Beth wakes from her sleep with a smile. She hops out of bed and pulls from the drawer a clean cloth, a bible and a pillow. She plops the pillow and kneels by the bed, and her heart fills with excitement. In humility and reverence, she takes the cloth and covers her head to make an improvised temple. As she enters the sacred place of holy seclusion, her face is aglow; her bible is open, as she communes with The Lord of Creation.
Such is the approach of a holy man or woman who values fasting and prayer. Most people know how to pray, yet fewer know how to “commune” with God. One of the most cherished ways to commune with God is through the holy assignment of fasting and prayer; but, many shy away. Yet, did you know that embracing a higher perspective is the key to getting excited about fasting and prayer?
Beth filled with excitement, because she holds the perspective deep in her heart that receiving an invitation to have intimacy with God is the ultimate honor and privilege. Beth knows she’s going before The King: Not just any king, but the King of the Universe! So, she approaches Him with humility and reverence. And, she knows that God is kind, that His command to fast and pray is for her benefit.
Abraham communed with God on Mount Moriah, where he experienced a level of worship that is beyond human comprehension. (Genesis 22:1-14) It seems strange that when God commanded him to sacrifice his son, he didn’t negotiate with God for Isaac’s life, as he did for the people of Sodom. Yet, Abraham knew in his heart that giving his son back to God was something he had to do: He must obey God’s command.
Years earlier, God had given Abraham the key to passing the test with excellence. When Abraham was 99, God commanded him to “be thou wholehearted” and be circumcised as a sign of their covenant and in return he would receive a son named, Isaac, offspring that would become a nation, land for the nation to live in, and He would be their God. (Genesis 17:1-8)
As a result of that encounter, Abraham knew that offering Isaac to God with his whole heart could result in an elevation that exceeds his wildest dreams. Yet, getting something in return was not his focus, nor was it his motivation. Abraham held the perspective that receiving an invitation to commune with The King through the offering of Isaac is not only the ultimate honor and privilege, but an opportunity for him to demonstrate his unconditional love and loyalty to God.
In fact, the bible says that Abraham “rose up early” to prepare for the journey:
And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. (Genesis 22:3)
Still, getting started wasn’t easy. Keeping focused was a mindful effort. For this reason, the bible says twice that Abraham “rose up”. The first rising was getting out of bed. The second rising was a mental and emotional rising, when Abraham took captive every negative thought and human emotion that might cause him to stop the sacrifice and fail the test.
Focusing on the majesty of God enabled Abraham to prepare for the mission: He informed Sarah that he would be taking Isaac on a journey, he gathered his men and his son, he split the wood for the burnt offering, he trekked three days to Moriah, built the altar, tied Isaac upon it, and proceeded to stretch forth the knife. During the ritual, Abraham embodied loving-kindness; Isaac personified justice. As both Father and Son pressed down their natural compulsion to stop the offering, they began to worship God with increasing intensity, until each of them assumed the attribute of the other.
As Abraham and Isaac demonstrated their love for God with all their heart, mind, body and soul, they moved into an attitude of worship that exceeds human comprehension, enabling them to say and do the unthinkable. Abraham stretched for the knife; Isaac stretched back his neck. As a result of their wholehearted love and loyalty, God brought forth a ram for Abraham to offer in Isaac’s place and Abraham received the ultimate blessing. (Genesis 22:11-13)
By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. (Genesis 22:16-18)
How can we follow in the footsteps of Abraham as we prepare for our month of fasting and prayer?
Inform close friends and family members that you will be abstaining from your regular routine, such as: eating certain meals, playing video games, watching television, talking on the phone or social media. Tell them you will be going into seclusion to have intimacy with the Lord. Letting them know your plan will prevent them from being offended by your absence and your abstinence.
Take the initiative to embrace the privilege of communing with God: Separate from the physical world and enter the heavenly realm. Capture every negative thought and emotion that might sway you from engaging with God. Meditate on His majesty. Let it sink deep into your heart and soul that the God-Of-All-Creation yearns to have intimacy with you. Yet, know that approaching the King of the Universe is an honor that warrants we approach Him with reverence.
Seek the circumcision of the heart: In quietness and in confidence, forgive those who have hurt you, confess your sins to the Lord through communion, and be cleansed in the blood of the Lamb, Yeshua. Ponder that God commands us to fast and pray: not for His benefit, but to elevate us in our walk with Him by revealing his deepest thoughts and feelings, and by endowing us with spiritual gifts.
Clothe in the higher perspective: Gather your bible, pillow and prayer cloth, as your heart fills with excitement. Cover your head in humility and reverence, as you create the intimate space where you and the God of the Universe will spend precious time communing. As you enter into that holy place, press into the core of God’s soul, listen for His voice, beseech Him, love Him, meditate on His word, sing to Him a new song, praise and worship Him: for He is worthy.
Then, share with the world the beauty and power that you receive from God: loose the bands of wickedness, undo the heavy burdens, let the oppressed go free, break every yoke, give bread to the hungry, house the homeless, and clothe the naked.
Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am! (Isaiah 58:6-9)
As you touch the deepest chambers of God’s heart, He will respond with a powerful anointing that brings revelation, healing, deliverance, salvation, answered prayer, and breakthrough. In this light, fasting and prayer will become the most astonishing experience of your life!
Article written By Mary Nahas - A Friend and Intercessor For Kingdom Impact Ministry