Prayer is the catalyst for God’s work in and through us. God wants to open our eyes to the relationship we can have with him and to increase our confidence in his ability to sustain and strengthen us.
If you sense God has more for your life, prayer is a great place to start believing for all that he has for you. As you practice seeking, he will move on your behalf like never before. You will start to see the power of prayer impact your relationships, work, family, and every area of your life.
Don’t Know How to Pray?
Prayer is simply a conversation with God. There is no right or wrong way to pray but there are some helpful tools to get you started.
- Create a space where you won’t be distracted or interrupted.
- Have a notepad, pen, and your bible nearby.
Begin by just inviting God to be a part of your time together and then just sit in his presence for a few minutes. If that brings something to your heart go with that. If not try one of the following:
- Give thanks! Begin to name things to God that you are grateful for.
- Tell God how great you think he is.
- Surrender control to God and invite him to speak into areas of your life that you might fear letting go of.
- Acknowledge your dependence on God by freely and openly inviting him to work in the various relationships, circumstances, and events of your life.
- Sit in silence inviting God’s presence to be felt and his words to be heard.
- Write down any thoughts that you have or any verses you have read.
What is Fasting?
The goal of fasting is to draw near to God. Biblical fasting always has to do with eliminating distractions for a spiritual purpose; it hits the reset button of our soul and renews us from the inside out. It also enables us to celebrate the goodness and mercy of God and prepares our hearts for all the good things God desires to bring into our lives. There is no biblical mandate for fasting but it is implied that it will be part of the regular life of a Christian with examples of fasts in both the Old and New testament. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his book The Cost of Discipleship, said, “Jesus takes it for granted that His disciples will observe the pious custom of fasting. Strict exercise of self-control is an essential feature of the Christian life. Such customs have only one purpose — to make the disciples more ready and cheerful to accomplish those things which God would have done.”
Remember, your personal fast should present a level of challenge, but it is very important to know your body, your options, and, most importantly, to seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do. If this is new to you, seeking the advice of a mentor may also be wise. Fasting should not be a harmful process and should always include water to keep you hydrated.
Different Types of Fasts
Complete Fast: In this type of fast, you drink only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.
Selective Fast: This type of fast involves removing certain elements from your diet. For example, cutting added sugar or caffeine.
Partial Fast: This fast is sometimes called the “Jewish Fast” and involves abstaining from eating any type of food in the morning and afternoon. This can either correlate to specific times of the day, such as 6:00 am to 3:00 pm, or from sunup to sundown.
Soul Fast: Your soul reflects your whole life. This fast is a great option if you do not have much experience fasting food, have health issues that prevent you from fasting food, or if you wish to refocus certain areas of your life that are out of balance. For example, you might choose to stop using social media or watching television for the duration of the fast and then carefully bring that element back into your life in healthy doses at the conclusion of the fast.