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Have you received clarity and direction from the Holy Spirit on how He would have you participate in the spiritual discipline of fasting during this 21 Days? For some guidance and ideas, read our post on “Why Fast?”
We want to encourage you to grab a journal or a notebook – something to write on as you walk through each prayer guide or devotional. Yes, it will add a few minutes to the time it takes to do the devotion, and it will also deepen your experience and shape your walk with God for years to come. This journal or notebook will be a keepsake to remind you of God’s faithfulness during this challenging season for all of us.
Engage the Word
Today again, we look not so much to the words of Jesus’ prayer, but to the circumstances around His prayer life.
40 So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. 41 And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. 42 And they all ate and were satisfied. 43 And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44 And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.45 Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray.
Connect the Heart
In Mark 6, Jesus and his disciples went away to be alone, yet found themselves surrounded by 5,000 seeking and hungry people – and this is most likely just the headcount of the men, so there were likely many more in total. The crowd had heard about the miracles Jesus and His disciples were doing, and came to listen. This is the familiar story where the only food they had for all of these people were five loaves of bread and two fish. We know that Jesus and the disciples fed the 5,000 and even had twelve baskets leftover. Notice what Jesus did immediately after performing this incredible miracle. He went to a “desolate place” to be alone with His Father to pray. If you read further in your Bible, you’ll see that after he prayed, he went out and walked on the Sea of Galilee as the disciples futilely rowed against the wind – and then he calmed the storm.
Jesus was very busy. He was going from place to place healing the sick, feeding thousands of people, calming storms, training disciples – and yet, even He needed to get away from others and get alone with His Father to pray.
Reflect on the Truth
1. You also are most likely very busy. How is your heart – your words, your actions, your desires, your motivations – recognizing the need to slow down and commune with God, even in the midst of the busyness? Do you, like Jesus, prioritize times alone in “desolate places” to pour out your heart to God?
2. Jesus is a model for us. He is fully God – and yet also fully man, and showed us by example the importance of getting alone with God. Take a few moments to think about and reflect on how you might incorporate more time alone with God and His Word into your everyday rhythms.
Depend on the Spirit
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see the deeper longings, desires or motives in your heart that these thoughts are pointing to. (For example: you may write down, “O Father in heaven, I’m so busy, I can’t imagine where I’d find the margin to pray more. I need your help.”) The Lord can help us discern the path forward – through His word, His Spirit, His people.
For Prayer: As we conclude our devotional time, pray for Char Prudhomme, who is struggling with an auto-immune disorder that is affecting every area of her life, including her ability to walk.
Read our post “Why Fast?” to learn about the spiritual discipline of fasting and gain a better understanding of why Jesus asked us to fast. We fast not to get something we want from God, but for God to change our wants. We fast because Jesus fasted, He expected we would fast, and we see that the early church fasted.
Read yesterday’s post HERE.
Catch up on all our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting posts on the blog HERE.