Prayer & Fasting Week 2 || Ezra 8:21-22
Updated: Jan 15
REFLECTION || Week 2 Fasting & Prayer || Ezra 8:21-22
We propose that the most meaningful goal that both prayer and fasting can supply is a time to become and keep Christ-centered.
Both prayer and fasting can serve the purpose of giving us the framework where we can deepen our relationship to the Lord. Both prayer and fasting can be a source where we can obtain and secure both spiritual growth and health. As we strive to be Christ-centered, we will be in tune with the workings of the Holy Spirit within us whose goal is to draw us closer to Christ.
ACTION: Take extra time this week during your time of prayer & fasting to meditate upon what God is saying to you. You can add the Spiritual disciplines of solitude, silence, and quiet time to worship music to draw nearer to Him.
Devotional Meditation on the Word
Ezra 8:21-22 "Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. 22 For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, 'The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.'”
Ezra proceeds from a place of faith. His confidence is in God and not in the world. He knows that he can depend on God for the protection of his loved ones and himself. This is a marvelous piece of Scripture that we have before us. It is an example of seeking a close relationship with God that is built on faith.
We can take this example and be inspired by it. Let’s look at the posture of Ezra before the Lord. He embraces humility before God. He embraces faith and trust in the Lord. What is significant is that Ezra knows: “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, But His power and His wrath is against all those who forsake Him.”
Ezra has the choice of turning to God for protection as they travel to Jerusalem, or turning to man. He chose to turn to God and Ezra proclaims a fast to show his humility before God. He recognizes not only the power of God, but also the love of The Father who will care for His children. Here the fast is an act of worship to an Almighty God, acknowledging the goodness of God. We have a choice on how we relate to God. We can come to Him with humility and faith or we can take a posture of rebellion and forsake Him. Ezra give us a powerful example of humility and love of God.
As we continue reading in Chapter 8 of Ezra, we know that Ezra and all those with him were protected from ambushes on the road to Jerusalem. The Lord provided the protection for His children who turned to Him with humility and fasting.
Let us pray
Father, we come before You today in faith and humility. You are our Almighty and loving God and we place our faith in You. We stand on the promise that You will turn all things for good for those who love You and work to Your purpose. We pray that Your will be done in our lives as we trust in your protection.
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.
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