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Prayer & Fasting Week 1 || Matthew 6:16-18

Updated: Jan 15, 2023

Prayer and fasting are two powerful spiritual activities that connect to divine guidance, healing, and strength.

Welcome to Equip Church | Academy | Care 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting! As we begin this new year and season let us all come together in worship to the Lord. The New Year begins the perfect time for all to perform a spiritual check-up. It is the perfect opportunity to reflect on our lives, and our relationship to the Lord. The utility of twenty-one days of prayer and fasting can help us to evaluate how we spend time with Him. We can use this time to help us to deepen our relationship with the Lord as we spend time in the Word and in conversation with Him.

Devotional Meditation on the Word

Matthew 6:16-18: “Moreover, when you fast do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting, Assuredly, I say to you they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

In this verse we are given an invitation from the Lord to meet Him in our secret place. Go into your own prayer closet where you can open Your heart to Him. Here is a place of intimacy, where you can divest yourself of all your cares before the Lord and know that He hears you.

Fasting is not required by the Lord. Rather it is a willing choice on the part of a believer. It is an instrument that can be used to call our attention to God. It is an instrument that can be used to bring us closer to God as we depend upon Him and find our strength in Him.

In this verse we are cautioned that our fast is not the business of the world or anyone in it. It is between us and Our Father. To act otherwise is a gesture of hypocrisy before the Lord. It shows Him that we are interested in ourselves alone. We are feigning a false piety which is its own reward. Instead, of religiosity, have sincerity of heart. Be joyful at the prospect that as you concentrate on God, He sees you. He knows and understands what you need, and His reward for your offering will be given openly.

A fast may seem as a deprivation to those who do not understand the value of an activity that calls God to our remembrance as we live through our day. As you think about God when you become aware of your need, pray to Him. Why have you chosen to fast? Are you looking for a new direction for your life? Are you in need of healing in body, soul or spirit? Are you in need of relationship healing? Whatever you are bringing to God, we can be encouraged by this verse that He hears us and we will be rewarded.

Let us pray . . .

Dear Father, we turn to You today with a sincere heart. Our praise and worship is for You alone. We come before You with humble and thankful hearts. We are thankful for the opportunity of every blessing we receive at Your Hand. We give You thanks for the rewards that You so graciously bestow upon Your children.

We pray in the Beloved Name of Jesus, Amen

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A very special thanks to Rev. Marie Parma for her authorship of these devotional materials on behalf of Equip Church.

We are happy to provide permission to copy and distribute for ongoing reflection and teaching as needed.

Here’s more on Equip

1 Equip has a Biblical mandate to love and support others.

2 Equip is redefining Pastoral Care ... in the church, in the community, in the college and, most importantly, in caring.

3 We proclaim, teach, train, empower, and equip others to do the same, resulting in the world believing that Jesus is Lord and that God loves them.

May you and yours have a Blessed and abundant New Year!

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