“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.” Psalm 63:1-4
The purpose of taking time to pray and fast is to create space to grow in intimacy with God. We need to create physical space in our schedule by fasting, but we also need to create the space of expectancy in our heart. God desires us to intimately seek Him with our whole hearts. He promises that when we draw near to Him we will find Him and He will draw near to us.
As we fast we remember that God and God alone is what we need above all else. The pangs of hunger remind us that we should be hungry and desperate for more of God. The urge we feel to check social media just incase we miss a notification reminds us that more than we need likes or hashtags we should be eager to check in with God. The things of this earth will never truly satisfy us because our hearts were designed ultimately for intimacy with God.
This season is a time to slow down from the hectic pace of life and focus on what truly matters – earnestly seeking after God, thirsting and longing for greater intimacy with Him. Think about that for a moment. Earnestly is a strong adjective. It means taking this seriously. It means active with sincere and intense conviction. Seeking intimacy with God isn’t something we do casually, half-heartedly or just every now and again. This is something we are meant to as long as we live, not just during a 3 week season of prayer and fasting. But this season is a chance to restart that journey of intimately, earnestly seeking God.
Growth in intimacy in our relationship with God should always be our goal. This side of heaven we will never reach a point of not needing to grow in our relationship with Him. But growth in intimacy requires intentional effort. It won’t happen passively without us taking ownership of it. We must earnestly seek Him. If you have been feeling distant or cut off from God, or if you have an awareness your relationship with Him isn’t as deep or as intimate as it should be, today is the day to press restart. As we pray and fast lift your hands in praise of His name. Cry out to Jesus. He is our hope and our nourishment in the dry and weary land. Seek after Him earnestly, with your whole heart. When you earnestly seek Him you will grow in intimacy, and that will set you up to thrive no matter how dry and weary the land around you is in in the year ahead.
Ask the Holy Spirit to replace your hunger for the things you are fasting with a hunger for God. Spend time thanking God for His steadfast love. Pray for greater growth in intimacy in your relationship with Him.