Monday, March 03, 2008

When you fast...

Today begins three days of prayer and fasting for our church. Each day I will write helpful fasting guidelines, teachings and experiences.

Each time you are hungry or long for the thing that you have given up, turn your heart to God and relate to Him instead. Remind yourself that your real hunger is to know God and depend on Him to sustain and satisfy you.

Be real with God. Tell Him whatever is going on inside you that you can identify. Be honest about how you are experiencing God right then. Do you see Him as a vending machine, a frowning father, a distant, cold force? Or, as a gloriously strong and intimate friend?

Remove hindrances. Ask God to reveal anything that would hinder your fully connecting with Him. Put into words whatever makes you uncomfortable or embarrassed when you are real with God (write this in a journal). Confess any sins of attitude, behavior or omission that

Approach God as the “first thing” in your life;. Seek Him as your most treasured and needed relationship; the person you want to know more than anyone else. Acknowledge that you have placed other people and things above Him and that you long to desire God more than anything else on earth.

Worship God for who He is and not just His earthly blessings. Worship is surrendering all that we are to Him so that He can express His life through us. It is desiring that God’s will be done on earth (in you) as it is in heaven.

Seek God’s vision and purpose for your life. Ask God to put His desires in your heart for all that He has planned for your life. Let go of selfish expectations and agendas.

Spend time meditating on God’s Word. Ask God to build your faith on His Word instead of on your circumstances and/or feelings. Try personalizing and praying scripture. The Psalms can be very helpful in expressing your deep feelings, needs and trust in God. (see Psalm 16, 23,
25, 27,34, 37, 51, 62, 103, 145)

Pray for yourself and others. While fasting, it is easier to hear God and pray according to His will instead of our own understanding. Be available to intercede for others as God brings people to mind. This is also a great time to take authority over the schemes of the evil one and
reclaim any areas that you have, knowingly or unknowingly, given-over to him.

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