Prayer is central to following Jesus.
He modeled a life of prayer and repeatedly taught His disciples to pray. He taught specific prayers, He promised to answer us and He challenged His disciples to pray in faith.
In one parable, found in Luke 18:1-18, we read a peculiar story about a judge who was indifferent to the plight of a poor woman who was seeking justice. He initially refused to hear her case, but she persisted and confronted him every day until he finally relented. Luke informs us that Jesus told this parable to teach His disciples that they “ought always to pray and never give up.”
Faith is the key to understanding this story and a powerful lesson for us. The woman knew her strength was insufficient, but she knew the judge had the power to help. In other words, she had faith and this faith caused her to “cry out day and night.” Do we have this same faith? Do we recognize our need? Do we trust that God’s power is enough? The God we serve is not an indifferent judge but a loving Father who joyfully gives us good things.
Whenever we fast, we set aside extra time to pray. The two go together.
Fasting is an act of voluntary weakness and a confession of human need. Prayer is a partnership with God to see His will done on the earth. God does not need our human help, as though His power were lacking; instead, God chooses to work through human partnership.
This is seen as early as Genesis 2 when God created the animals but asked Adam to name them. Throughout Scripture, God works through people. He chose Abram, He called Moses and He anointed David. These people repeatedly failed but God never abandoned His plan. God choose to partner with us to do His will on the earth.
Prayer is central to this partnership. It’s like young children working with their father. The father doesn’t need the child’s strength. After all, he could work much faster by himself! Instead, the father seeks relationship and the joy of working together. If the children ignored the father while working than they would have missed the point entirely. The same is true for us.
Prayer is a partnership, but even more so, prayer is a relationship.
We often overvalue our ability and strength, as though human effort is the cure for all problems. Our society views prayer as merely a last resort or perhaps a tool to gain inner peace. But a right view of God and a right view of ourselves flips the equation. Prayer is the greatest work. Prayer acknowledges the power of God is far greater than our own and reorients us to a partnership with Him. We still work hard but we do so in a relationship with Him.
Today, set aside expanded space to pray. You can use tools here to help guide your time. Ask God to increase your faith as you enter into prayer. We need a move of God to stop Coronavirus, to heal the sick and to guide our leaders and medical professionals. Even more so, we need a move of God to restore our hearts and revive our land. Press in today and let’s live with hearts of faith as we believe for God to move.
Read this article for more tips for a great fast.
Here’s a crafted prayer centered on 2 Chronicles 7:14 to pray throughout the day as we humble ourselves, pray and repent through this fast.
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