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Prayer and Fasting for Breakthrough

Prayer and Fasting Rhoda Diehl
Rhoda Faye Diehl teaches on prayer and fasting for breakthrough

Prayer and fasting is a great tool the Lord gives us to achieve breakthrough in those stubborn areas of our lives. Do you feel stuck? Is there one area of your life that just won’t change, no matter how hard you work, believe, and cry out to the Lord?

When the enemy holds ground in one part of our life, it tends to consume most of our thoughts. That one area can cost us emotional health, quality relationships, and even the ability to enjoy life. But we don’t have to put up with it.

It’s time to fight back!

Fasting is God’s secret weapon against the enemy’s strongholds. Jesus even said that some evil spirits cannot be cast out except by prayer and fasting. That should tell us a lot about the power of this weapon—it’s basically God’s nuclear option.

The Jericho Fast guides Christians through a 7-day fast to achieve breakthrough for the stubborn areas of their lives. Minister and author Rhoda Faye Diehl expertly imparts wisdom and biblical truth to help you overcome lies used by the enemy to erect walls in your life.

She personally encourages and ministers to people as they go through the Jericho Fast (see below for details – there is no charge). Rhoda provides strong encouragement and exhortation to help people complete the fast and make it through to their victory.

Are you ready for breakthrough? Are you ready for the walls to come down?


Introduction: A Hard Place

From time to time, in life, we find ourselves stuck. We’ve come upon a hard place—a place that has us trapped. We can’t seem to move forward. There is an area of our life that just won’t change, no matter how hard we try or how much we pray.

Get ready for the walls to come down. This book is your answer. We’re going to learn some kingdom keys on prayer and fasting. We’re going to change the way we think. We will learn how to walk in authority. We will gain strength and courage to move forward.

Just like the Israelites marched around the walls of Jericho for 7 days, we’re going to march around the walls in our life—the ones that won’t move. We will march around them with 7 days of prayer and fasting, and they will fall in Jesus’ name.

The Lord Himself will knock down the walls in front of you. The enemy has tried his best to block you. He wants to keep you out of your promised land. The devil even tries to use these walls as weapons against you. He tells you lies. That you’ll never get free. That it’s over. There’s no point in trying. That the situation is hopeless.

No more!

The Lord is saying, “Through your prayers and your faith, I’m tearing these walls down! No more will the enemy hinder your blessings or stop you from seeing what’s on the other side of this pain. It’s time to charge through the rubble and leave all the troubles behind!”

This is the time to take the city.

It’s time to take authority.

Somebody ought to shout:

The walls are coming down!

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The Jericho Prayer

Heavenly Father, just as You used Joshua to lead the Israelites, Lord, let the Holy Spirit lead us in this time of prayer and fasting.

Give us the instructions for our victory just like You did for Joshua. Equip us, Lord, with power and strength.

Give us the courage to overcome what is standing in front of us. Lead the way.

We know it’s not by our power, but by You and through You, that we will destroy the walls in our life.

Lord, we are standing on Your promises. We believe and trust in You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What You Need to Know Before You Fast

When we fast, we are acknowledging that we need spiritual help. We are humbling ourselves and acknowledging that we cannot solve our own problem. We’re acknowledging that the natural isn’t enough, and that we need to tap into the spiritual.

We’re exercising our faith in God by saying, “Lord, I cannot fix this on my own. I can’t bring down these walls. Nothing good is going to happen unless You move!”

The Bible, as well as Christian history, has much to tell us about prayer and fasting. There are just a few quick things I’d like to note here.

Fasting is a Personal Event

When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you. – Matthew 6:16-18 (NIV)

You Can Fast from Things Besides Food

The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. – 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 (NIV)

Jesus Noted That His Followers Would Fast

They said to him, “John’s disciples often fast and pray, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours go on eating and drinking.” Jesus answered, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast. – Luke 5:33-35 (NIV)

Fasting is a Form of Worship

And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. – Luke 2:36-37 (ESV)

Fasting is Powerful

Moses, Elijah, Ezekiel, and Daniel fasted and prayed. Jesus fasted for forty days. Paul and the early Christians fasted. The early church fasted on Wednesdays and Fridays. Martin Luther was criticized for fasting “too much.” John Calvin fasted and prayed until the greater part of Geneva turned to God. John Knox fasted and prayed, and the wicked Queen Mary of Scotland (aka Bloody Mary) said she feared no armed force as much as she feared the prayers of John Knox.

Jonathan Edwards, who was God’s instrument in a revival known as the Great Awakening, fasted and prayed. He was not known to be an eloquent or powerful speaker, but God would move to save thousands when he preached. He credited this to prayer and fasting.

John Wesley, who also saw thousands respond when he preached, fasted twice a week. Charles Finney, one of the greatest spiritual leaders in history, was a man who fasted and prayed. Evangelist D. L. Moody was another great Christian leader who often fasted and prayed.

Reasons for Prayer and Fasting

There are various reasons to fast and each person’s circumstances will be different. However, the Bible does give us plenty of examples. The biblical accounts often include a specific reason the person or group fasted. Here are a few such examples.

