1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor. --Isaiah 61:1-4
Jesus read these words in the synagogue in his home town. They are certainly words of "the anointed one". They are our promises as well. I would like to focus on the words in verse three today. "A garment of praise instead of despair."
As you approach the end of your fast and are lifting your prayers to God, I encourage you to lift as much praise as possible to God. Whether it is the direct praise of the person of God or thanking God and praising him for his benefits and blessings, praise should begin to define your life as you come to the end of the fast.
Praise is an avenue toward breaking despondency, depression and negativism in your life. Things that would weigh you down should drop off during this extended time of prayer and sharpening our focus and ability to hear from God through fasting.
May God give you a voice of praise to lift to him today that nothing would hinder the full, abundant life he offers you in Jesus Christ!