Before starting a season of prayer, fasting, and communion, there are some mindsets and preparations I typically consider. Over the next few posts, I’m going to share some of them. Today, here’s the first.
1.) What is my motivation? Whenever I launch into a season of prayer, fasting, and communion, I have learned to not set rigid expectations of what my experience will be. It typically ends up being something far different than I anticipate. Though there are usually issues or areas of my life that I’d really like to seek God for, I will capture those (and I don’t exclude them from the conversations), but I then suspend the tendency to let them set the agenda for my fast.
God knows what we have need of (Matthew 6:8), and my goal during these seasons is to follow wherever He leads, not set the course myself, nor dominate the conversation(s), nor prioritize what is on my heart and mind. My motivation boils down to two things I keep in front of me: a.) Draw closer to God (in whatever way He chooses to lead) and b.) Deny my usual appetites to strengthen the governance of my spirit over my flesh and soul.
Drawing closer to God always renews, restores, and strengthens me for the parts of the journey that are yet ahead. To know Him more intimately, to become more acquainted with His ways and how He works, to grow closer so that I can perceive Him more easily – all these are the deepest desires of my heart. As long as this remains my top priority, everything else I could ever want, wonder about, need answers to, etc. – that will come. Relationship and intimacy is always, always first priority. This is accomplished through more intentional times of worship and prayer as well as exercising my spiritual senses in different ways.
Secondly, denying the natural appetites and desires of what I would typically reach for or what I would typically spend my time doing or setting my mind to builds strength. I’m not even talking about things that are harmful, just those things that can become overindulgences or patterns if I’m not careful.
So with these thoughts in mind, my journey begins. This is the why and the next steps become the what, which I’ll touch on later.
Linda G. Riddle