By Jess Rath
I once thought prayer was only done twice a day; once in the morning when I got up, and then again at night before going to bed. The prayers were all about thanking Him for the things that had happened during the day and sometimes I would pray for a need that my family had. At times I would pray during the day, prayers like,
“Lord help me in this moment”,
or “Father I lift up …. to You for healing/peace/deliverance and I ask that you help them in this time.” My life wasn’t what I could call blessed, or even victorious, I’d sum it up as ‘just getting by…just.’
It didn’t matter what I prayed (in my short morning ritual prayer) life stayed tough and got tougher. I felt like God was too far off and had left me to my own devices and my prayers began to sound more like pleading cries for help than prayers of power and change.
One morning while I was reading my bible, I came to the passage in 2 Chronicles chapter 20. In this chapter Jehoshaphat is at war. When he hears that there is a vast army coming against him, he doesn’t make plans to battle, he ‘set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast’ (verse 3). While he is fasting and seeking God, he is praising the Lord for all that He has done, proclaiming God’s power. King Jehoshaphat is told that the battle is not his, but God’s and that he doesn’t have to fight it, all he has to do is take up his position and stand firm. The Lord then sets an ambush up and the vast armies attack and destroy each other.
This inspired me!
That day I committed myself to a time of prayer and fasting.
At first I set aside two days to fast, the only outcome I had was to seek God in my circumstances. At the times that I would normally eat, I read passages of the bible that related to the issues I was facing and I began to pray, like King Jehoshaphat did in 2 Chronicles chapter 20 verse 6, “O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no-one can withstand you.” At this time, I also began journaling. This became so important for me; I wrote out my prayers, I wrote about the things that were revealed to me in certain scriptures or in circumstances. Through my journal I began to see that the more I sought God, the more I saw my circumstances change. I realized that the battles that I face are not my battles, I changed my position on them.
After my first two-day fast, I decided to commit to a period of fasting for one day each week. I didn’t want to lose the God-perspective that I had gained. As a result, I no longer see prayer as just a morning and ‘before bed’ ritual.
My prayers are different.
Sometimes they are in complete thankfulness to Him for all that he has provided, delivered or shown. Sometimes they are fierce battles when I am interceding for friends or family. Sometimes they are quiet whispers for the Holy Spirit to reveal things to me. And sometimes they are like me jumping up onto the lap of my Father at the end of each day to tell him all the things that I hope and dream, all the things that are troubling me or that are heavy on my heart.
Life is now what I would call blessed, it is victorious and good. Prayer changed my life, because I seek His perspective not my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jess is a mother of four sons and works full time teaching grade 5. She runs Faith THEN Food and Fitness, a ministry that seeks to see others live healthy, whole and free lives in Christ. You can find her on Facebook (Faith THEN Food and Fitness), Instagram (@faith.then.food.and.fitness) or at www.faithfoodandfitness.com.au