Prayer For A Deeper Spiritual Life

What Happens When You Fast? 4 Spiritual Benefits

Prayer For A Deeper Spiritual Life

  • Jessica Galán
  • 2017Jan 04

Desiring spiritual breakthrough this new year? Hoping this year will bring a loved one’s complete surrender to Christ? You might want to consider fasting and prayer.

For those of us who long for spiritual intimacy with the Father, fasting and prayer affords us the opportunity to do so. Here are four spiritual benefits fasting can bring.

Fasting Leads to Greater Intimacy

We deny our carnal nature in order to fulfill the desires of God. What He wills for our lives can be found through fasting and prayer.

Our spirit and soul experiences joy because of fasting. It’s a decision to momentarily die to our flesh to fulfill the greater things of a mighty God who seeks us.

“The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day, {Mark 2:20}.

Know that the sacrificial elements of fasting always incurs eternal benefits. There are those we want to win for Christ this year. Our temporary physical discomfort has spiritual rewards.

We Surrender Our Comfort to Gain Spiritual Clarity

Our 21st century culture can lead us to becoming numb to what matters to God, yet praying through a fast challenges sharpens our spiritual discernment.

  • We can fast from things: social media, television, food, even a negative mindset.
  • We can fast for things: those yet surrendered to Christ, our local church, and our neighborhoods.

We gain wisdom and guidance through fasting. We are able to discern the will of God through fasting and deep prayer.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God,” {Romans 12:2}.

Opens Our Hearts to Spiritual Revival

We kindle Holy Spirit fire as we fast and pray. We become change agents and intercessors for the broken and hurting during a fast. Our hearts are revived and refreshed spiritually because of it.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem…and to the end of the earth,” {Acts 1:8}.

Empowerment flows when we pray and fast. We are that much more able to press into the greatest commission of all—gaining souls for an eternal harvest, (see Matthew 28).

Prayer and Fasting Breaks Satanic Strongholds

When the Jesus’s disciples were unable to deliver a young boy of an evil spirit, Jesus told them, “This kind cannot come out, except by prayer,” (see Mark 9:29). Praying while fasting positions us victoriously.

Through deep prayer we can combat spiritual opposition and satanic strongholds.

When difficulties arise, Christ-Followers have the ability to harness the potential of the Holy Spirit through fasting and prayer.

Our barren hearts are refreshed and revived when we fast and pray. We are better equipped to dealing with the momentary trials we’ll face on earth because we’re aligned with God, his angels, and the power of the Holy Spirit.

“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness…to let the oppressed go free and to break every yoke?” {Isaiah 58:6}.

We are equipped with dunamis might or strength (See Strong’s Concordance 1411) to combat the enemy’s opposition.

Easing Your Way into a Fast

If you’ve never fasted before, begin slowly. For those with dietary constraints, fast from social media or other comforts unrelated to food.

  • Begin by skipping one or two daily meals; replace food with prayer and petitions.
  • Write the names of loved ones who you’re fasting for in a journal or prayer card.
  • Come a fast gradually by eating broths and vegetables; don’t consume rich or heavy foods immediately.

Celebrate spiritual breakthroughs when they arrive; trust that God sees and hears your earnest prayer and sacrifice.  

St. Augustine of Hippo once said, “BY THE HELP of the merciful Lord our God, the temptations of the world, the snares of the Devil, the suffering of the world, the enticement of the flesh, the surging waves of troubled times, and all corporeal and spiritual adversities are to be overcome by … fasting, and prayer.”

When We Deny our Flesh, our Spiritually Cravings are Fortified.

Fasting and sacrificial prayer will not go in vain. It will always benefit those in your immediate circle and in the lives of Christ-followers in your community.

Let God be good to you through fasting and prayer in this new season of your life. As Psalm 34: 8 declares to us all, “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him, (KJV).

Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

Jessica Galán encourages her readers to embrace malleability in the midst of life’s difficult moments. She spends her day teaching amazing students from diverse backgrounds in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

She’s wife to a super-creative man and the proud mother of three resilient young women. She’s served as a writing facilitator for Lysa TerKeurst through COMPEL Training. She enjoys daily cups of steaming hot café con leche and breaks out in sporadic salsa dancing when no one’s looking.

You’ll find her stories at http://www.jessicagalan.net/. Connect with her here:  || Instagram ||

Источник: https://www.ibelieve.com/faith/what-happens-when-you-fast-4-spiritual-benefits.html

Ten Ways to Improve Your Prayer Life | Fr. Ed Broom, OMV

Prayer For A Deeper Spiritual Life

June 19, 2018

Prayer is the key to salvation.  St. Augustine says that he who prays well lives well; he who lives well dies well; and to he who dies well then all is well. St.

Alphonsus reiterates the same principle:  “He who prays much will be saved; he who does not pray will be damned; he who prays little places in jeopardy his eternal salvation.

”  The same saint asserted that there are neither strong people nor weak people in the world, but those who know how to pray and those who do not. In other words, prayer is our strength in all times and places.

We would to offer ten words of encouragement to help us on the highway towards heaven through the effort to grow in our prayer life!

