Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Week of Prayer

I fully believe in the power of prayer. I just feel like at times I am not that good at it – or as good as I want to be.

It is not like prayer is a ritual one needs to perfect to be heard by God. I believe anyone with a pure heart before God can communicate with Him. But as with all things, there is opportunity for growth.

There are many forms of prayer, many topics to pray about, moments to be bold and adamant, moments to be quiet and still. I feel I get stuck in my daily routine of praying about the basics. I struggle to step beyond that into interceding (consistently) for others or thanking God in everything or focusing my spirit during a fast.

So I have committed myself to seven days of prayer and fasting. Each day will have a different prayer focus – those things I either overlook or just desire to take to the next level. And I will be learning how to incorporate different types of prayer into my daily communication with God.

Prayer Focus
I will be posting the prayer focus for each day in case you want to follow along. However, keep in mind that some prayers are personal between you and God. What we pray about alone with God should be intimate and known only to Him. There are other occasions for corporate prayer or sharing prayer requests, but for this purpose I will keep my posts very basic. The details are kept in the secret place with God.

Below are the topics on which I will be praying, along with one or two types of prayer that I will highlight each day.

  1. Self // Penitence & Praying in the Spirit
  2. God // Adoration & Praise
  3. Husband & Marriage // Consecration & Authority
  4. Extended Family // Thanksgiving
  5. Friends // Intercession
  6. Church & Ministries // Faith
  7. Community & Nation //  Petition

If you do not know what all those types of prayers are, that is ok! I have not studied them all in depth either – we will learn together. 

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Fasting is another private matter between you and God. It is ok that people know you are doing it (we encourage each other that way), but it is never meant to draw attention to ourselves – only direct others toward God. (Matthew 6:16-17)

Basically, fasting is giving up food for the purpose of disciplining spirit, soul and body to focus on prayer. There are various examples of fasting in the Bible. In some cases food is given up completely, in other cases only certain types of foods are eliminated. Fasts can last a day or several weeks.

I believe fasting should be directed by the Holy Spirit. So whatever you give up and for how long is a decision you make with God. Remember that your focus should not be on the sacrifice, but on what you will receive from God because of the sacrifice. Fasting is a challenge (hence the discipline) – but when you are tempted, tired or hungry, use that opportunity to turn your attention to God in prayer. He will strengthen you!

I have to admit I do not make fasting a regular spiritual habit. I have done it once successfully and it was one of the most fulfilling prayer experiences. I wish I would make it a habit! Which brings me back to the purpose of this prayer week. I’m letting my spirit, soul and body know I am serious about seeking God. I am looking forward to a week of intimacy with the fullness of Him!