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

Ephesians 6:18

Prayer is essential for every Christian. We are commanded to pray continually (1 Thess. 5:17) and persist in prayer (Matt. 7:7-11). In doing so, we build a relationship with God. It is important that we build prayer into our daily lives so that we may SOAR in relationship with Him. Within the Bible, prayer affected everything. People were healed, sin overcame, the timid were made bold, and peace was gained. In the same way, prayer can and will affect us too. This week I encourage you to make time to pray continuously, without ceasing. Listed below are a few ways you may be encouraged to partake in prayer.

 

  • Pray the Labyrinth: On the East Side of Orchard Hill, we have the Labyrinth. Bring your prayers to God as you walk the Labyrinth.
  • Pray using the Acronym PRAY: Praise, Repent, Ask, Yield
  • Pray Scripture: It is powerful to pray Scripture. Whether it is the prayers of Paul (Ephesians 3:14-21, Philippians 1:9-11), or the prayers of Jesus (Matthew 6:9-13, John 17), we can pray to God using His word.
  • Repurpose your Routine around Prayer: With busy lives, use the everyday tasks to draw closer to God. Pray while doing laundry, or dishes, while mowing the lawn, driving to work, etc.

 

And wen 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

 

Fasting is choosing to skip a normal activity to encounter God for a specific purpose. When we fast, we make ourselves less, and God more. Fasting needs a purpose; within the Bible, people fasted for guidance, to express mourning, to seek protection, to overcome temptations, and express repentance and devotion to God. In fasting, we are abstaining from a normal activity to experience God more deeply. Fasting can look differently among people, but this week I encourage you to fast. What do you need to fast from to solely devote yourself to God? Listed below are examples of ways to fast this week.

 

  • Fast from eating food (still drink water). In doing so, choose the length of time, and what reason you are fasting (guidance, grief, desire, etc.) Fill that time connecting with God through Bible reading, prayer, and worship.
  • Fast from Social Media, Video Games, Entertainment, and spend that time digging into the Word of God and prayer
  • Fast for a Cause: Fast from buying coffee or a lunch out and save the money to donate towards a worthy cause. Use the time you would have spent eating in prayer for the cause you are choosing to donate towards.

“The weakness of our hunger for God is not because He is unsavory, but because we keep ourselves stuffed with other things.”

John Piper

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