21 Day Prayer and Fasting Challenge:  January 10-31

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Communication with God equals prayer.  Speaking and listening to God equals prayer.  Prayer is the gauge of your relationship with God.  There is no comparison – no equal to the power of God.  Yet, prayer is often neglected by those who call themselves ‘Christian.’ 

Our culture is paranoid concerning religion interfering with the rights of any person but as soon as a disaster occurs; what do people do?  Leaders whose actions are not at all in line with the lifestyle of Jesus understand that the same political correctness that limits prayer is thrown out the window and we are encouraged to pray…or spend moments of silence…at public events.  A terrorist act is committed and that evening at the location of that tragedy there will be a prayer vigil.

Paul Miller, in his excellent book A Praying Life, says that we often begin to pray and learn to pray in suffering.  The problem is that these prayers are about ourselves, and what we expect God to do.  Miller taught seminars on prayer but was shocked when on a family camping outing his daughter lost her contact on the forest floor…it seemed impossible that a clear colored quarter inch piece of pliable plastic could be found in dirt, grass, twigs, leaves and anything else that had accumulated over the ages.  Miller suggested that they pray before continuing the search.  His daughter shocked him when she spoke, “What good would that do?”  He realized that his daughter who had been raised in church had absolutely no confidence in God.  In fact this moment highlighted the reality that she did not have a relationship with Him.

Most people think they are too busy to pray which leads us to understand that they really don’t believe prayer is necessary.  We are a selfish people…we want, or expect, God to do what we desire.  If He doesn’t…prayer is useless…God isn’t able…He doesn’t care…or He doesn’t exist.  That is the harsh reality of our faith in God.

I love my kids and my grandkids!  I want the absolute best for each of them!  But when they ask me to do something or give them something the answer is not always- yes.  Our wisdom and understanding of what is best for them sometimes precludes our desire to meet their requests.  Because of our good relationship, they still spend time with me and do not shut me out.  I would be so sad if they chose not to communicate with me because I said no to one of their wants.

That is the way it is with God.  He wants our best!  His wisdom and understanding are beyond us.  Hopefully, we don’t stop communicating with Him or throw away our faith when something doesn’t go our way.  Believe it or not, God’s ways are the best even when we can’t see it.

What a great way to start 2016…prayer and fasting.  We are challenged to grow closer to the heart and mind of God through   prayer.  Please don’t wait for a difficult scenario to begin praying.  Let’s start early this year and seek the heart and mind of God…trusting Him for everything!  Fasting expresses to the Lord our level of desire.  Do you want His will more than anything else?  How will you fast?  Will you join your church family in this intense time of seeking God from January 10th through January 31st?  It will be amazing to see what happens if we all commit to this time of prayer and fasting.

“For too long the world has seen what the church can do;

But when we pray the world will see what God can do.” (Dave Stone)