1. Conviction or Determination. 

There is no successful person in this world in any enterprise who was not animated by a firm determination to achieve his goal. Super athletes, accomplished musicians, expert teachers, and writers never arrived at perfection by mere wishful thinking but by a firm, tenacious determination to arrive at their goal — come hell or high water.

For this reason, Saint Teresa of Avila, the Doctor of prayer, stated: “We must have a determined determination to never give up prayer.” If we really believed in the depths of our hearts the priceless treasures that flow from prayer, we would make it our aim in life to grow constantly in prayer.

2. Holy Spirit As Teacher

St. Paul says that we do not really know how to pray as we ought but that it is the Holy Spirit who intercedes for us teaching us to say “Abba” Father.  The Holy Spirit is the Interior Master or Teacher. With Mary, the Apostles spent nine days and nights praying and fasting and they were imbued with the power from on high — the Holy Spirit.

Before starting any formal prayer period why not invoke the Person of the Holy Spirit to help you in your weakness. During the course of your prayer beg the presence of the Holy Spirit to enlighten your mind and ignite your heart. He is closer to you than you are aware. If your are in the state of grace, He resides in your heart.

3. Time, Place, Good Will, and Silence. 

As with every art, we learn by practicing. This applies to prayer. To learn how to pray we must have a set time, a good place, good will on our part and silence.

The saying rings true in sports as well as in prayer: “Practice makes perfect.”

4. Penance.  

It might be that our prayer has become insipid, boring, lifeless, anemic and stagnant for many reasons. One possible reason might be a life of sensuality, indulgence, gluttony, or simply living more according to the flesh then to the spirit.

As St. Paul reminds us, the flesh and the spirit are in mutual opposition. Jesus spent forty days and nights praying and fasting.  The Apostles spent nine days and nights praying and fasting. One cannot arrive at any serious mystical life led by the spirit if he has not passed through the ascetical life of self-denial, mortification and penance.

A bird needs two wings to fly; so does the follower of Christ. To soar high in the mystical life the two wings are prayer and penance.

If you have no training in the penitential life, consult a good spiritual director and start with small acts of penance to build up will-power so as to do the more heroic acts of penance! If you have never run before, start with a block and build up to the mile.

5. Spiritual Direction.  

Athletes need coaches; students need teachers; teachers need mentors to learn the art. Equally important, prayer-warriors must have some form of guidance and this is called spiritual direction.

St. Ignatius of Loyola insisted on the spiritual life as being a journey of accompaniment.  St. Teresa of Avila had several saints directing her on her long and painful journey leading to perfection—St. John of the Cross, St Peter of Alcantara, and St. Francis Borgia.

There are many obstacles in the spiritual journey, especially when one pursues a deeper life of prayer; for that reason having a trained spiritual director who knows the traps of the devil, the pitfalls always present, and the dangers that are always present can help us to grow steadily in holiness through a deeper and more authentic prayer life.

6. Prayer and Action

St. Teresa of Avila points out that authentic growth in prayer is proven by growth in holiness and that means by the practice of virtue. Jesus said that we know the tree by the fruits.

wise an authentic life of prayer blossoms forth in the practice of virtues: faith, hope, charity, purity, kindness, service, humility and a constant love for neighbor and the salvation of his immortal soul.

Our Lady is model at all times but especially in the intimate connection between contemplation and action.

In the Annunciation we admire Mary absorbed in prayer; then in the following mystery (in the Visitation) she follows the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to serve her cousin in a mission of love.

In truth we can call Mary a true “Contemplative in action”. Mary we are called to be contemplatives in action.

7. Study & Read About Prayer.  

St. Teresa of Avila would not permit women who could not read to enter into her order. Why? The simple reason was that she knew how much one could learn on many topics, especially on prayer, through solid spiritual reading.

Find good literature on prayer and read! Many helpful ideas come through good spiritual reading. One suggestion: read Part Four of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This is a spiritual masterpiece on prayer.

8. Retreats. 

To go deeper in prayer it’s a good idea to set aside some time for a prolonged period of prayer; this we call a spiritual retreat. One of the most efficacious styles of retreats are Ignatian retreats. It might last a whole month, or eight days, and even a weekend retreat can prove extremely valuable.

Seeing the Apostles overwhelmed with work Jesus exhorted them: “Come apart for a while and rest…” This rest that Jesus mentioned has classically been interpreted as a call to the spiritual retreat!  Look at your calendar for the year and set aside some time. More extended periods of time for prayer allow for greater depth in prayer!

9. Confession and Prayer.

Sometimes prayer proves exceedingly difficult due to a dirty conscience. Jesus said: “Blessed are the pure of heart, they will see God.”(Mt. 5:8) After a good confession the Precious Blood of Jesus washes our souls and consciences clean. Then the interior eye of the soul can see and contemplate the face of God with greater clarity.

10. Our Lady and Prayer. 

We have mentioned the importance of the Holy Spirit to us as our Interior Master. We should also constantly beg Mary to pray for us and to pray with us every time we dedicate time and effort to prayer.

She will never fail us. As Jesus turned water into wine at Cana through Mary’s intercession, so she can help to turn our insipid and flavorless prayer into the sweet wine of devotion.

Mary will never fail you! Call upon her.

Источник: https://catholicexchange.com/ten-ways-improve-prayer-life

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