Category : prayer|fasting

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Top Posts I Read The Week Of May 12th

So, over the past couple of weeks my heart has been struck by the need to study more on prayer. As Christians and leaders, we tend to be willing to do almost anything for God except pray. I cannot tell you the last time I talked to someone and they were overflowing with great things to say about their daily prayer time. After many conversations I do not think this is because we do not love God. We simply do not know how to pray or what prayer actually does. Therefore, this week’s top read posts is going to be all about some great prayer blog’s I have read this week.

The following are The Top Posts I Read The Week Of April 20th:

1. 50 Great Prayer Blogs
2. Three Keys to a Better Prayer Life
3. 6 Tips for a Better Prayer Life
4. The All-Time 10 Best Tips on Prayer for Beginners That I Have Ever Heard
5. What’s the Secret to a Great Prayer Life?
6. 8 Ways to Pray
7. How to Pray Better in Public and in Private, Too (Tim Keller)
8. A Better Way to Pray
9. 12 Secrets to praying more effectively
10. wikiHow to Pray Effectively (Christianity)
11. How to Pray Effectively (Rick Warren)
12. Tim Keller’s 5 Steps for Effective Prayer
13. How to Develop a Dynamic Prayer Life
14. 10 Tips to Help Your Prayer Life

Here’s the question for the day. What is one tip you would give someone to help their prayer life take a step forward?

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21 Days of Prayer/Fasting: Day Twenty-One

It’s not only about us. We need to be free. We need to be close to Jesus for our own wellbeing, but also for others. Because there’s more … is why we fast and pray.

What are God’s purposes on the earth today? Are people in bondage, desperate for freedom, crying out to a God they don’t even know? Does He desire to use us to break their chains? Yes and yes! The real question is whether you and I will interrupt our lives and our routines to help.

If you read Isaiah 58 carefully, you see that the chapter actually begins with God rebuking the people who were fasting because their form of fasting was merely a mundane outward display to demonstrate their religiosity. God is looking for the real deal!

Men, women and children desperately cry out for help every day, all over the world, perhaps even right down the street. They are abused, oppressed, misused, hungry, alone, forgotten, and crushed. That is why the fast God desires is not an empty, passionless religious act that bears no fruit.

God has a specific purpose for fasting and prayer.

Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. —ISAIAH 58:6–11

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21 Days of Prayer/Fasting: Day Twenty

Guest post from Free Chapel:

You’re in the home stretch of this fast and right about now you may be having dreams about hot, fluffy, brown yeast rolls. So, I encourage you to stay strong as we have a conversation about bread.

In ancient times bread was regarded as the main course because it was a main source of nutrition. Long before our TV commercials proclaimed, “Beef: it’s what’s for dinner” the slogan would have been more like, “Bread: it’s what’s for dinner.”

When God delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, they were given specific instructions on what to eat that final night; they were to “be ready,” with no time for dough to rise, so a very important part of the Passover meal was, and continues to be, unleavened bread.

Their wandering in the desert for forty years made it hard, if not impossible, to plant and harvest wheat for bread. So the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not” (Ex. 16:4). They ate that “bread of heaven” daily for the duration of their time in the desert.

As you can see, bread wasn’t a “take it or leave it” side option like today.

Now, thinking about how important bread was in the history of the Israelites, we look at John chapter 6. Jesus’ words in this chapter were pivotal, even for some of His followers who could not accept His claim to be “the Bread of Life.” The chapter begins with Jesus multiplying five small loaves of barley bread and two small fish that a little boy in the crowd was saving for his lunch.

When they followed him the next day and asked for more miracles, He replied,
“Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”—JOHN 6:32-35

“I am the bread of life.” What a statement! Jesus stated, “I am the bread of life,” in that culture, intending to get their attention. He wanted them to understand, “You need Me every day. You can’t make it without Me. I’m the central issue of your life. Without Me, without bread, you’ll perish.”

I can do without a lot of things, but I cannot do anything without Jesus. He’s not something at the end of the table in a basket that I can take or leave. “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.” Jeremiah 15:16

Eat to your fill of His presence today!

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21 Days of Prayer/Fasting: Day Nineteen

Guest Blog Post from Free Chapel:

In 2 Kings 13:14-19, the prophet Elisha was on his death bed. And, Joash, King of Israel, came to him for one last piece of advice because the Syrians were attacking the country. Elisha told him to take a bow and arrows and put his hand on the bow.

These scriptures may not make a lot of sense to you concerning the theme of fasting, but I want to tie them together over the next couple of days in a way that I feel the Lord would have me share with you.

Do you know that everybody needs a man of God in their life? You need someone who won’t just tell you what you want to hear, but someone who will tell you what you need to hear. Someone who won’t just make you feel good, but someone who will also challenge you.

I was thinking about how Elisha had a double portion of the anointing of Elijah. Before he received that, 2 Kings 2 says that Elisha tore his robe into two pieces and took up the mantle of Elijah. Notice he had to take off before he could put on. And we have to rid ourselves of some things before God will send the double portion anointing.

