21 Days of Prayer and Fasting - Day 2
INTRODUCTION TO THE PRACTICE OF PRAYER
As we learned yesterday, the practice of fasting is abstaining from food for the purpose of engaging with and centering on God.
Today, we are introduced to our second practice for these 21 days - the practice of prayer.
Prayer is communicating and communing with God.
In one sense, it is as simple as talking with God, but it is so much more! It is pursuing God and increasing our awareness that He is pursuing us. It is a primary means that Jesus uses to shape and form our lives.
Prayer as communicating with God means that we intentionally set aside moments to talk to, listen to, hear from, be with, and ask God. Jesus practiced prayer in this way regularly, intentionally going away in private to communicate with God, the Father.
Prayer as communing with God means that we live our lives with God in prayer that does not cease (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We abide in Jesus (John 15:4). We live in awareness that the Holy Spirit lives with us and in us (John 14:16-17).
Richard Foster wrote in his book, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, “The primary purpose of prayer is to bring us into such a life of communion with the Father that, by the power of the Spirit, we are increasingly conformed to the image of the Son.”
Dallas Willard wrote in his book, The Divine Conspiracy, “I believe the most adequate description of prayer is simply, “Talking to God about what we are doing together.” That immediately focuses the activity where we are but at the same time drives the egotism out of it. Requests will naturally be made in the course of this conversational walk. Prayer is a matter of explicitly sharing with God my concerns about what he too is concerned about in my life. And of course he is concerned about my concerns and, in particular, that my concerns should coincide with his. This is our walk together. Out of it I pray.”
Therefore, the practice of prayer, both at intentionally set aside moments and as we live our lives, is a key practice to help us experience life with Jesus, become like Jesus, and do what Jesus taught us to do.
Take a moment to reflect on this content, Scripture verses, and quotes.
How might you begin to pray or reimagine the practice of prayer based on this?
Set aside some times this week to intentionally communicate with God.
How might you increase your awareness of the opportunity to commune with God through prayer?