Transitioning Out of Fasting and Prayer with Purpose
Progressions of Fasting – Part 4
If one is new at this prayer-paired-with-fasting-thing, how can one make sure he or she comes out of it well? Come out of it with success? Come out of it with victory? Come out of it transformed? If you’ll recall, we’ve been using the example of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. First, the Caterpillar lives and operates as this worm-like insect which eats vegetation and crawls along the ground. At some point in its lifecycle, this insect decides that it is time for a transformation. Therefore, it finds a location (progression #1), makes, climbs into, and seals its cocoon (progression #2), and then it emerges from this cocoon totally different (progression #3).
As I think about this lifecycle of the caterpillar, it reminds me of Noah who took his family aboard the ark that God asked him to build. The ark was used to protect his family and save his family from the destruction of the flood that was lying in his path. It says that “the boat came to rest.”  When it stopped raining and after the water started to recede, something happened when the boat came to rest. Noah found himself in a different state. His time in his cocoon, the boat, the ark, was coming to an end.
Be Cautious of the Environment
At this point, he has to do a few things because the environment, the landscape has shifted. Things as he had known them have changed. He went in one way and what was around him had changed. He was faced with becoming acclimated to the new environment that he found himself in. Just like that butterfly, the acclimating process begins. So Noah had to check out his environment. As we think of coming out of our exercise of prayer paired with fasting, we need to be cautious of the environment we find ourselves in, just like that caterpillar emerged from the cocoon as a butterfly. The way the butterfly responds to the environment is much different than how the caterpillar responds to the environment. The dangers that the caterpillar faced are the same danger that the butterfly will face. The challenges won’t be the same either. In the same way, you before fasting won’t have the same dangers or challenges as you after fasting.
The caterpillar was a crawler, but the butterfly has wings to fly. The point of view and perspective of the landscape is different for a butterfly when compared to a caterpillar. That’s what happens in the exercise of prayer paired with fasting, one perspective is altered and changed. He or she is no longer the same. The scripture says it this way “If any man is in Christ, he or she becomes a new creation. The old passes away and behold, there’s newness.”  Something new has emerged, so to speak. That’s the metamorphosis process in action. Out of progression-3 of prayer paired with fasting something new should arrive. You should look at your environment as totally different. Let me get back on track.
Transform How You Think
It’s time for you to change your thinking. While you’ve been in that cocoon you’ve had time to process things differently. You’ve had time to think differently. You’ve had time to actually connect with God. You have had time to allow your spirit to connect with God and transform how you think. You see up until this moment, your thoughts, desires, dreams, and things you wish to accomplish may have been on the back burner, but now you have some help to do these things. You come out of the cocoon energized, ready, and even equipped to do the things you’ve been dreaming of doing. Your thinking has shifted; that’s the purpose of going on this journey of prayer paired with fasting. While you were in the cocoon, you were able to pray, communicate with God, and get a sense of what you should be doing, how you should be growing, what His mission is for you, and getting your spiritual downloads, so to speak. When you emerge from the cocoon, you will know what steps to take, and which direction you should go. In the cocoon, God has given you dreams, visions, goals. Therefore, it’s time for you to write them down and to get moving. You don’t get to operate like a caterpillar anymore once you become a butterfly. Once you go into your exercise of prayer paired up with fasting, you don’t get to come out the same way you went in. In other words, when you come out of the exercise of prayer paired with fasting your life and everything that makes up your life can go to the next level. That Caterpillar was fine while he was a caterpillar. There’s nothing wrong with being a caterpillar, but if you have an option to become a butterfly, why wouldn’t you?
Why become something new? This gives you the ability to travel greater distances. The butterfly can now soar high. Its appearance is different and it takes on a new beauty. It used to be on the ground now he’s in the air. That’s what fasting does for you. You’re going to add fasting to prayer so that you can travel greater distances. You combine fasting with prayer so your results can intensify, so you can grow, and so that you can go further, faster. That’s what happened to the caterpillar that emerged from its cocoon as a butterfly.
Emerge to Your New Environment
There’s a new environment waiting for you when you pair fasting with praying. There is a new horizon that awaits you. When you come out of that cocoon, you’re emerging… If you remember that inside the ark where Noah was, they were confined. They were probably tired of seeing the same old walls and animals every day. However upon emerging, when they came out, they got to resurrect the environment around them. In other words, they got to give it its own new start. The world became Noah’s and his family. Everything that the world had to offer belonged to Noah and his family. In fact, one of the things that God said to Noah when he stepped out of that boat is that “I’m going to give you these instructions. He says to him as the Earth remains there are two principles that you can work, seedtime and harvest.”  If you plant, you will reap. Whatever you want to see grow, stick it in the ground. He’s given him a new way to operate it. He wasn’t used to being able to control every facet of his life until he got into the cocoon and emerged with unlimited potential and ability. That’s why we pair prayer with fasting. It takes us to the next level!
When we pair prayer and fasting, which Pamela and I do occasionally for 21 days, week #1 allows us to get ourselves ready to go into the cocoon. Week #2, we get into the cocoon and isolate ourselves to minimalistic activities which means we reduce the amount of noise that’s around us and the things that we eat. In week #2 is when we have had a spiritual connection with God, where he’s given us new insight. Lastly, week #3 is the week we record what God has been speaking to us so that we can put those actions into place and create a plan on how we’re going to operate when we come out of this fast. We’ve decided we can’t go back the same way we came in. That’s where most people fail at this exercise. Our goal is to become a butterfly. Therefore, we’re not going to live the exact same way. We’re not going to operate the way we used to operate. We’re not going to talk the way we used to talk. We’re not going to spend our resources the way we used to spend. We’re not going to love the way we used to love. We’re not going to have the same attitude that we had prior to going in. We’re going to come out better off than how we went in. Week #3 is all about making the arrangements and plans, then praying over how we’re going to emerge on this day. We’ve decided that we’re going in one way, but we’re coming out in a different way. That’s how we take prayer, especially prayer and fasting, to the next level.
Question: What can you put in place to make sure that when you emerge from your time of prayer and fasting that your life is made better?
 Genesis 8:4 NLT, Bible.com, accessed July 14, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/GEN.8.4.NLT
 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT, Bible.com, accessed July 14, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/2CO.5.17.NLT
 Genesis 8:22 NKJV, Bible.com, accessed July 14, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/114/GEN.8.22.NKJV
All Scripture references used by permission, see our Scripture copyrights.