(Ricky Scaparo) “Isaiah 58:7 – Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh?”

As we continue our series on Fasting and Prayer through our in depth look at Isaiah Chapter 58, I want to point out a major key to receiving personal breakthrough during this season. That key is found in verse 7. The Lord instructs us to share our bread with the hungry and clothe the Naked during our time of abstaining from food for the purpose of a consecrated fast unto him.

The Bible is filled with instructions and commandments on how believers should minister to the poor and needy and many are not aware of the great blessing that is connected with it. There are many examples in the Old and New Testament of the Lord instructing us to help the poor and needy among us.

Deuteronomy 15:7-8 – “If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs.

Leviticus 19:9-10 – ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the Lord your God.

Matthew 25:35-45 –  For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;  I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’  Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’

As I have stated, one of the keys to breakthrough during this 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting is honoring the poor and needy among you. let’s take a look at some of the promises below that are associated with giving to the poor and needy:

Proverbs 19:17 – He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay back what he has given
Proverbs 22:9 – He who has a generous eye will be blessed, For he gives of his bread to the poor.
Proverbs 28:27 – He who gives to the poor will not lack, But he who hides his eyes will have many curses.

One of the most powerful passages in the bible pertaining to the lord’s blessings on honoring the poor and needy s found in Psalm Chapter 41. It reveals five blessings for this act of obedience.

Psalm 41:1-3 –  Blessed is he who considers the poor;
1- The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.
2- The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive,
3- And he will be blessed on the earth;
4- You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.
5- The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed.

As you can see there is such a blessing connected with helping the poor and needy and the Bible is filled with precious promises for doing such, However the Lord specifically instructs us to do so during a time of fasting. I will talk more in detail in our next blog about the latter portion of this verse which says “And not hide yourself from your own flesh

Remember, During this season of Prayer and Fasting be sure not to forget the poor and needy among you. Look for opportunities to help feed and clothe them. There are many organizations that specialize in this area that are available and are legit. Find a place you can volunteer to give food, hand out clothes or give. Remember your Heavenly Father who sees in secret will reward you “Openly”!