Wednesday, 22 March 2023

Believers' Prayer Meeting with The Saint | R 16 W 1 D 3.

Welcome to The Upper Room. So glad you made it.

We continue with our meditations in The Book of Daniel. We are on verses 2 and 3 of Chapter 10, The Daniel Fast. It reads,

"In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled."

We continue with our meditations and discussion on "A Fasted Life" as compared with "Intermittent Fasting," as we dissect Isaiah 58. We move to verse 6. It reads,

“Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?"

To let the oppressed go free:

I guess the first place to start is to ask, "who are the oppressed?" What does it mean to be oppressed? I guess one who have either been oppressed before or is being oppressed needs no definitions, but for the sake of clarity, let us dig into it.

According to Wikipedia, "Oppression is malicious or unjust treatment or exercise of power, often under the guise of governmental authority or cultural opprobrium. It is related to regimentation, class society and punishment. Oppression may be overt or covert, depending on how it is practiced."

A prayer known as the "Prayer of the Oppressed," reads thus, "O God, I place before You my weakness, my helplessness and the little esteem that people have of me. O Most Merciful God, You are Lord of the Oppressed and You are my Lord. Into whose hands will You entrust me?"

Words used for oppression in various translations include, “exploit” (CEB), “take advantage” (ERV), or “mistreat” (CEV). It is to govern or administer people in an unfair and cruel way and prevent them from having opportunities and freedom.

The first scripture that comes to mind for me is John 10:10. Jesus describes the oppressor the devil. He comes to steal our freedom and opportunities. When he gains a foothold in stealing from us, he progresses to killing us wiith and from the vantage point of oppression.

The ultimate aim of the oppress is to destroy us, and he does not stop until we are useless to ourselves and others. So, in effect, he steals from us, kills us spiritually, psychologically, emotionally and physically. The culmination of all these being a destruction of who we are and represent.

Jesus did not end there. He tells us, that which the first Adam lost, the second and last Adam came to restore and exceed. He tells us, in the same John 10:10, "he came to give us life (free of oppression) and not just free of oppression, but liberties and freedoms beyond our widest dreams.

"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." (Acts 10:38) That is what we receive when we fast. We come to a place of oneness with the Godhead to effect a release from the oppression of the enemy.

Oppression can come in various forms - spiritual (possesion), psychological (mental deprecation) and physical (sickness and or disease). Fasting is poises to address everyone of these. Jesus emphasizes this persepctive in Matthew 17:21 (Mark 9:29), as he taught the disciples the effect of fasting to prayers.

Sometimes mere asking does nto effect that which we desire. So we take it up a notch to seeking (supplicating). That is what we see Daniel doing here in our text. we see David doing same as He sought for the life of his son (borne out of adultery).  

Mere praying could be termed as casual. Adding fasting to it ups the game. It increases the focus, intensity and ernestness of the request. The effectual fervent (heartfelt, ernest) prayer of a righteous man availeth much. [James 5:16]

The Saint.

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