Over the years I have seen that fasting can increase the effectiveness of prayer. For years I regularly fasted one day a week. Bill has fasted on hundreds of occasions, including two forty-day fasts. God has honored those times in amazing ways.
I have not always been able to join Bill in fasting, nor has God led me to, but I’ve always wanted to be sensitive to what God might say or reveal to Bill, as well as be an encouragement to him. I never want to stand in the way of something God has called my husband to do. While I don’t need to fast with Bill to support him, my attitude and my sensitivity to his needs enables him to keep his commitment to fast.
In July of 1995 Bill asked me what I wanted for my birthday. Months before I had concluded that I wanted to spend my birthday with my husband in fasting and prayer. When I related this to Bill he was very pleased, though, I think, surprised.
On the day before my birthday a small package appeared at our front door. It contained a small vial of oil and an unsigned note explaining that the gift-giver’s pastor had prayed over this oil, trusting that the use of it would bless our lives, health, and spiritual well-being. We wondered what we were to do with the oil. Secretly, I wondered if God had provided for our time with Him the next day.
My birthday was on Sunday. So immediately after church we began to listen to a compact disc I had received as a gift. It’s called The Breath of God and offers 700 scriptural promises recorded on a musical background. As we listened and worshiped, prayed, and talked together, we were spiritually uplifted.
We also were praying and fasting about our upcoming staff training. We wanted God to prepare our hearts and the hearts of the entire staff for what He had in store. As we prayed, God led us to share some personal concerns with each other. I became convicted that my perfectionism, which I’d excused as minor, had developed into a critical spirit, and God considered it a major problem. We also realized we had become careless about pleasing each other. We both began to weep and genuinely repent over the things God was revealing. This led us to a renewal of a contract to become slaves of Christ, which we had prayerfully signed before God 45 years before.
Late in the day we were suddenly reminded of the oil. Almost at the same moment we suggested we anoint each other with it. Sound fanatical? Years ago, maybe, but for us, right then, it was so right. We made a new commitment to each other and to the Lord. If we had not set aside the day for fasting and prayer, we may never have experienced the gift that God had in store for us.
The above testimony is one of several that can be found in the book Promises, Promises (which is no longer being published), compiled by Denalyn Lucado. This book actually was written by 12 authors —all of them are the wives of prominent Christian leaders. The above testimony was written by Vonette Bright, the wife of Bill Bright from Campus Crusade for Christ. The above article was just a portion of what she had to say concerning the bond she and her husband had as a result of prayer, fasting, and learning to live with each other in an understanding way.