I believe God’s double portion anointing can come on us for complete victory, when we rid ourselves of sins like offense, unforgiveness and pride. On this fast, let’s get rid of some things so we can receive other things from God.

When you take that stuff off, you humble yourself. And James 4:6 says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Fast for complete victory in your life. Victory is when you completely overcome the enemy. It is the cutting off of Goliath’s head. It is the dancing on the grave of your enemy. It is not co-existing with partial victory. Jesus came “that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).

Jesus came to bring complete victory.

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21 Days of Prayer/Fasting: Day Eighteen

Guest post from Free Chapel

Continue to be open to the conviction of the Holy Spirit during this fast because the only cure for sin is to be cleansed and changed from the inside out. When it comes to the heart of man, what goes in also comes out.

That is why Jesus exposed the Pharisees for their pious religious front. He called them pretenders and hypocrites, saying, “You are like tombs that have been whitewashed, which look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything impure. Just so, you also outwardly seem to people to be just and upright but inside you are full of pretense and lawlessness and iniquity.”—Matthew 23:27-28

They looked the part. They played the role. They religiously went through the motions. But they spent much more attention creating the outward standard than they spent following the inward standard. What is on the inside will show on the outside. Think about it this way: When someone gets sick and nausea takes hold, that person doesn’t need training on how to make what is on the inside…come out. The body knows how to do that all by itself! When you have junk inside—junk comes out. But in like manner, when you have Jesus inside—Jesus comes out.

I think the longer that we serve the Lord the easier it can be to get caught up in the routine of religion. I have to fight that at times. I feel the pressure to be what I am expected to be outwardly even though I may feel totally drained inside. That is why we have to be careful not to put so much energy into keeping up the outward appearance that before long it’s just that—an exterior whitewashing to cover a withering interior. It is dangerous for a person or a ministry to be growing outwardly but shrinking in passion for Jesus inwardly.

If I sense my passion for Jesus beginning to fade, I fast. I can’t stress enough how fasting helps you regain the edge when you are growing dull. It immediately helps you get refocused on only those things that really matter, and cleanse yourself of the rest. Fasting helps you maintain the inward brokenness that allows God to make your outside match your inside. It’s living “inside out.” You don’t have to fake it on the outside when you are full of the Lord on the inside.

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21 Days of Prayer/Fasting: Day Seventeen

As you are ending your time of fasting you may be thinking when you will do this again?

At Real Life Church, we only fast corporately once a year. However, that doesn’t mean you should only fast then. This spiritual discipline can benefit you greatly as it becomes a new habit for you.

Here is an excerpt from an article I read recently on When We Should Fast:

1. When you are facing a mammoth task that you cannot do by yourself.

Nehemiah fasted while rebuilding the temple.

Examples: moving, launching a new business, starting new career, the adoption of a child

2. When you are facing physical danger.

Esther called a fast when her people faced persecution

Examples: facing surgery, preparing for military duty, performing a dangerous job or task

3. When you are under attack from the enemy.

II Chronicles 20 – King Jehoshaphat called a fast when his enemies surrounded him

Examples: when you face opposition to fulfilling the promises of God for you and your family.

4. When you are appalled at society

Ezra 9, Jonah 3

Examples: widespread abortion, the promotion of the radical homosexual agenda, the spread of immorality through the media

5. When you desire for your church to grow and prosper

Acts 2: 42, 47

6. When you encounter demonic oppression

Mark 9:17- 29

Prayer and fasting will cause Satan to tuck his tail and run!

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21 Days of Prayer/Fasting: Day Sixteen

Guest blog post from: http://www.restorationnwa.org

Isaiah 58:6-14

6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.9Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; 10And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

1. Loose the bands of wickedness

Fasting will break you free from everything holding you back.

2. Undo heavy burdens

Fasting will “tear-off” or violently remove things that have been pressing you down and making you feel hopeless and helpless.

3. The oppressed will go free

Fasting will heal and mend the discouraged, bruised and wounded. It will set people free who are falling apart and help them put their life together again.

4. Break every yoke

Fasting will break you away from bad habits that are destroying you physically and destroying your Christian walk

5. Your light will shine brightly

Fasting will give you a heart of compassion for those in need. Your hunger will help you personally identify with the hungry, poor and naked.

6. God’s light will break forth

During a time of fasting, revelation from God will break forth in your life. When you don’t know what to do or which way to go, His light will shine on you. He will give you His revelation and there will be darkness no more!

Example: God will give you insight to catapult your business!

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21 Days of Prayer/Fasting: Day Fifteen

Guest blog post today from: www.restorationnwa.org

6 WAYS TO SUPERCHARGE YOUR FAST

Nehemiah 9: 1-3

1Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them. 2And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God.

1. Gather together with other believers for special times of prayer

Use small groups or the buddy system to help you make it through the process. Get plugged in with all of the activities happening in the ministry during the fast and with others who are committed to consecrating themselves before God.

