Tag : bible

Fast and Pray by Mayada Naami

There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions.

(Ezra 8:21, NIV)

Biblical fasting is a way to draw nearer to God and eliminate distractions for a spiritual purpose. We reset our minds and are transformed from the inside out. It is a way to humble ourselves before God and make prayer requests for us and our loved ones. It also prepares our hearts for all the good things God desires to give us and enables us to celebrate His goodness and mercy. Most importantly, when we seek God in prayer, it deepens our relationship with Him and allows the Holy Spirit to lead us in our journey through life. When we dedicate and commit to a 21-day fast, combined with prayer, we intentionally seek God every day in prayer and faithfully believe that He is going to move in a powerful way in a specific area in our lives.

He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.

(Job 5:9, NIV)

There are different ways to commit to a fast but the most popular one is the Daniel Fast during which you remove certain elements from your diet such as meat, sweets, and bread. The Jewish Fast involves abstaining from eating any type of food in the morning and afternoon. This can be from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm, or from sunup to sundown. The Soul Fast is a great option if you wish to refocus a certain area of your life that is out of balance, such as social media, watching television, or cell phone usage. The most important thing to remember is that you are focusing on your relationship with the Lord and want to remove anything that is hindering you from focusing on Him. Schedule a set time to pray every day and determine a specific place to pray, away from distractions.

Create a list of things or people you want to fast and pray for. When reading the Bible be mindful of specific Scriptures and ask God to lead you in your prayer time with Him. In Matthew 6:6, Jesus tells His followers, “When you fast” and gives specific instructions about how they are to fast and pray. Jesus didn’t say “if” you fast, He said “when” you fast. This tells us that fasting is a spiritual discipline and is expected in our journey with Christ. Every Christian must devote a time for fasting and prayer to deepen their relationship with God in order to grow closer to Him and experience breakthroughs in specific areas in their life. If you want to see Him move supernaturally in a specific area or during a difficult season, this is a great time to fast and pray.

 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

(Mathew 6:16-18, NIV)

Categories: Blog

Your Name Matters by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

Last night we had a “get to know you” session for one of my spring doctoral classes . The professor said, “Tell us something others may not know about you.” The professor was an Abraham Lincoln fan so I shared that my father was born on Lincoln’s birthday and because of that was named “William Lincoln Burkhardt,” Then I told him and the class that I was named “Lisa William” after my father.

William Lincoln Burkhardt

As a child I was embarrassed about having a boy’s middle name but when I matured, I was proud of being named after my father, who died two months before I was born. Some friends in college called me “Willie” or “Bill.” To this day when my husband wants to get my attention he’ll exclaim, “Lisa William!”

While I was telling this story last night I felt like God shared something new about my name with me. He knew that He would one day call me into a male-dominated field as a sportscaster so he gave me a man’s name, Bill. While sportscasting is not necessarily a ministry profession, what I learned in that profession trained me for what I am doing now to serve the LORD, reaching the world through our television show POP Talk. It was all part of God’s plan—at birth. Psalm 139:13 says, “For You formed my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb” (NIV). There was a calling from the beginning. All the hardship. Any career training. The highs and lows. It was all molded together to glorify God.

Have you ever thought about your name and the significance it has in your life? My middle name “William” actually means “strong-willed warrior” and I know that has meaning as well as I war for the faith in these troubled times.

Your name matters.

Names are just as important now as they were in the Bible. Your parents may have named you but it is God who planted that name in their minds, because He designed a calling for your life as He formed you. It’s not too late to walk in that calling.

Categories: Blog