I have been studying about prayer lately and in my studies a question was posed that started me thinking about the quality of my prayer life. The question was, “What do you expect when you pray? An answer or silence? How many of your prayers are wishes not expecting an answer?” I have to admit a lot of my prayers are wishes of what I would like to see happen, rather than a pouring out of my heart in fasting and prayer to see lasting change.
I think of Jesus and how He was continually found in fasting and prayer and I think the manor in which God answered His prayers is a witness to the fact that God honors that kind of commitment. How many of us want to have the prayer of faith so strong that it can cast out a sickness or a demon in a person?
Jesus said in Matthew 17:21, after the disciples could not cast out a demon, “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
What I have discovered through my studies is that if I want to have the kind of power that Jesus had then I need to fast and pray like He did! The early church practiced fasting and prayer continually, as seen in Acts 13:2-3, “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them’. Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.” These verses explain they were fasting and praying, then they heard God speak and then they fasted and prayed again before sending the men out!
Could it be that a loss of power in our churches today is from our lack of prayer and fasting?
Father help me, to be like Jesus making it a habit to fast and pray, in His wonderful name I pray, amen