sam. 13:19; 1 Kings 21:27; 1 Macc. 3:47; Lam. 2:10; Jonah 3:5–8). In 1 Sam. 7:6 it is said that Israel “drew water and poured it out before the Lord, and fasted on that day.” To “pour out your heart like water” (Lam. 2:19) seems to denote inward dissolution through pain and misery. In connection with the fast it would be a practical confession of misery and an act of deepest humiliation before the Lord.”
We see Repentance and weeping were often accompanied with fasting for Israel’s heart to turn toward God. Joel 2:12-13.
We see this in Jonah 3:5-6 with the Gentiles, “So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.”
In the Old Testament sackcloth was put on ashes were scattered on the head or the rending of the garments (2 Sam. 13:19; 1 Kin. 21:27; Lam. 2:10; Jonah 3:5-8).
In the book of Acts fasting is spoken of 4 times, 2 we already covered.
Fasting is more often associated with repentance. Paul went without food and water for three days after he saw the glory of Jesus and heard his voice when he was converted “And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank” (Acts 9:9).
Cornelius an unbeliever at the time of his vision was fasting Acts 10:30 “So Cornelius said, “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing.”
In Acts 10:2 he is called a devout man and one who feared God, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. It wasn’t his fast that moved the hand of God but coupled with his desire to know more of God the angel appeared for his direction to have salvation.
We find that none of these passages directly apply to Engle’s use of fasting. Especially his recommending 40 days of fasting for his purposes (which was unique to Jesus). There is no command for believers to fast this long, and there are principles to follow and motivation and objectives are important.
Engle says fasting is “the most powerful weapon and arsenal of the Christian church…. Remember Jesus said that some demons wouldn’t come out except by prayer and fasting.”
This is mentioned twice in two books of the same Matthew 17:21 states: But this kind goes not out save by prayer and fasting” (found in a parallel passage, Mark 9:29, This kind can come out by nothing, save by prayer (eliminating fasting). This is not about exorcising demons in a nation but an individual person. It about a hand’s on ministry to a single person for deliverance. In the latter case it was specifically a deaf and dumb demon, that is why prayer and fasting was the solution, the person could not hear.
Mass prayer rallies with fasting (of 40 days, which is dangerous to one’s health) are said to be the most powerful weapon the church has for manifesting God’s “intercession” on earth. Scripture verse- none.
Engle’s friend Jim Garlow recommends pastors to embrace the 40-day fast being promoted by Engle. Engle has posted 10 points on fasting, he warns in point 1. “Seek medical advice if you are older or have health challenges.” Please read our article on fasting.
We are not to lead people into long fasting. While reading this it may first sound like a good thing, but to expect even young people to fast for 40 days is dangerous, not just for older people. Engle says on the 40th day "Wisdom should be considered when breaking a fast. Too many have reported severe pain, discomfort, cramping and even death when giving themselves over to appetite too quickly. "
breaks a fast is extremely important yet Engle enlists those to participate
with no knowledge on what can take place during it or at the end. The only
one in the Bible who fasted 40 days was Jesus, who was God in the flesh .
This was in preparation for his ministry of 3 years.
Engle himself says, “I’ve done 40 day fasts miserably I've failed in every fast I have done.” (JESUS '16 Lou Engle and the Sisters of Mary https://youtu.be/TOVOOa_9kjo ) time: 1:38:40 to 1:41:00)
He admits that he cheated, “sneaking yogurt and chips… “I think God just loves that we want to fast.” What he does not tell us is which day of his fast he began to eat. Was it his 1st, 3rd, 10th, or 20th.
If Engle cannot complete these long fasts, how does he insist others to participate? He excuses his own fast by speaking of his good intentions, just like liberals do.
However, there is a stark unbiblical militant attitude introduced in his prayer and fasting, spiritual warfare practices that we should all be aware of and even avoid.
For example he says, “The kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force. Such force demands an equal response, and Jesus is going to make war on everything that hinders love, with his eyes blazing fire.” (Lou Engle)
I always heard the kingdom suffers violence from Latter Rain promoters as a good thing, that many push into the kingdom violently. Now it means the church must push back with Jesus, to make war? You never know what will be changed to fit in their agenda. So the church is become militant to push back on what prevents love?
Jesus his eyes blazing fire is found in Rev. 2:18, it is toward the church in Thyatira, not the world. It is in the tribulation that he judges the world and this statement in Rev.19:12 is when he returns. Engle has taken this completely taken out of its context.
This militancy sounds like the same spirit found in James and John that Jesus had to rebuke. Yet Engle tells this story “In 2009, I was going into the woods to fast 40 days on water with three friends. The night before going I dreamed that my belly was being operated on. I awoke with this thought: "Is God desiring to operate on my appetites and make me a Daniel for the shifting of history?" In the middle of that fast a prophetic intercessor emailed me with a dream. In her dream she saw me fasting and lying down asleep. Five angels came into my bedroom, operated on my belly (exactly what I had dreamed), took the book of Daniel, lit it on fire, and sealed it into my belly. The scene changed in the dream and all these young people were coming to me in shirts that said: "The Sons of Thunder."
Setting apart Engle’s dream of self-inflation likening himself to Daniel in the Bible. I also recall him asking God, I’m asking – start the sons of thunder! …I’m asking for a New Breed.”
