FOCUS ON JESUS IN MATTHEW 6:5-18You don't have to be a Catholic to spend the next 14 days of Prayer and Fasting, commissioned by US Conference of Catholic Bishops. It is always good to Pray and Fast! There is NO bad time to pray and fast, Biblically, as taught to us by the Lord Jesus in the Lord's Prayer. This Lord's Prayer is not to be done in rote, but is a model...a template...an example of HOW we pray, and the order of prayer, when we begin to press into the Throne Room.
Here is what Jesus said "...And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:5-8 ESV)
Then He said "...“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:16-18 ESV)
There is no choice as in "IF you pray..." but "WHEN you pray"! So this is an imperative. If we Protestants pray as the Lord Jesus indicated, there is NO downside! The focus of the Catholic Bishops is for us to maintain Religious Freedom as guaranteed in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. I suggest you and I, who love to pray, in and out of season, add Prayer for the increasing amount of Lost souls here in this country!
Once you have set your mind to prayer and even fast, expect major spiritual warfare in the form of Distractions, Abstractions, Substractions and just plain old demonic attack on your person, family and even your very soul! The key is Perseverance!
When you and I are praying or meditating on the Pure Word of God and something vile comes to mind, rebuke it and move in. Do not dwell on it.
When you and I are praying and fasting and the Dunkin Donuts go around the office and you're hungry...let it go! Turn your mind off food....or a certain type of food...or TV etc when you decide to fast!
These are just two simple tips to help prepare our minds as we pray, and/or get into a habit of prayer over the next two weeks, which will then inspire us to keep going and make it a lifestyle! Please pray with me, if thou wilt:
Father God, in the Name of Jesus, I pray You strengthen us in the inner man or woman to come boldly to the Throne of Grace to seek You, to seek out Your Heart, to search Your Word to sense and see Your Will for Your people, in these evil end times. Give us the ability to persevere in this venture to make it through the next two weeks of focused prayer and to never grow weary in loving You and all You mean to us. We bless, praise, worship, adore and surrender all to You right now...right now, in Jesus' Name, amen.