MONDAY — YOUR FAMILY
Before we look at today’s prayer focus, I just want to quickly discuss adding some component of fasting to your week’s activities. If you have not already decided what you will do, I want to encourage you to make a plan and write it down.
Jesus placed fasting on the same level as prayer and giving. You can read that in Matthew chapter 6. It says in verse 2, “When you give”, in verse 5 it says, “When you pray”, then in verse 16 it says, “When you fast”.
Notice it doesn’t say “If”, it says “When”. Jesus by His example and His teaching demonstrates that prayer and fasting are important and integral ingredients in the lives of His followers.
One purpose of prayer and fasting is to bring our hearts to a place of being filled with a sacrificial love that results in godly attitudes in our lives. True fasting will draw us closer to God and His purposes.
Let’s consider fasting food. This type of fasting brings a sharp focus to the dramatic difference between our physical and spiritual natures. Eating is one of the most fundamental things we do as physical beings.
By exercising our wills and depriving ourselves of food for spiritual purposes, we acknowledge our spiritual natures and honor our Creator-Father.
When I am fasting and I feel hunger, I like to cry out to God and say I am more hungry to see you move than I am hungry for food!
Perhaps you will choose to give up certain activities as part of your fast. It is important that we don’t just give up things, but that we spend additional time seeking the Lord during this consecrated time.
Remember fasting doesn’t change God, it changes us!
- Pray God’s blessing upon your family as you commit to give time to Him in prayer and in the Word.
- Pray that God will strengthen mothers and fathers to be godly examples of Christlike character.
- Pray that God will protect the family from the enemy’s desire to confuse and destroy.
Ephesians 2:19-22 NLT: “19 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. 20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. 21 We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord.”
Joshua 24:15 NLT: “But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve…. but as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”
Psalm 128:1-4 NLT: “How joyful are those who fear the Lord—all who follow his ways! 2 You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be! 3 Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home. Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees as they sit around your table. 4 That is the Lord’s blessing for those who fear him.”
Ephesians 5:21-29 NLT: “21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 For wives, this means submit your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. 25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.”
Psalm 84:11 AMP: “For the Lord God is a Sun and Shield; the Lord bestows [present] grace and favor and [future] glory (honor, splendor, and heavenly bliss)! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
Proverbs 22:6 NASU: “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Ephesians 6:4 NASU: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Proverbs 20:7 KJV: “The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.”
Isaiah 54:13 NKJV: “All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.”
Proverbs 23:24 NLT: “The father of godly children has cause for joy. What a pleasure to have children who are wise.”
Proverbs 17:6 NLT: “Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged; parents are the pride of their children.