40 Day Fast & Pray | Free Download

Many Christians around the world are taking time to fast and pray. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that allows you to petition God in a powerful, yet intimate way. It focuses on depriving yourself of things that are of value to you (such as food, drinks, social media, etc.) so that you can cry out to God in desperation.

To illustrate, I want to tell you a story.

Imagine that you’re a young, vibrant woman who has been through more than your fair share of things. Your parents have both died and your selfless uncle has graciously taken you under his wing as his own. You are all he has and he is all you have.

Then one day, the king calls for all the single, young women to be gathered together. You fit the description they’re looking for. The queen has been banished and the king needs a new queen.

Sounds exciting, right?

Except, this isn’t really your home. You live here because of circumstances beyond your control, but your heart longs for your home, your own people. Your heart longs for the Jews.

All the women vying for the limelight undergo a serious regimen of beauty preparations. Somehow, some way, you find favour among those running the show. You find yourself with more beauty options than the other girls. You’re assigned 7 choice maidservants from the palace. You get the best of the best accommodations.

No one knows who you really are. That’s the way you want it.

Everyone loves you – except the other women. They wish they were you.

They say you’ll never have a second chance at creating a good first impression. That’s especially true in your situation. You have one chance to meet the king; one chance to make a lasting impression.

The results are in. The king is enthralled. The royal crown is placed on your head. You are now the queen.

One day, you find out that there is an evil plot against the Jews. A plan to eliminate your own people – a plan to eliminate you.

Still, no one knows who you really are.

Your beloved king agrees to annihilate your people. He has no idea that you are the target.

What do you do? Desperate times call for desperate measures. You must go before the king to reveal your true identity. You know this is what you must do, but it is certain death if you do. It is forbidden.

The king has proven to be ruthless, banishing his previous queen only to prove a point. There’s no reason why he wouldn’t shower the full extent of the law on you.

You look back on your life and resolve that you were made for such a time as this.

You will go before the king. You will petition for your people. You will expose the evil schemes at work within the kingdom.

If you die, you die.

In desperation, you ask your uncle to gather all the Jews.

“Fast for me.” You say. “Fast with me.”

The time has come. You put on your royal gown. You stand in the inner court of the king’s palace. Your head drops as you silently whisper one last prayer.

The king sees you. This is the moment. When you lift your eyes, you catch a shimmer of the golden sceptre.

You will not die. You will live. For such a time as this.

When you expose the atrocities, the king reverses the plot.

Your people are saved. You are saved.

If you want to read the full account of this story, check out the book of Esther in the Bible.

Through fasting, Esther was able to not only endure a stressful situation, but to overcome it as well. Fasting was a key part of this ordeal.

We can also incorporate fasting into our lives and enjoy the benefits that come along with this type of discipline.

If you’re interested in fasting, let me know in the comments. I’ve put together this Fasting Guide 2020 for you to use.

Enjoy fasting.

Remember, you were made for such a time as this.

Names of God | El Shaddai

The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous run into it, and is safe.
Proverbs 18:10

Brian and I recently preached on the Names of God. Many people are unaware of the resources and power we have available at our fingertips. All throughout the Bible, God constantly reveals himself and his character.

One of the things that we like to do as a family is to pray together. There are so many important elements to having a regular time of prayer with your family. So, this morning, like many other days, we prayed. My daughter had friends over, so we asked if they would like to be included in this time, which they were good with. Brian presented them with some options of the different names of God that we could use in our prayer time. After realizing that God has about 1000 names that describe his character, the name El Shaddai was selected. Knowing absolutely nothing about what El Shaddai meant, it was chosen as a powerful force that rhymed with “The Jedi”. So we embarked on learning about, El Shaddai the Jedi. It’s strange, right, like anyone ever watches a Star Wars movie in modern culture?  I mean, have you ever seen someone dressed up as stormtrooper, set your alarm for 3am to ride “Rise of the Resistance” or tote a purse with your favourite character, like baby Yoda?

Nonetheless, El Shaddai, was selected as the choice name of God.

Names tell a story and speak the future hope over people. My name means ‘beauty , grace, favour, slender and fair.’ My husband’s name, Brian, means ‘strength, virtue or strong one.’

The fact of the matter is names mean something to people. It’s special and unique to you, no matter who else bears it. They not only influence us, but those around us and their attitudes towards others.

The Bible says in Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Every time we say a name, we are making a confession over someone’s life. Our identity is attached to it.

In the Bible, a name stood for a person’s reputation, character, desires and future hopes.

The Hebrew word “Shem” translated “name” in the Old Testament literally means “A mark or a brand.” It reveals personality, character and purpose. For example, Nabal, whose name means “fool,” is referenced in 1 Samuel 25:25 “For as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him:” Other examples include, David (beloved), Isaac (laughter), Satan (adversary).

