Step Four in Crisis: Show God You're Serious Through Prayer
"As I prayed, I fasted and wore rough sackcloth, and I sprinkled myself with ashes” (Daniel 9:3b TLB).
Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 9 provides us with a great model for how to pray during a crisis. In the last few devotions, we’ve learned from this passage to:
- Let God speak to us before we speak to him.
- Focus our attention on God and seek him.
- Express our desires with emotions.
Fourth, the kind of prayer God answers during a crisis is one where we demonstrate our seriousness. You need to signal to God that you mean business about your need. It isn’t just a whim or a casual thought. You need to let God see how important it is to you.
Daniel described three different ways he signaled his seriousness to God. “To show my sadness, I fasted, put on rough cloth, and sat in ashes” (Daniel 9:3b NCV).
We’re going to focus on the first thing he did: He fasted from food. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that people have employed for centuries.
Jesus said some miracles could only happen through prayer and fasting, not by prayer alone. Why? Fasting tells God you’re serious about your prayer.
Moses fasted before he received the Ten Commandments. The Israelites fasted before they went into many of their major battles. Daniel fasted in order to receive guidance from God. Nehemiah fasted before he began a major building project. Jesus fasted in victory over temptation.
Talk It Over
- How does fasting show God you’re serious about your prayers?
- Fasting doesn’t have to be related to food. It’s about removing other things from your life so you can focus on prayer. What other things might you consider fasting from?
- How can you make fasting a consistent (or more consistent) part of your spiritual life?
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This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.