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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
As we ready ourselves to enter Holy Week and prepare our hearts to remember the death of Christ on Good Friday and celebrate His resurrection on Easter Sunday, we will look at the prayer life of Jesus in His final week as He approached the cross. The following passage takes place after Jesus’ “Triumphal Entry” into Jerusalem and just before He celebrated the Passover meal the night that He was betrayed.
Connect the Heart
Every word Jesus spoke and every miracle God did through Him revealed some aspect of God’s nature to everyone watching and listening. God was glorified as those experiencing life with and around Jesus witnessed him healing the lame, calming storms, raising the dead, feeding enormous crowds – and most importantly, forgiving sinners. No one understood at the time, but Jesus knew that He was on a path moving toward the cross, planned by the Father from before the foundation of the world. And in this ultimate sacrifice, the Father would be most glorified. In this prayer, Jesus reveals the purpose behind all of His words and actions. The glory of God. Though Jesus asked the Father to “take this cup” from Him, God would not be most glorified by saving Him from that hour – but rather in crushing His Son on our behalf, to die the death that you and I deserve.
It is important for us to imitate the words of Jesus’ prayer through our prayer life – “Father, glorify your name.” Henry Blackaby says that “for us to not have a significant prayer life is not only to deny ourselves the knowledge of God’s will. It also means we’ll be unable to obey and honor Him, and therefore, we’ll be withholding from God the glory that’s rightfully His.”
Reflect on the Truth
1. Jesus’ life and prayer was to glorify the Father. How is your heart – your words, your actions, your desires, your motivations – oriented toward this same purpose? How might Jesus’ example of a life of prayer devoted to God’s glory be an invitation for you to experience more intimacy with Him?
2. Sometimes our prayers can be so self-focused around “our” purposes, “our” wants, “our” desires, that it might be questionable as to who we’re wanting to glorify. How might the orientation of your prayers – and even the words themselves – be modified to most glorify God?
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, “Father, I truly do want to glorify you. Though, I admit that I struggle with the tension between my will and your will. Please guide me by your Spirit.”) 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 God’s will to be done in your life and in the life of our church – and that the Father will be most glorified.
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.