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Prayer & Fasting Week 3 || Acts 13:2

Updated: Jan 15, 2023

REFLECTION || Week 3 Prayer & Fasting || Acts 13:2

Fasting is a way to build up a relationship with God. As we fast and sacrifice or do without something, our need should show us plainly our dependence upon God. We must use these reminders to turn to God, to think of Him. Fasting encourages us to build the proper attitude—to have a “circumcision of the heart” (Deuteronomy 30:6). Our attitude should be one of giving glory to God and recognizing Him as Creator and the giver of all good things. The heart must be right with proper motives. When the heart is right we build our relationship to God as we, with humility, recognize Him and yearn to spend time with Him and grow to know Him. In this way, through prayer and fasting, we can take time to hear “the still small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-13) of God as he leads us in the way and the plan that He has prepared for each of us.

ACTION: This final week of fasting and prayer can give one the opportunity to place God first in all things. This week try starting your day with a new way to align to Him or if you have never launched devotions in early morning, give it a try.

We have all heard many times that prayer should be our first response to a problem and not the last resort, and these are words that we should apply to our lives. We read in Scripture, “knock and the door will be opened”; “seek and ye shall find”, and through both prayer and fasting we doing this very thing. We are opening our heart to God to deepen our relationship with Him.

When Jesus was asked why His disciples were not fasting, (Matthew 9:14-15) “Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.”. I think that we can determine that as we look to build up and maintain a relationship with God, fasting can be useful.

Devotional Meditation on the Word

Acts 13:2: “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’”

This Scripture is very instructional and applicable to one’s commissioning and calling. We all, as children of God, seek to know the purpose He has for us. The decisions we will be making are about how and where we are being led by the Spirit. In this scripture, these believers were engaged with the Lord. They were ministering to Him (worshiping) and fasting. Again we can see the fast as a way to keep us centered on God.

We are inviting Him into our hearts and inviting the Holy Spirit who is within us to lead. Always remember that it is the intention of the Holy Spirit to lead us to Jesus.

It is during this time of engagement that the Lord speaks to them. He has a specific mission for both Barnabas and Saul. It is when we stop and intentionally seek God for an answer that we can be led by Him. How do we hear from God?

The most direct way that God speaks to His children is through His Word. We can we look to see what is written in the Word for direction on any question or problem that we are facing. One sure way to walk in the Spirit is to follow the direction that is given in His Word. We can look for confirmation of what we are doing in the Word.

We can pray for direction, and we can wait on His timing. God’s will for us is always in our best interest. We can depend on His omniscient nature. God is concerned for our spiritual state and He may bring us trials to help us to remove those things and attitudes that keep us from Him. Through our time of prayer and fasting we can examine ourselves and realign our actions and priorities to be aligned with His Word.

How can we evaluate whether or not we are walking in the will of God? For confirmation we must look at the fruit of our lives. Are you working with the gifts given to you by the Holy Spirit? This is our service to both God and the Body. We must be good stewards of these gifts and use them as our ministry. We pray that the fruit of the Holy Spirit is present in your lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

As we turn to God in prayer we are engaged with the complete Godhead. We pray to The Father, in the Name of Jesus, through the Holy Spirit. As we pray in the Name of Jesus, we are positionally with Him. He is in Heaven at the right hand of The Father, and He is our mediator and our righteousness before the Father. We are using the authority He has given us to ask of the Father in Jesus’ Name. We have our identity in Christ as we place our faith in Him as Our Savior. We are then in Christ and as we acknowledge Him our relationship with Him is begun. Through continued prayer, as we spend time with Him, our lives will grow to become more Christ-centered.

Let us pray. . . Father we pray to always walk in your will for us. We know that You are our Good Father, and want what will draw us close to You.

Father, we pray for discernment and knowledge as we study Your Word. We pray for strength and perseverance to follow it so we may remain in Your will and work to the purpose that You have for each of us.

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.

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