Daniel went to the Lord in passionate and purposeful prayer when he needed answers.
He knew that only God had the answers and he knew how to turn to God.
In turning to God during this period of the next 21 days, we are turning away from other things that distract us and keep us from clearly hearing the voice of God. This is the goal and purpose for our fasting and prayer.
There is one steadfast rule in a time of fasting and prayer: Be led by the Lord. This is not some religious exercise that has a ton of rules and regulations where you earn some sort of spiritual merit badge at the end. It is a drawing nearer to God and turning away from things that can pull you in the wrong direction.
A logical question is: what do I need to turn away from or what do I need to set aside?
This is where we must follow the Holy Spirit and ask Him what we should "give up" or "do without" so that we can focus or turn our attention to the Lord.
Here is a short list of things that people give up during a time of fasting and prayer:
News or Newspaper
Sports or hobbies
Certain foods (sugar, caffeine, carbs, etc.)
Whatever normally has more control in your life than it should is a good place to begin. If you are not eliminating something that is valuable to you, then you are not allowing the Lord to remove something that needs to be removed. Stay open and sensitive to Him and He will show you what to eliminate. (There have been times where I have started a fast and periodically during the fast the Lord would ask me to give up something more) The goal is that the time that you would have spent on the thing that you are setting aside you will use to seek the Lord.
It's time to turn to God and renew our commitment to Him with our whole heart. (Prov. 3:5-6) It is time to spend more time in His word and time in prayer where we are fellowshipping with Him so that He can lead us and guide us.
Keep and journal and write down what you are thinking and reflecting on while you spend time in God's word. (If you are more digital, use a journal app on your phone or computer.) When God speaks to you, write it down. When He gives you instructions be sure that you record it somewhere so that you can you can refer to it later and make sure that you do it and follow through. This is where change begins to happen in our lives. When we connect to Him and give Him permission to guide and instruct us, He speaks, corrects and directs. And when we obey, change is the result!
Say this: I am turning to God with all my heart beginning today! I am looking forward hearing from God and the changes that are taking place inside me.
Pray this: Lord, I commit myself to You during this fast. Tell me what You want me to give up and set aside so that I can hear You more clearly. I am ready and willing to change. I will obey all that You tell me to do, In Jesus Name.
Thank you Pastor. We are thankful for you both. This is a great post to get us going on our prayer and fast!
Thank you Jari! God is stirring us up for big changes this year!
Amen! Romans 12:1-2
Thank you Pastors Shelia n Bruce.