What are some things you could be doing from the hours of 9:00 pm until 4:00 am on a Friday? There are a lot of things you could be doing at such late hours of the night. I am sure many of those things have just popped into your mind…but don’t worry Dad I wasn’t doing any of those things! In fact, I think you would be quite pleased with my actions of last night (early this morning). So what was I doing?
Surprised? Hopefully pleased. My three 21 day fast partners and I decided to have an all-night prayer. In our effort to seek MORE of God, we have realized that we must be willing to make certain sacrifices to receive MORE of Him. We also recognize that we are at war. This is not a physical war but a Spiritual war. The more we desire God and to do His will, the more the enemy also desires for us to fail. Thankfully we already know the outcome of this war. Victory will be ours because Jesus has already declared Victory over ALL things! But that still means we must be willing to fight. In order to better equip ourselves for this battle for our lives and futures and the lives and futures of the ones we love, we decided to pray and petition God for MORE of Him. MORE power. MORE authority. MORE faith. MORE focus. MORE strength. MORE peace. MORE joy. MORE love. MORE of His Spirit!
In the final chapter (ch. 6) of the book of Ephesians Paul writes to the church in Ephesus about putting on the full armor of God. Since this is the last thing He writes to this church it is quite important. He even starts off by saying in verse 10 with the word: “Finally…”, like he has been waiting to share this oh so important word with them.
He urges the church to put on the full armor of God. Why? The rest of verse 10 says:
“…so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
When we pray we must understand that not only are we praying for certain things, but we are also praying against certain things! God is busy, and so is the devil. As dedicated followers of Christ, the devil is more focused on finding ways to trip us up then non-believers. This is why prayer is so important. Especially during a fast, we are more susceptible to being tempted by the devil. Even Jesus was tempted after fasting for forty days and forty nights. When we pray we enter into the spiritual realm. Praying is essentially talking to God, and since God is a spirit, this is how our spirit communes with His spirit.
Paul even says in verse 18:
“18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
Paul urges us to pray in the Spirit (including praying in tongues). We pray in the Spirit through the power of the Holy Spirit that is in us. When should we pray? Paul says on all occasions. There is no time more important or less important to pray. We should be in constant prayer. During the good times and bad times and every time in between.
Paul also says in the verse we should pray all kinds of prayers and requests. We can pray about anything! Some might think there are dumb questions but there are NOT dumb prayers! Nothing is off limits for prayer! We should pray about every big and little thing!
Now that we have this in mind that we must pray in the Spirit on all occasions about everything, we do this in order to remain alert and to pray for all of God’s people! The enemy is busy people. He never rests. He is constantly seeking to kill, still, and destroy. And if we are not alert he will succeed in his mission in your life, your family, your job, your home, your future.
Then finally in verse 19 Paul writes:
“19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel…”
Although this was a request that the Ephesus church pray for Paul, we should also make this our request. How many people do you know (including yourself) can say that every time they speak they fearlessly proclaim the gospel? On all occasions, you are ready to boldly and fearlessly proclaim the goodness of God?! I know I have fallen short in that area, so the great need for prayer.
So what did we do from the hours of 9:00 pm until 4:00 am Friday? We prayed. We interceded for our families. We worshiped. We cried out to God. We spoke in tongues. We listened. We prayed for MORE. We prayed against the enemy. We prayed for the rest of our fast. We called on the Almighty God!
Prayer is so powerful. It is time we start tapping into that power more and more. Somethings can’t be loosed with just the two minute prayers we give God on our way out the door or before we go to bed at night. But we need to spend more and more time in prayer. If that requires us to be up all night prostrate before the King, then I guess that means you need to get a comfy mat for your floor.
“…The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
21 Days of Surrender: Tips for a Successful Fast
- Pray. A lot more.
This fast is more than just giving up certain foods or habits, but it is more about spending uninterrupted quality time with God in prayer. Longer and more focused than your usual prayers. You are more vulnerable to the attack of the enemy because of the fast, so we must replace the things we have given up with prayer. Lots and lots of prayer!
See above scriptures and Matthew 4:1-11