“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-21
On day 4 of the fast, we studied spiritual food and drink. Most American believers are living on the fumes of last Sunday’s sermon. Many others (self-proclaimed believers) do not regularly even attend church, or they aren’t able to attend, due to Covid. So, we have an “army” – God’s army, mind you – of believers who are regularly not continuing in the spiritual training that we need to overcome in this life. Where are those who will seek his face? Who will wait patiently on the Lord, so that they can renew their strength?
Are you actively being renewed inwardly day by day? We learn in Ephesians 3:14-21 that Paul prays that the Ephesian church would be strengthened in their inner beings out of the glorious riches of the Father. When the Father strengthens us through his Spirit in our inner beings, Jesus lives in our hearts through faith. This doesn’t refer to Jesus taking up residence in our blood-pumping organ. In the Greek “in your heart” means to be at the center- for everything in your life to center around Jesus. So, get this- you can be built up and renewed inwardly on a daily basis and you need to pray for it.
There are so many things that drain us on a daily basis. We can easily become drained physically and emotionally. We also can be drained spiritually. When we are drained physically we eat and sleep or get some alone time. When we are drained emotionally, we find ways to recharge by spending time with a friend or getting a hug. What do we do when we are drained spiritually? Most people don’t even know what it feels like to be drained spiritually. Perhaps, we are so used to running on fumes that it seems normal.
Even Jesus had to “recharge” with time alone with the Father. He did this everyday. He was constantly with people, so getting alone to pray was his top priority. Ministry can be draining! If you are in the ministry – or if you are actively serving Jesus by praying with people, serving people or even teaching the word – you will need extra recharge time in prayer and the word. It’s not a chore to do or a “work” to be religious, it is alone time with the Lord, where he meets you, heals you, renews you and fills you.
A day can be brutal. If you spend time with the Lord early in the morning, you may need to consider some mid afternoon time with him too! This should be a time you look forward to- where your Heavenly Father will meet you and minister to you by his Spirit.
I have found that even though fasting may take a physical toll on my body, it fills me up spiritually. My inner being feels oh, so strong after a day of fasting and prayer. My prayer time during a fast is sometimes alone and other times just praying in the garden or with a friend on the phone too. Constant prayer and intercession is such a strengthener during a fast.
Battle-hardened and ready to overcome!
As you are faced with many difficult battles and trials, when you prioritize your time with the Lord, you will be strengthened and equipped with your marching orders before you go back out into the fray. In fact, prayer and time with the Lord is how we fight our battles! Fasting is a major weapon to overcome the enemy. In Mark 9, Jesus’ disciples couldn’t cast a demon out of a boy, because they hadn’t been living a lifestyle of prayer and fasting. Jesus told them that they had no faith and that this kind can only come out with those powerhouse twins of prayer and fasting. “This kind” referred to a type of principality or evil spirit that takes a more intense warfare. The disciples had already received authority from on high to cast out demons and they already were good at it. Yet, here they were stumped. They needed to be strengthened with the right weaponry against the enemy.
Jesus Heals a Boy With an Unclean Spirit
Mark 9:14And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them.
15And immediately all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him greeted him.
16And he asked the scribes, What do you debate with them?
17And one of the multitude answered and said, Teacher, I have brought unto you my son, who has a dumb spirit;
18And wherever he takes him, he throws him down: and he foams, and gnashes with his teeth, and wastes away: and I spoke to your disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.
19He answered him, and said, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I bear with you? bring him unto me.
20And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, immediately the spirit convulsed him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.
21And he asked his father, How long ago is it since this came unto him? And he said, Since childhood.
22And often it has cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if you can do anything, have compassion on us, and help us.
23Jesus said unto him, If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes.
24And immediately the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.
25When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, You dumb and deaf spirit, I charge you, come out of him, and enter no more into him.
26And the spirit cried, and convulsed him terribly, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; so that many said, He is dead.
27But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.
28And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?
29And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
Let us take up our weapons of our warfare- asking the Lord to fill us so we will be “strong in the Lord and in his mighty power!”
Let’s pray! Spending 2 minutes on each point will reap 30 minutes of prayer! Our focus today is going to be on filling. If you have other things to pray about- feel free to add them!
- Worship the Lord. Worship his name. Acknowledge his supreme power and authority, yet his gentle, loving and humble heart. Lift up the name of the Lord. Lift up the name of Jesus.
- Bring your kingdom! Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Pray and devote your life, your family and everything/everyone you can think of to the dominion of Jesus Christ)
- Give us this day our daily bread. Fill us with good things, Oh Lord. Provide for our needs. (list the physical needs you have and are trusting God to provide for you.) Give us leading for how you want us to prepare physically for the times we are living in. Give us wisdom!
- Forgive me of my sin. Forgive me for unknown sin, Oh Lord. Do not let willful sins rule my heart. I surrender all to you. Reveal to me any lies I’m believing. Uncover sin that I need to confess. I quiet myself before you. (Wait on the Lord on this.) Confess your sin to the Father and ask forgiveness. He is faithful and just to forgive me of my sin and to cleanse me from all unrighteous.
- Forgive and release others- Pray through any relationships you are struggling with. Pray for the Lord to give knowledge fo anyone you need to forgive. Make things right!
- Fill me up Lord. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. Strengthen me- Spirit of the Living God. Fall fresh on me! Out of your glorious storehouse, strengthen me with power in my inner being that Jesus will dwell in my heart through faith. I ask that you open the eyes of my heart that I can know you better.
- Fill me with the knowledge of your will with all wisdom and understanding that the Spirit brings! (Colossians 1) I want to live a life worthy of you, Oh Lord. (Sit and worship him. Pray quietly. Keep praising him out loud
- Don’t let my love grow cold. Tell Jesus about times your love feels like it’s growing cold. Ask him to renew your heart as with the eagle.
- Pray for your spiritual leaders- pastors- missionaries- and all those on the front lines. Pray for them that God will fill them, strengthen them, protect them and deliver them. Pray for those who you may watch online. Ask God to fill them with wisdom and Revelation so they can experience intimacy with the Lord. Do spiritual warfare!
- Pray for protection by the blood of Jesus. Ask the Lord to protect your family. Stand against Satan’s attacks. Ask God to expose any sin in your family that may opening up your family to attack. Ask God to tear down Satan’s strongholds, in Jesus’ name!
- Pray for God to heal the land of abortion and death.
- Pray for God to bring peace to the protests. Pray for those believers who live nearby or are doing ministry in the riots. Pray for their safety and protection.
- Pray for the sick and for the doctors and front line workers.
- Spend time worshipping the Lord in spirit and in truth. Keep asking him to fill you.
- Pray for inner strength. Ask the Lord to help you walk in his power.