I often remind our brothers and sisters in Vietnam that the Word of God is our spiritual food and prayer is like breathing. Without physical food we may be able to survive for over a month, but without air we would only last for five minutes. In the same way, fasting and praying is an absolute necessity to our spiritual functioning and existence. This is why we in the house church movement put much emphasis on this and make it top priority when considering our activities. Experience has proven that the church can function and focus on all kinds of good activities, but without prayer we only get very small results or even none at all. When we cover all of our outreach activities with prayer, we have seen the hand of the Lord working and the results are consistently far beyond our imagination.
When God's people spend time and sacrifice in fasting and praying, God's Spirit moves mightily. For example, the Lord blessed one of our committed prayer warriors with more than 800 new members during the last nine months of 2010. This lay pastor told me, “This is what God’s Spirit does when we pray. It would be impossible for me to bring that many people to the Lord!” Another lay pastor has established twenty-two new groups during the past year. In another region, one thousand people were preparing for baptism during the last six months of 2010. It is no exaggeration to say that thousands have and continue to come to the Lord in Vietnam in answer to prayer.
Since the inception of this work, we have stressed again and again that we must depend on the Lord alone. As a result, we go to the Lord with all our needs and take fasting and praying very seriously. Every Thursday, the house-church leaders and members fast and pray for the salvation of the eighty-six million people in Vietnam. Each quarter (in some districts each month) they spend three days and nights in fasting and prayer and once a year, they fast for five days. All are encouraged to spend at least an hour a day in prayer.
When Jesus ascended to heaven, He did not leave behind cash for His disciples to start a new ministry or movement. He only left them with the promise of the Holy Spirit and they were instructed to "wait" to receive this promise. The disciples actually spent time in united prayer and the result was--the church. The way we do ministry today often depends too much on human power and financial ability. In fact, it is often the case that where there is no money, there is no ministry. I encourage you, your family and ministry to consider prayer and fasting as a regular part of your spiritual walk so that no matter what your situation, you can live in trust that God will supply and bless you. May the Lord bless each one of you who reads this article. Keep in mind that we cannot learn to swim by theory. We cannot learn to play the piano by watching someone else. We must actually jump into the water and strike the piano keys. We, both personally and corporately, MUST spend time in fasting and prayer in order to experience God’s power.