As we go into the final days of the 21-day fast for most churches, I am contemplating what it really means to cultivate a prayer life after fasting because this is the first time where I am able to take some time and focus on this topic. In Part 2, I talked about how if our prayer-life is out of sync and not aligned with God’s Word; we will continue to pray for things that are contrary to God’s plan for our lives.
In this final post in the 3-part miniseries on the purpose of fasting, I want to talk on how we as Christians should cultivate a prayer life after a fast that centers of who God is, what God has in store for our lives, and how to build a relationship with Christ through prayer.
What does it mean to Cultivate a Prayer Life?
Well, to me, I think that cultivating a prayer life is more than just praying to God and asking Him for guidance; I feel that in order to cultivate a prayer life, you would have to have begun to pray to God and be able to humble yourself before God. Humbling yourself before the Lord in prayer I feel shows that you and I as Christians are willing to submit to God’s plan for our lives over our way.
In the book of 2 Chronicles 7:14, the “chronicler” mentions that God just wants the people of Israel to humble themselves, pray and seek forgiveness of their sins and turn from their wickedness, but here’s the question: Can we as Christians today humble ourselves before God and pray for forgiveness?
2 Chronicles 7:14
“14. if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Welcome back. So, in last week’s blog postWhat Is Fasting?you and I learned what fasting wasn’t about our self-indulgence or our agenda but rending our hearts to the Lord and getting closer to Him. Well today, we will be talking about the other aspect of fasting; prayer. Prayer is just as important as fasting because prayer is a spiritual link that connects us to God and allows us to ask God for guidance in times of hardship and situations that seem out of our control. Together with fasting, prayer is an essential part of a Christian’s relationship with God.
What is does it mean to Pray?
Well, the words to pray or prayer either come from the Greek word proseuchomai which means “to pray to God” or “make prayer” or from the Hebrew word palal which means “to intercede” or “make supplication”. So, if both words mean to intercede and pray to God; then why do we as Christians pray half-hearted prayers and not sincere prayers to the Lord?
I think it has something to do with the type of prayer-life that we have while we are fasting. If our prayer-life is out of sync and not aligned with God’s Word; we will continue to pray for things that are contrary to God’s plan for our lives.The Old Testament prophet Ezra talks about prayer as a means of humility and praying that God leads the Israelites in the right direction but I feel it applies to us today. In Ezra 8:21, Ezra is taking the people of Israel to a river to pray and ask God for direction.
“21. Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions.”Read More »
Well, it’s 2018. During the month of January, I will be doing a 3-part miniseries on the Purpose of Fasting where you and I will be exploring the Purpose of Fasting and why God has called us to fast. Fasting should be a crucial time for us as Christians to repent, draw closer to God and even learn more about God and His plan for us. So, for most churches, as we go into the fasting season I hope that you join me as we discuss why it’s important for us as Christians to fast.
What does it mean to Fast?
Well, the word fast or fasting either comes from the Greek word Nesteia which means “abstinence” or referring to “the Day of Atonement” or the Hebrew word tsum which means “to abstain from food”. So, if both words speak of fasting as the abstinence or removal of food, why then do we as Christians fast the way we want to fast and not the way God wants? It’s all because of our hearts.
The prophet Joel tells us exactly what God wants us to do regarding fasting and how we should not only fast in the physical but in the spiritual sense as well. In Joel 2:12-13, Joel is trying to not only telling us but teaching us how to fast as God would have us fast.
“12. ‘Now therefore’ says the Lord, Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning. 13. So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.”Read More »
In Part 1, I talked about how we as people and Christians should glorify God with our bodies and not allow the world/society to dictate how we are supposed to dress or let the world/society diminish your value. Today though, we will be talking about the 2nd aspect of giving glorifying God; glorifying God in the Spirit.
Now, what does it mean to glorify God in the spirit? Well, the word Spiritcomes from the Greek word “pneuma” meaning “to breathe” or “to blow.” So, here is the question: How do we give glorify God with in spirit? In the Bible, there are several key references that I feel give us an understanding of how we are supposed to glorify God in the spirit. In Galatians 5:16-18, Paul, is telling the people of Galatia that they are to walk in the Spirit and not succumb to the desires of the flesh.
“16. I say then: “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”Read More »
Well, in my blog post, Will You Walk By Faith? I talked about how we should put our faith in God and believe that He will do what He said He would do, but also realize that not everything is going to turn out the way we want it too. Now, let’s get to the core the matter; what kind of faith do you have to move your mountains? In Matthew 17:20, it tells us what type of faith we, as Christians and people should have.
“20 Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”