In a few days I will join the other men of Life Ministry Kenya for a 3-day prayer and fasting outing on the outskirts of Nairobi. We are in a 21-day prayer and fasting season as an organization. We love to pray, and especially pray and fast. In the midst of the perpetual demands of our schedules and bodies, prayer and fasting stills both and allows us time to feed our spirits in an uninterrupted manner.
Corporate prayer and fasting is particularly rich, as it allows us all to commune together and spur each other on. The unity of purpose and mind achieved in these seasons helps prepare us for the demands of the year. We typically do these 21 days of prayer and fasting at least once each year.
As a university student, I attended CM2007 in Busan, South Korea, a campus mobilization conference organized by Cru/Campus Crusade for Christ. One of my highlights was interacting with the South Koreans and learning how they pray. I recall hearing about South Korea Campus Crusade director Dr. Joon Gon Kim and later reading about him in Fireseeds from Korea to the World (by Nils Becker, Dr. Kim’s associate). I was inspired and challenged by how Dr. Kim fasted for years for a spiritual revival in his country and how the Lord came through.
When I returned to Kenya, my roommate and I began to devote ourselves to prayer to see God birth a spiritual movement in our campus and beyond. We mobilized other students and began to pray and fast for 40 days at the beginning of each year. One time, at the conclusion of the 40 days, we felt the Lord lead us to add some 21 more days, and so we did. We prayed and fasted for some 61 days. As a result of that, what happened could only be described as “God-incidences.”
I recall one time one of the prayer points was that the Lord would bring to himself the 10 “worst sinners” we knew. We called the strategy “The 10 Most Wanted.” Though we wrote our lists separately, the top name was the same for my roommate and me.
We used to go to the university chapel every morning from 5 a.m., and one morning when we returned to our room, we met the gentleman we had been praying for at our door, wanting to see us. When we sat down together, his first words were, “I want to get saved. Can you help me?” We were elated! This and many similar stories inspired us to pray even more.
We began a prayer movement that brought together university students from at least 5 universities, and we would pray and fast together for 21 days at the beginning of every year. We concluded the 21 days with an all-night prayer vigil and a “Victory March” from one university to the other.
When we graduated from university, I joined the staff of Life Ministry Kenya, and continued mobilizing staff and students to pray.
Today we hold these 21 days of prayer and fasting as well as night-long prayer vigils (called “kesha” in Swahili). Over the years we have also learnt a lot and been inspired by our area leader, Tariku Fufa, who not only teaches prayer and fasting, he does pray and fast. In fact, in all our student ministry meetings in the South East Africa area, it has become standard practice for us to pray and fast.
Prayer and fasting is the engine that drives our ministry as we launch new movements and see converts mature into multiplying disciples.
Personally, prayer and fasting has taught me to trust upon the Lord more, to seek his direction and guidance, to be humble and broken when I witness great things in my life and ministry and to rest in the awareness of his sovereignty, regardless of the situations life brings my way.