Why Fasting and Prayer is Important, Part 1 (The Prayer Motivator Devotional #321)

06 Jun

Our prayer motivator verse from the Word of God today is Proverbs 15:8 which reads: “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.”

Allow me to share with you some important points regarding this verse from Matthew Henry’s Commentary:

God so hates wicked people, whose hearts are malicious and their lives mischievous, that even their sacrifices are an abomination to him. God has sacrifices brought him even by wicked men, to stop the mouth of conscience and to keep up their reputation in the world, as malefactors come to a sanctuary, not because it is a holy place, but because it shelters them from justice; but their sacrifices, though ever so costly, are not accepted of God, because not offered in sincerity nor from a good principle; they dissemble with God, and in their conversations give the lie to their devotions, and for that reason they are an abomination to him, because they are made a cloak for sin. God has such a love for upright good people that, though they are not at the expense of a sacrifice (he himself has provided that), their prayer is a delight to him. Praying graces are his own gift, and the work of his own Spirit in them, with which he is well pleased. He not only answers their prayers, but delights in their addresses to him, and in doing them good.

My personal encouragement to you today is that you should make it your business to pray in the morning to get your day started. As a couple, make a concrete decision to pray together in the morning before you go your separate ways. I do not care how busy you are. I do not care what you have on your agenda, take the time to pray together in the mornings before you part ways. Don’t let it slip by you. Don’t let the devil take that away from you. You must pray together! The devil is constantly working, and after you have been asleep all night, if you don’t quickly get in communication with God, I guarantee you the devil will try to get something in between you. I have learned over the years that the days I slip up in prayer or try to get some other things done before I pray with my family, the devil tries to get in between my wife and me over absolutely nothing. You need to pray in the mornings together as soon as possible after waking up.

Our prayer motivator quote today is from an Andrew Murray. He said: “Unless we are willing to pay the price, and sacrifice time and attention and what appear legitimate or necessary duties, for the sake of the heavenly gifts we need not look for a large experience of the power of the heavenly world in our work.”

Our prayer motivator devotional today is part 1 of a new series titled “WHY FASTING AND PRAY IS IMPORTANT” from Dr. John R. Rice.

Why Christians should sometimes leave off food, sleep, nice clothes, family life or other comforts to do nothing but pray.

The greatest saints of God throughout the Bible often fasted. Fasting is often connected with wholehearted prayer, with mourning, with repentance, with seeking deliverance from enemies or wisdom from above. Moses fasted forty days on Mount Sinai, and our Saviour fasted forty days in the wilderness. Joshua, David, Ezra, Nehemiah, Daniel, the disciples of John the Baptist, Anna, the apostles, Paul and Barnabas, and others fasted and prayed. Saints of God got their prayers answered when they waited on God in fastings and prayer. Since Bible times, the greatest men of prayer have oftentimes fasted as well as prayed. A Christian is in good company when he fasts and prays.

During the earthly ministry of Christ, the disciples of John the Baptist fasted, the Pharisees fasted, and naturally inquiries were made concerning the disciples of our Saviour. Jesus answered in Luke 5:34-35: “And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.”

So the Saviour not only fasted, but He taught His disciples to fast. They did fast after He was taken away.

The only restriction that our Saviour put upon fasting is that it was to be sincere. Men should not disfigure their faces to appear unto men to fast. A boastful, self-righteous flaunting of religious ceremonies such as that practiced by the Pharisees, hypocrites in the days of our Lord, is offensive to God, to be sure. But hypocrisy in anything else is a sin as truly as in the case of fasting. Christians should not fast as hypocrites, but they certainly should fast as Jesus fasted, as Paul fasted, as Barnabas and many others fasted.


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