Names are so important to God that he will even change your name to line it up with his destiny for you. Jacob (deceiver) was changed to Israel (God contends) or Abram (Exalted father) to Abraham (Father of a multitude).

When God reveals to us a name about himself, he is describing his character so we can know him better and he can be to us exactly who he is. Prayer is an excellent way for us to develop an intimacy with God. Knowing his names helps in this process.

Matthew 6:9 “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”

Jesus is teaching us how to pray in this passage. He starts off by addressing God as our Father. This establishes a relationship with Him. He is our dad and we are his family.

He follows this up with the “hallowed be your name”. Hallowed means consecrated to a sacred use, reverenced, holy. Isaiah 6:3 states that there are angels who just speak of the holiness of God by just repeating over and over “Holy, Holy, holy is the Lord God almighty”.

God takes his name very seriously and so should we. In Exodus 20:7, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” This literally means empty or without meaning, conveying an idea that something is without substance.

Our culture has developed a disdain and lack of honour for God. This stems from a lack of the Fear of God. Psalms 86:11 “Teach me Your way, O’ Lord; I will walk in Your Truth; Unite my heart to Fear your name.”.  The Fear of the Lord is a foundation stone in the life of a believer as it connects us to the reverence, honour and respect that we have for our Saviour.

You see, everything that we will ever need in life is in God. He is our father and we can go to Him when we pray and He will give us what we need. As we learn about the names of God, we can activate those revelations of him in our daily lives through PRAYER.

Let’s jump back to El Shaddai, which means Lord God Almighty and All-Sufficient One. It’s first referenced in Genesis 17:1 “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.”

These reveal to us not only the supreme eternal nature of God, but that he is also our sufficient source in time of need. This is important, for we need to understand that when we go to the source we will be sustained.

Let me further clarify.

Isaiah 60:16 “You shall drink the milk of the Gentiles, And milk the breast (shad) of kings; You shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.” and Isaiah 66:10-11 “Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you who love her; Rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her; that you may feed and be satisfied with the consolation of her bosom (shad), that you may drink deeply and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.”

Shaddai comes from the root word shad, which is literally translated breast. These passages are used to describe the supply of nourishment, like a woman to her baby. So when God says He is El Shaddai, He is basically saying I’m the breasty one who supplies the nourishment needed to sustain your life.

What a revelation, God is the complete nourishment that we need to live every day. I’m pretty sure we need God in this capacity daily, so praying to El Shaddai is a great way to start the day off, and that is exactly what we did.

El Shaddai, the Jedi gave us nourishment for the day.

Mini Devos Psalms 27

It’s winter, y’all.

I mean, below freezing days of darkness. Now don’t get me wrong, I love winter, cold and snow, but there is something I could do without.

Darkness.

It’s dreary. It’s gray. It’s draining.

Then there’s days where the sun peeks through the gray skies and gives you hope for a new tomorrow. Hope that there’s warmer weather around the corner.

Those are the days when I just want to follow the sunshine around my house like a cat and soak in all the rays of light. I mean, I’m grabbing a pillow and blanket and making a bed wherever there’s a sliver of sunshine.

I. Just. Love. It.

This is actually one of the reasons why I love doing my quiet time in my office – the sun blindingly permeates the entire room for a good couple of hours in the morning.

Bear with me, I’m getting somewhere.

Yesterday was one of those light-bearing mornings and I took full advantage of it! I grabbed my Bible and my notebook and plopped myself down in a pool of light.

As I plopped down, my Bible slid open to Psalms 27.

Open_Bible

(I love my Dake Annotated Reference Bible, but it is bigger than my lap!)

Usually, if this kind of thing happens, I’ll scan the page for any Scriptures that pop out at me.

So, I did.

And, I’d like to say ironically, but it’s really not, the verse I read was:

The LORD is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

I LOVE this verse, so I decided to doodle it.

Psalms_27

Then, I decided to look up some key words in the concordance – light, salvation, strength.

No. Words.

Well, not from me after I read their meaning in the concordance.

As I reread the words in the Bible, I literally was experiencing what it meant.

On those days when your heart has been through those freezing days of darkness; those days when you’ve been pushing through the dreariness of your situation; the days when you are drained to your max and you just literally don’t know if you can even take it another moment.

These are the days when you don’t have to be afraid.

The LORD can be to you exactly what you need – illumination and light in every sense of the word.

He is your LIGHT.

He is your SALVATION.

He is your STRENGTH.

Of whom should we be afraid?

So, if you’re feeling this way, know that God is calling you to seek His face. Answer him with a desire to seek Him with your whole heart.

I’ll leave you with this:

Wait on the LORD.

Be of good courage.

He will strengthen your heart.

Wait, I say, on the LORD.

Do you ever have ‘aha’ moments when you’re reading your Bible or praying – times where you feel like you’re physically experiencing exactly what God has written on the pages of His book?

Comment below! I’d love to hear some of your revelations.