Its been 3 days since we have joined the corporate fasting – as a church and as a family. For some reasons, this year’s fasting gives me so much rest. I am so rested.
I don’t worry so much about my food intake. And all that yearnings for food and all – even if it smells nice, or even if it’s presented in front of me in the office, it doesn’t matter. All I want is to really grasp what God want us to have this year.
What I wanted to hear is the clear instruction from the Lord this year, before we embark on our new season. And so far, God is pouring so much wisdom, in ways we can’t describe.
One of the many things, God reminded us about, is prayer. Yes, as simple, as cliché it may sound – He reminded us to pray.
Well, at first I was thinking to myself – am I really that lazy not to pray? But as I contemplate and meditate on it, I realized that, yes, I really have to be diligent in praying. I must prioritize it, above any other things. I was inspired to pray more and to pray intentionally with the right heart.
So what does prayer do to us? What prayer makes us? Why do we have to pray?
- Pray so you can grow in faith
“But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,” Jude 1:20 ESV
One of the keys to have a healthy relationship with God, is to consistently find time to speak to Him. We can build our faith, through constant communication with the Lord. Just like any other relationship, we can’t keep our mouth shut all the time and be mum about our feelings and expressions. We have to converse with the Lord.
- Pray even if you don’t know how
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Romans 8:26 ESV
There are surely, some moments, we don’t know what to say to God. We even sometimes pray out of compulsion or worst is out of obligation, because we think, it’s a requirement. But often, our prayers is not a qualification of how deep are you as a christian. We can come to Father, just as we are. Like little children, mumbling and whispering – but our parents do understand our hearts. It’s the same attitude the Lord wants, we don’t have to pretend that we are someone who master the “art of prayer”, for there isn’t. We just have to be as true as we are.
- Prayer makes us sincere
“Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.””
Luke 20:46-47 ESV
It’s almost like a warning, our prayers must be sincere. It does not matter whether our prayers are long or short, as long as it is sincere. We don’t pray to please people around us, or to feel good about ourselves – we pray because we know that we need to speak with God and it’s of great importance to us.
Each year, whenever I joined the corporate fasting, I would begin to look into what am I going to receive from the Lord, rather than focusing on deepening my relationship with Him. I would jump into fasting so that I would know if He is agreeing to my terms, plans and goals – but this year is really different.
I am on the third day and I am realizing how much of these plans and goals are so focused on myself, my wants and my needs. Through this fasting, it helpmed me re-focused my attention to what really is important, my relationship with the Father.
And in order for us to grow, we need to fuel our prayer life. Our lives revolves on it, how consistent and sincere our prayers are, our intent to desire the Father instead of the gifts will make all the difference.
My prayer for you, is that you will also learn to have the heart of praying to the Lord. Even when there is nothing more to talk about, whether you are in or out of season, that our desires would be to sit at the foot of the cross, always, listening to the voice of the Only One.
To start our year right, we need to start and end it with a prayer!
Pray without ceasing!