I want to express my thanks to Jesus for this time of prayer and fasting. He is our king, and he is a good king. He knows what is best, and he knows what we need. And Jesus has given us prayer and fasting as something we do as the church to know him, love him, and see his kingdom extended into the world.
The Gospel was work to accomplish. The gift of grace that takes a sinner from being God's bitter enemy to being His beloved child was a costly gift. So when we go into prayer and fasting we should acknowledge that it is going to be work. Taking the time to choose what to fast, preparing our hearts, making the conscious choice to persevere when we are tempted to quit. But this time of prayer and fasting is a gift: the Father is giving it to us for our good, and he is expecting us to accomplish this good work by His strength through the Spirit.
So here are some dos and don’ts for our prayer and fasting to try to capture the truth that faith-filled fasting is work, but it is a gift that is received and accomplished by the grace of God.
o Do be grateful for your fast. Don't let your heart get bitter.
o Do plan to fast and pray; but don't get distracted by the plan and forget to look to the Lord.
o Do pick something to fast that you will feel the absence of; don't go overboard and hurt yourself.
o Do aim to participate in what the church is doing together; don't beat yourself if you feel like you’re only joining in a little.
o Do fight to be faithful to praying; don't forget the strength comes from God and don't quit if you stumble.
o Do fast and pray together with someone; don't boast about it.
o Do trust God's power to answer prayer; don't think you're 'earning' things that only God can do by grace.
So with these little directions in mind, let's humble ourselves before the Lord and seek him. He will be found by us.