Being a son of thunder is not a good thing, Jesus rebuked John and James. Surely Engle knows that Paul Cain called Todd Bentley the “new breed.” That did not end well and neither will his ministry empowered by continual dreams. There is a stark contrast of a ministry being word based instead of carried along with dreams using Bible words to justify its activities.
One will notice Engle cannot stay still when he speaks. He is continually rocking forward and back as if he is not in control. Either Engle has a physical condition, or he is trying to look like the Jews praying in the Temple, or at the wailing wall. This religious presentation only adds to the error in his teaching.
Engle’s dominionist mission
Engle has claimed that California is dominated by a “Jezebel spirit.” Hoping is that the Call event could drive the demons out to “heal” San Francisco’s gay population.
Engle’s mix of politics along with his targeted praying are a swing and a miss.
Engle credits a series of dreams and visions with inspiring him to start a house of prayer in Washington D.C and elsewhere. Justice House of Prayer (JHOP) organizers locate their buildings near areas that they see as spiritually significant. "Prayer activists," prayed long hours and fasted to prevent same-sex marriage from being legalized. The Supreme Court Declared Same-Sex Marriage Legal in All 50 States in 2015.
Yet Engle sees his mass prayer and fasting gatherings as the most powerful of spiritual weapons, that will bring power from heaven to remove these sinful practices and those who endorse them.
While we are to pray, it is important for our motivation and attitude to be right. Christians cannot disagree that some of the things Engle addresses are wrong according to the Bible but the point is, how do we resolve these matters that are ingrained in our culture. We can learn from the Christians in first century Rome and ho w they prayed.
Can we to defeat the powers of darkness that he believes are holding California captive, and bring the church to its rightful place of power over the earth? That is called Dominionism, which is a wrong view of the church.
Furthermore, the Bible does not blame all mankind’s sin on demonic powers but on man’s fallen nature (Rom.1). People need to hear the good news so they can abandon the wrong they live and embrace God’s way. Just was we have seen on other holiness type movements prior, the gospel message is diminished and other priorities become the forefront.
Engle tells us about a prophetic dream by “a young man in South Dakota” who saw a man weeping because he was imprisoned by homosexuality, and then “massive praying hands arose over the skyline of San Francisco.” This uncannily sounds like Larry Lea’s vision on nearly the same thing over LA in the early 90’s. As the church raised up their hands in spiritual warfare, he saw hand’s break the darkness over the city. That was nearly 30 years ago and this is being repeated by Engle.
Engle has numerous dreams and also says God wants “The Call Detroit” to pray all night so God can make the Dearborn Muslims dream of Jesus while they sleep (as if that is how they can be saved). Engle purposely picking the date of 11.11.11 for its unifying numbers. Many occultists saw it the same way.
Che Ahn writes, I'm going to be in Nashville, Tennessee at TheCall on 07.07.07. ..
Could this be the time of an awakening for a new generation? I believe so…
Lou Engle, my prophet friend and covenant brother, received this date and vision from the Lord for a July Call in Nashville. On this day of perfect sevens--symbolizing perfect completion and covenant marriage--Lou is calling the body together to fast and pray for revival, generational reconciliation, and an end to abortion through the spirit of worship and love.
Ché Ahn Harvest International Ministries http://www.latterglory.com/The Call.htm
This Kabbalistic view on numbers all being the same has no bearing whatsoever on events, anymore than planets aligning.
Organizer Lou Engle, who initiated The Call in Washington, D.C., in 2000, chose the date -– 7/7/07 -– because seven is the biblical number of covenant. .http://www.bpnews.net/26041/55000-answer-the-call
Where is that written? It considered a number of completion as used in Scripture from Genesis onward.
“Lou has been ordained by the Lord to call a nation and generation together in Nashville on July 7.” Chuck Pierce has also used a Kabbalistic interpretation of dates. Saying “This is a month of night visions and a month of dreams..." framing Kabbalistic saying into an acceptable Christian context. In fact, he mixes Kabbalah with statements frequently.
Engle referred to George W. Bush as “the burning Bush” having dreamt he met the bushes and conversed in a dream, believing it meant that we are to comfort them. In the same article he speaks of Bob Jones speaking of a corporate empowerment is coming to the body of Christ on Pentecost Sunday. I believe this is an eagle type word” (meaning prophetic according to Branham’s teaching). These spiritual words are continually streaming from Engle and those he is in ministry with, imposing his (and their) leadership on the church.
Engle considers his ministry as a modern-day John the Baptist — who heralded the coming of Christ. TheCall served a John the Baptist-type function, while The Send will focus on Jesus (as if that is not supposed to be our focus always).
Garlow at a Call gathering said, “some people say he’s weird. I say ‘thank God, so was John the Baptist and he brought us Jesus.’” Weird may not be the accurate term. I would like to see these men to speak more accurately on these matters, as John introduced Jesus to Israel, not brought him TO US.
Regardless, Lou Engle is no John the Baptist whom lived apart from the people in the wilderness and warned the religious establishment when they came to visit him (Engle is united with the current religious establishment.) His sole mission was to prepare the people for Jesus to be revealed among them and to decrease in his influence. Jesus said the least among us is greater than John today (Mt.11:11), so why did Engle want everyone to become a John the Baptist? Besides the fact that his leading the call has ended, does this mean these John the Baptist types will no longer bring Jesus?