So, we already know that prayer and fasting is an important aspect of the Christian walk, right? And if you need a refresher on why, please read “The Hidden Power of Prayer and Fasting” blog post, which doubles as a book review.
Now, the questions is if we know prayer and fasting are so important to our spiritual growth, why don’t we do them more often? Why is it so difficult to pray regularly and just make the time to do it? Why is fasting something we rarely think about?
Well, I know for me, life gets busy and it’s so easy to get overwhelmed from my ever-growing to-do list.
And therefore, it’s easy to get distracted from the things that matter most. We leave prayer at the bottom of the to-do list and get to it if we have time. And if we end up having time at the end of the day, we conjure up some quick, weak prayer that doesn’t really mean anything. We mutter the same repeated words we say every night, and then call it a night.
And fasting, what’s fasting? Fasting is not even on our radars.
So how do we get better? How do we make prayer and fasting a priority in our lives?
How Do We Make Praying and Fasting a Priority?
Well I discovered something that has helped me in recent months with staying on track.
I’ve gotten to the point where praying daily is a necessity, not an after-thought (most days…Jesus is still working on me y’all). And fasting is becoming more and more a part of my spiritual walk, whereas previously, I rarely ever fasted.
But it didn’t start like that. It was hard in the beginning to remember to pray every day, or even to feel like praying if I’m being honest. And I forgot fasting was even a thing.
So, what I’ve started to do is schedule out my prayers and fasts!
Schedule Your Prayers Ahead of Time
If praying regularly is difficult for you because you forget or maybe you just don’t know what to pray for when it’s time, scheduling out your prayers might work for you.
Here are a few ways you can do this:
- Select a time each day you will pray. Make it special. Choose a location, make sure you won’t be interrupted, and keep that appointment like you would any other appointment.
- Add your prayer time to a calendar. If you have a hard time keeping things in your head, write it down. Put it on your calendar each day, and again, keep that appointment like you would any other appointment.
- Assign a prayer category for each day of the week. Maybe your issue isn’t remembering to pray, but having no clue what to pray for when it’s time. This is where I have had the most problems in the past. So, I’ve assigned each day of the week with a different category. For example, Mondays might be the days I pray for my family. And Tuesdays I pray for our nation. This eliminates some of the guesswork on what to pray for.
- Assign a prayer topic for each day of the week. Another thing I do sometimes is brainstorm all of the different things I need to pray for or could be praying for. Then in my prayer journal, I pre-write what I’m going to pray about for the upcoming days. So that way when I sit before God and my mind is blank, I can just open my prayer journal and know exactly what to pray for without having to waste time trying to figure it out.
Schedule Your Fasts Ahead of Time
In the same way that you can schedule your prayers, you can schedule out your fasts.
Decide how often you want to fast. Once a week, once a month, etc. Then on your calendar, write in the specific dates that you plan to fast for the next few months.
These are just a few methods I use to help me stay on track with prioritizing prayer and fasting.
If we’re truly serious about developing a deeper spiritual life, then we will find a way to make time for the things God asks us to do.
What are some ways you guys stay on track with praying daily and fasting regularly?