2. Separate yourself from non-believing influences

Deliberately separate yourself from ungodly influences because your spirit is open during this time. Limit your time spent on computers, watching television, excessive email, secular music, and other forms of entertainment. THIS IS GOD’S TIME!

3. Confess your sins

As you fast, repent. God will allow you to see yourself and begin to bring up and reveal your actions and attitudes that are not pleasing in His sight and the unrighteousness that is keeping you from being in right standing with God (I John 1:9)

4. Spend extra time in God’s Word

Read the Bible now more than ever. Commit to reading the entire Bible in one year.

5. Confess the Word

Speak the Word of God over your family, over your health, and over your finances

6. Worship

Listen to CD’s of preaching and teaching of God’s Word. Feed your spirit only the Word of God. Be passionate about worship during your time of fasting. Set aside time to praise and worship God and dwell in His presence.

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21 Days of Prayer/Fasting: Day Fourteen

Yeah! The end of week two!
What could be better than celebrating your success with all your friends and family at RLC!

Don’t be ashamed to celebrate it!
The local church can be a wonderful place to connect with other believers as well as serve using your gifts, talents, time, and resources.

Everyone needs something bigger than themselves to plug into.
Everyone needs something to that makes them better.
Everyone needs a place where everybody knows your name.

The above reasons are just a few of the things I love about RLC.

David said, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Come and let us go to the House of the Lord.'”

Make plans to be at church tomorrow. I cannot wait to hear how it went.

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21 Days of Prayer/Fasting: Day Thirteen

Please-Quiet-Standing-Floor-Sign-SF-0212

Week two is almost complete. How’s it going?

One time I was walking through a dry season in my life. By that I mean I was having my normal quiet time with God, serving with my gifts, and generally doing everything as normal. However, there was one key difference. I was empty. I felt like I was a ship out in the open water with no wind to move the sails.

After feeling this way for a while I spoke with a friend about it. His council is something I want to pass along to you today. He said, “Did you realize that if a teacher never gave you a test they could never gauge whether or not you had learned anything? What if God isn’t mad at you? What if you haven’t done anything wrong? What if God is merely putting you out there to see if you have learned from the lessons He’s already taught you?”

That got me going. I was determined to pass my test. I kept moving forward seeking God and doing my best not to get discouraged.  Before long, I began to feel the presence of God on my life again. I passed the test.

What are you going through today? Do you feel as though God were a million miles away. Be careful. He might be leaning over your shoulder looking at your quiz. He might be giving you a test.

Don’t give up. Keep moving forward.

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21 Days of Prayer/Fasting: Day Twelve

2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

You remember that really old story called “Footprints in the sand”? Here it is in case you’ve never heard it,

 

One night I had a dream…
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord, and
Across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand;
One belonged to me, and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of my life flashed before us,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along the path of my life,
There was only one set of footprints.I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in my life
This really bothered me, and I questioned the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
You would walk with me all the way;
But I have noticed that during the
most troublesome times in my life,
There is only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why in times when I
needed you the most, you should leave me.The Lord replied, “My precious, precious
child. I love you, and I would never,
never leave you during your times of
trial and suffering.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.

 

I’ve had times in my life when it looked as though God was no where to be found. Everything I tried to do just didn’t work. I’ve even prayed and said, “God, are you still there?”
It was in these time though I later realized God was at work the most in my life. If you are going through a tough time in your fasting journey today, refocus on why you are doing this.

Take a few minutes and allow the presence of God to quite your heart and mind.  There’s a video below with the song STRONGER. Truly Christ is STRONGER in our lives than anything else we face.

ACTION STEPS

  • Find a time and place today when you can get away from ‘life’ for 5 minutes and draw strength from God.
  • Think about the fact that when we are at our lowest Christ becomes the strongest.

 

 

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21 Days of Prayer/Fasting: Day Eleven

You’re now officially past the half way mark. Way to go!

Proverbs 24:16

Though a righteous man falls seven times,
he will get up,
but the wicked will stumble into ruin.

There’s an old song by Donnie McCluckin that says, “We fall down but we get up. We fall down but we get up. We fall down but we get up. For a saint is just a sinner who fell down and got up.” A video of the song is located at the bottom of this post.

Fasting takes a lot of effort, a lot of perseverance, and a lot of accountability. Let’s be honest with each other. It shouldn’t be that difficult. Yet it is. During the process of this journey you may have had a moment of weakness, maybe two.   If you’re not made any mistakes and you’ve held strong you have so much to be proud of.  You’re halfway there. Keep going.

However if you haven’t made this fasting journey without a slip up you need to know that you’re not a failure. Nothing you ever do as an act of worship to God will go unrewarded.
Don’t allow yourself to end down. Get back up again.

You still have halfway to go. Make a new decision today to continue this journey. It’s worth it. You’ll see.

ACTION STEPS:

  • Forgive yourself if you have slipped a little on your commitment.
  • Don’t allow yourself to end on a down note. Keep moving forward and finish strong.

 

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