Please read the following verses and see if you find what the Holy Spirit brought to light in my heart one day. I had read this story over and again for years before the Lord illuminated a powerful truth herein.
“And 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, And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.”
If you read the rest of the story of Cornelius, which I encourage you to do in Acts 10, you will see how the Lord used the apostle Peter to bring the salvation message of the Lord Jesus Christ to Cornelius and his kin. But what happens before the remarkable story unfolds is where this message lies. Apparently Cornelius was fasting and praying until the 9th hour before the Lord responded to Cornelius’ cries to him.
Friend, the Lord had an exact time He would respond to Cornelius’ prayer and fasting, and that time was chosen by God. And that time did not come at the beginning. If you’re anything like I am, I start praying to the Lord and seeking Him about something only to become disheartened, discouraged, frustrated, impatient, distracted, hurt, angry, afraid, etc. when I don’t receive His response as soon as I would like or think I should. But the Lord in His perfect wisdom, perfect will, perfect sovereignty, perfect holiness, perfect righteousness, perfect plans, perfect love, perfect mercy, perfect purpose, and perfect timing responds to prayer how He as Lord, King, Savior, Father, and master sees fit.
Let’s not give up before the “9th hour” when we pray to the Lord. And, as for fasting, the Lord is perfectly clear in the Bible that He does call His children to fast. So let us pray, and let us fast as well when He so leads us, and let us endure until He responds to our prayers according to His perfect will and timing for His amazing glory, AMEN!