Praying for Health or a Crisis Situation

David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and went into his house and spent the nights lying on the ground. – 2 Samuel 12:16 (BSB)

Praying for Safety and Protection

There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. – Ezra 8:21 (NIV).

As an Act of Repentance

When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the LORD. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the LORD.” – 1 Samuel 7:6 (NIV)

As a Sign of Mourning

They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the LORD and the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. – 2 Samuel 1:12 (NIV)

Before Starting Ministry

Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. – Acts 14:23 (NIV)

Praying for Victory

Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him. – 2 Chronicles 20:3-4 (NIV)

Choosing Your Type of Fast

There are four main types of fasts we can consider. Each one has different aspects, so the choice of fast will largely depend on the circumstances and goals of each individual.

Total Fast

In this type of fast, no food is eaten. There are several examples in the Bible of extended total fasts. Both Jesus and Moses fasted for 40 days, but those examples are miraculous. Outside of the miraculous, total fasts should be limited to three days for most people. Though some people with more experience do choose to fast longer.

Selective Fast

Some people only choose to give up certain foods. There is an example of this in Daniel chapter 10. Daniel says that for three weeks, he ate no “delicacies” or “choice foods.” He also did not eat meat or drink wine during that time. You could give up certain foods, do only a liquid diet (e.g. smoothies, juices), etc. The point is to deny the flesh and devote yourself to prayer, so you can choose to give up some of the things that you know your flesh really wants. Just be sure to think through any medical implications, and consult physicians when appropriate. Use wisdom.

Time of Day Fast (Intermittent Fasting)

Sometimes people choose, during an extended period of time, not to eat during certain hours of the day. For example, the Jews sometimes used to fast during daylight hours on certain days and at certain times of the year.

Soul Fast

Sometimes people give up things like TV, music, or social media when they fast. This is especially helpful when people have medical problems that prevent them from doing food-related fasts. 1 Corinthians 7: 5 describes a married couple mutually agreeing to fast from sexual relations so that they can devote themselves to prayer.

What You Shouldn’t Do When You Fast

There are a few things we should not do in regard to fasting. First, we should never fast to impress others. Also, we shouldn’t allow our fasting to become an undue burden on others. We should consult our spouse and children beforehand and make sure they are willing to walk through this with us. They don’t have to fast with us, but they should understand that it will affect our home environment and our relationships. We’ll be drawing near to God and away from normal activities.

God set up times of feasting and times of fasting in the Bible. He likes and blesses both of these things, so He doesn’t generally want us to miss times of feasting and celebration with our families and communities. The point is, we shouldn’t think we have to make fasting any harder than it already is by choosing to fast during holidays or other such events. There will always be some challenges to fasting, but as an example, we shouldn’t take it on ourselves to fast Thanksgiving or Christmas.

After praying and thinking about it, pick one of the types of fasts to do for the next 7 days. Choose wisely. The more fleshly desires you give up, the more of God’s presence and power that can be released into your life. But you also want to make a commitment that you know you can hold to.

In the story of Joshua, in chapter 2, we see that he first scouted out the land. Joshua didn’t just charge into the city. He wasn’t anxious. He employed wisdom by sending in spies first. Joshua wanted to make sure the walls of Jericho were going to fall. But that result wouldn’t come by being hasty, rash, or foolish. When we fast, we have to think through the kind of commitment we’re making. We don’t want to set ourselves up for failure, but we do want to make a significant commitment.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you start out with a selective fast, you can always take it up a notch later on. So for example, you could start out on day one just fasting meat, bread, and sweets. By day three, as you’re getting closer to God and denying your flesh, you might decide to do liquids only. By day five, you might decide to do the last three days in a total fast.

What you don’t want to do, especially if you have never fasted, is start out overly zealous, decide hastily that you’re going to do a 7 day total fast, and then end up eating on day two.

Ask for Wisdom

So, step one, pray before you fast and ask the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and guidance:

Dear Heavenly Father, I come to You, Lord, with a humble heart and ask You to strengthen me for this battle. Show me what I need to fast, and reveal to me what I need to do before I undertake this time of fasting and prayer. Give me the wisdom and strength to overcome fear of this situation. Go before me and put a hedge of protection over me. Cover me in the blood, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

When you humble yourself in this way, the Lord will give you spiritual eyes and a spiritual outlook. Then you can be aware and alert and awake, like Rahab. She was spared from destruction because she helped hide the spies who had come there from Israel. It was because of her willing spirit and her faithfulness that she was spared. Not only did she make a deal to hide the spies, she followed through. She did her part.

This is just my best guess, but I believe Rahab was already praying to the God of Israel to spare her and her family from the impending judgment on Jericho. When the two spies came through, she believed it was the providential opportunity for which she had been praying, and she began to demonstrate her faith by action.

This is your opportunity. You’ve been asking for a way out of your situation. Stuck for a long time, you’ve asked for change but it hasn’t come yet. God is giving you a way out. He’s offering to rescue you and your family, but you have to make a commitment and then be faithful.

