Tag Archives: powerful prayers

The Key To More Power

If spending quality time with God is the way to having a quality spiritual life, then fasting is the way to having a more powerful spiritual life. Giving up our time shows God we are making Him a priority. Giving up food shows Him that we are willing to sacrifice our physical comfort for spiritual gain. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that I’m afraid too few Christians engage in. Either we don’t see the purpose or we don’t see the value, so we don’t do it. When we skip fasting as a spiritual discipline, we miss out on a strength that’s needed to overcome certain things in our lives.

In Mark 9, there is a story of a man who asked Jesus to heal his son who was possessed by an evil spirit. In verse 18 he said, “I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they couldn’t do it.” They had spent quality time with Jesus, but hadn’t been fasting and praying so they lacked the power to heal him. Jesus told them in verse 29, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer and fasting.” He inferred that there is more power in fasting.

When you are in need of more power to overcome a temptation, to find the right direction, or to get through a situation, I encourage you to fast and to pray. Your fast should be between you and God. Don’t make an outward show of it or tell people you are doing it so they will feel sorry for you. Jesus said that if you did that, you have your reward. I’d rather have the power of God than the approval of man. It’s our choice when we fast.

In Matthew 6:16, Jesus said, “When (not if) you fast, don’t make it obvious.” He knew that our human nature likes to receive sympathy from others. We like to play to the crowd and to get others to feel sorry for us. Fasting is not about that at all. It’s about showing God you have brought your body under discipline and are denying it what it needs in order to gain what your spirit needs. It shows Him we are willing to feed our spirit instead of our stomach.

The Bible talks of many different types of fasts and lengths of fasts. How long, what you fast, and why you fast are between you and God. I always feel like the more challenging the fast, the greater reward. If my fast costs me nothing, that’s about what I’ll get in return. The greater the need in my life, the greater the fast I do. Some are mentally challenging, but all are physically challenging. Before I fast, I usually seek God on what He wants me to fast and for how long. Once decided, I pray for the need every time I have a desire for what I’m fasting. I’ve learned that giving up what I want for what He wants changes me for the better every time.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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Changing God’s Mind

  
When I was a pre-teen, I was pretty sure I had God figured out. I could tell you all the books of the Bible, quote entire chapters of it, and beat adults in Bible trivia. I was shocked when I went to a vacation Bible school at a friend’s church and the pastor stumped me. I’ll never forget that moment. He asked, “Can God change His mind?” I thought long and hard. I decided that since God is always right, He would have no need to change His mind. So I answered, “No!”

He directed me to Exodus 32:14. It says, “So the Lord changed his mind and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened” (GNT). I couldn’t argue. There it was in Scripture. My idea of God began to unravel and my face must have shown it. He butted into my thoughts, “Why do you think it’s important that God is able to change His mind?” I was lost. My mind was still reeling from defeat. He tossed me a life preserver and said, “If God can’t change His mind, why bother praying for God’s help?”

Suddenly, prayer took on a whole new meaning for me. I realized in that moment that the things I most fervently pray for are things I’m asking God to change His mind on. If Moses was able to pray to God and have Him change His mind, then my prayers could have the same effect. That new knowledge gave my faith a boost, changed how I saw God, and shaped my future prayers.

James 5:16 says, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man available much” (NKJV). Part of that “availing much” is changing the mind of God. Our prayers have a more powerful effect than we can ever imagine. Never underestimate what your faith can accomplish. Jesus said, “All things are possible to Him that believes” (Mark 9:23). Whatever you’re praying for today, don’t give up. Don’t quit. Keep praying effectively and fervently. 

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