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Focus Fast Day One

Here we go…

We are fasting to seek God’s plan for 2016. The writer of Psalm 25 expresses the heart of our prayer when he says,

[4] Make me to know your ways, O LORD;
teach me your paths.
[5] Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.
(Psalm 25:4-5 ESV)

As the new year begins, lets ask God to awaken our heart to His love. As we seek Him, let’s pray for an increased hunger for God; a desire to spend time in prayer and the study of God’s word. Let’s pray for personal holiness and that our heart would be tender and open to pleasing Him in our thoughts, words and works.

What are you specifically fasting for? Maybe you haven’t really thought about this – you were just fasting because our church is fasting. Is it for spiritual renewal, for healing, for wisdom in a particular area, or the resolution of a specific issue? Could it be for a relationship, an addiction, or for a person? Maybe you have more than 1 – Pick the top 1-3 prayer requests or things you would like to seek God on. Don’t overwhelm yourself and make a laundry list of items. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in deciding and clarifying your goals for fasting.

Pray this, David’s prayer to God:

[10] Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
[11] Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
[12] Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
(Psalm 51:10-12 ESV)

In the book of Daniel we see that it was Daniel’s practice to go to his room 3 times a day, opening the windows facing Jerusalem and getting down on his knees to pray. I’m sure that Daniel also prayed throughout the day, as should we. But his apartment prayer, that was a special time where it was priority to meet with God in prayer. It reminds me of Jesus’ words that we looked at in yesterday’s message:

[6] But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
(Matthew 6:6 ESV)

This time for Daniel was a priority for Daniel – a special time that he met with God in prayer. It was such a priority that when the king said that the people could only pray to him, the king, Daniel didn’t listen. Daniel was an important official in King Darius’ kingdom but for Daniel, God’s law superceded that king’s unlawful law.

If you know the story, Daniel’s refusal got him thrown into a Lion’s den but God protected and delivered Daniel. And you know what else God did? He honored Daniel by putting the story in the scriptures that we might be encouraged by it.

Here’s what I want you to see in this:

  • We should set aside a special time daily to spend time with God. Daniel prayed 3 times per day. The bible doesn’t command that. You can, but you aren’t commanded to. Most importantly, we see that we are to set aside time to be with God – a time that we prioritize.
  • We should also pray throughout our day. Let’s have an ongoing conversation with the Father. Try this: how about for the next few days setting an alarm to go off at 20 minutes after every hour and praying for a couple minutes every time it goes off? Share the moments of your day, your thoughts, your attitudes.
When you do these things you will see God begin to fill you with His presence, feeding your soul and preparing you for whatever the day may bring. Step one: Open the door.

Got something to say? Go for it!