You’re going to do it.

You’re not going to fail this time.

God is going to see you through!

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How God Gave Me This Revelation About Prayer and Fasting

Around 20 years or so ago, I didn’t know a thing about prayer and fasting. I was clueless. Growing up in a Christian home and going to Christian schools, I learned how to pray in a casual way, but that was about it.

Like most of us, I experienced a lot of hurt and rejection growing up. But I didn’t really understand why my life was such a mess. I would sit and have pity parties for myself, and that eventually led to depression. Eventually, that depression became oppression. I looked for answers everywhere but God.

So I made bad decision after bad decision. Those led me to all kinds of dead ends. By the age of 25, I was twice divorced. I also had two kids with two different fathers.

The devil had me thinking this was it—no one was ever going to love me or want me. I started getting very down on myself, and I even started hating my own appearance. The devil had my mind so twisted.

Time went on and these problems, these issues, these mental and emotional strongholds, just kept building. It was like the devil was building a wall in front of me, brick by brick, to trap me. I couldn’t move forward. All I knew how to do was keep living the way I was living. I had gotten used to my lifestyle and eventually just accepted that this was the way things were going to be.

In 2008, my mother got really sick with breast cancer. Prior to that, she had already stood firm in faith and beat the cancer for 10 years. But when it came back, it was very aggressive. The cancer spread into her lungs and even her bones. But she was the true definition of a woman of faith. She never gave up on being healed. My mother would fast and pray like nobody’s business.

She never once complained or got upset with God.

Every morning, she would take her medicine and read her Bible verses. She would say them out loud as she took the medicine. I’d say, “Mom, why do you do that?”

She would respond, “I’m digesting His Word. It’s my spiritual medicine.”

Back then, I still didn’t fully understand the power of prayer. I also was completely unaware that God was working through my mother’s example to teach me some kingdom keys about prayer.

Right before my mother passed away, she talked to me about those kingdom keys. She told me to always put God first, never stop praying, and be a godly mother to my kids.

Now those three things put together may sound like a simple and obvious strategy, but the real key is in executing the plan. Marching around walls for 7 days and then blowing horns at the end—that’s a simple plan. But the Israelites had to go out and execute it. In other words, they had to actually go out and get the job done.

Somehow I started getting these things done after my mother passed on to Heaven. I learned to fast and pray. I would ask God to help me and bless my life, and He began to answer. Jesus came to my rescue, and walls began to fall down all around me.

Walls of hate. Regret. Confusion. Depression. Generational curses. Hurt. Rejection.

They all came crashing down.

Once those walls came down, it opened doors for God to be able to bless me in other ways. God sent me my Boaz—my knight in shining armor. We married, and I thank God for my husband every day. My entire life has been changed from the inside out.

Even though He had already done more than I ever dreamed, God wasn’t finished. All of a sudden my entire life was like Joseph’s moment of going from the pit to the palace. God did some “suddenlies” for me and my family. He even gave me spiritual gifts, and after that He gave me a thriving ministry.

He wants to knock down the walls.

He’s ready.

He’s waiting on you.

Let’s go!

Day One: Getting Started on Your Fast

Okay, so you’re feeling inspired. You’ve got your battle plan. You’re ready to go out in formation. Ready to march. You’re ready to fight for your family. Your future. Your life.

That’s all good, but when you march out, those walls are still standing there. They’re surrounding you. So far, you’ve just been wandering around inside these walls. Looking up at them, wondering how they’re ever going to move.

The longer you stay, the bigger the wall gets. Every day new bricks get added by the enemy. Those bricks have names, and we’re going to call them out right now.

Doubt. Fear. Negative thinking. Generational curses. Suicide. Hate. Anger. Unforgiveness. Depression. Oppression. Addictions. Sickness. Disease. Violence. Rage. Malice. Covetousness. Self-righteousness. Pride. Dishonesty. Discontentment.

Let’s call these out for what they are— lies! When these feel like walls in our lives that we cannot escape from, they are lies. Yes, sin enslaves. The enemy enslaves.

That enslavement is real, but it’s based on a lie. The truth is this: Christ came to give us freedom, and who the Son sets free is free indeed!

The number one thing the enemy loves to do is remind us of our past. He would always be whispering in my ear things like, “You’re not good enough.”

“Nobody wants you.”

“Nobody likes you.”

“You’re never going to amount to anything.”

Boy, it would work too. It was a constant struggle back then.

But when I was feeling beat up and in need of encouragement, the Lord would always remind me of the story of the Walls of Jericho.

This story empowers us to be strong and of good courage. Yes, Joshua is a book that is very old. It’s full of literal battles and wars, but the Book of Joshua is extremely relevant for Christians today.

Get the book on Amazon! Also available on iTunes, Google Play, and!

Everything you just read was an excerpt from the beginning of Rhoda Faye Diehl’s new book, The Jericho Fast: How to Break through Walls with Prayer and Fasting.

Rhoda personally ministers to and encourages people as they go through the Jericho Fast. Just grab the book and head on over to The Jericho Fast official Facebook group now!