By Pastor Tony Smith
When you open with that statement “21 Days of Prayer and Fasting” it evokes a response.
I guess the responses run the gamut from super religious to radical fanaticism. So let me help you to understand where I am coming from.
We are all going through life. As we journey through this life we experience good and bad. For the average person moving through this experience, we say “YES” when good happens in our life. Consequently, when bad flows into our life we respond with some version of “NO” because we didn’t sign up for this. We want comfort, we want ease, we want good. However, at some level we just role with it, Que Sera Sera.
For the Jesus follower moving through life, we know that it’s inevitable that bad things will happen at times. We also know that Romans 8:28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Somehow God is going to turn it around for good. Even the hardest things God will redeem. We should also be aware that God is bringing good into our lives. James 1:17 says “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” God is the source of the good in our life. It isn’t accidental or coincidental.
So if we truly embrace this shouldn’t we want to position ourselves to receive all of the good He desires for us?
That is what “21 Days of Prayer and Fasting” helps us do. We are positioning ourselves to receive from God. Listen, 2019 will be filled with opportunities and possibilities. We could try to guess at what those might be and how we should approach them. We could dream big dreams and aspire to high and lofty endeavors. We might hit the mark and we might just be really busy with busyness.
You see, the most important task you have in 2019 is hearing from God.
That happens when you put yourself in a posture to receive. 1 Corinthians 2:9 says “eye has not seen, ear has not heard, Neither has it entered into the heart of man the great things God has in store.” Prayer and fasting position you to hear from God and to experience the design He has for your life.
Prayer and fasting isn’t about being religious or somehow doing your duty.
Its about bringing your flesh into subjection to your spirit. As you tell your flesh “no” you allow your spirit man to grow. You become more receptive to God’s voice. There is something very powerful about denying your flesh and focusing on the needs of your spirit. You will hear God’s voice with clarity, and that is worth the sacrifice. Prayer and fasting makes an important difference in your life…it opens your heart to hear God’s direction. Fasting puts you in alignment with your assignment.
Let me encourage you to start 2019 off with 21 days of prayer and fasting. Maybe you are in a place in your life where you are struggling to hear God’s voice or you are feeling distant in your relationship with Him. Fast and pray, in expectation that you will draw close and hear from Him. James 4:8 directs us, draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Your new year will be different if you begin it with a time of drawing near to God. I hope you will.