“But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:6).

This series we are in is called, “Soul Detox.” We are decluttering and deep cleaning our hearts through fasting. But why is it that prayer is so essential to fasting?

You see, the purpose of fasting, as we touched on in our last devotion, is for us to break a routine and allow God to disrupt our lives through a season of fasting. But we don’t do this with the intention to hurry through the season so that God will give us whatever we’ve been praying for. That’s manipulation. You can’t bribe God for a blessing.

You’re giving up something in the natural so that you become more aware of Him working in the supernatural. How does this happen? Through prayer.

When Jesus began teaching His disciples about spiritual discipline, He began with prayer. We so often forget the power of prayer, and in Christian culture, it can become so monotonous and mundane—so routine—that it loses all meaning.

What is prayer? It’s more than asking things of God; it’s more than saying what we know we should say but not really meaning it. “Dear Lord, thank you for x,y,z…bless this day, bless this food, help us to be more like You…amen.” Pass the biscuits. Where’s the power? Where’s the passion?

We don’t have to blow the windows out every time we say a prayer, but there’s a difference between praying because we should and praying because it’s our lifeline. It’s different when we realize that prayer is our doorway straight to the Father, and we feel like we’re going to burst at the seams just to know what He wants to say. I’ve got to know what You’re saying, Lord. I’ve got to be near You. How many times have we been that desperate for Him?

Prayer is communication with the Father. It’s where we learn His heart, and when we learn His heart, we begin to care less about what’s in His hands. Fasting then becomes less about the blessing and more about pursuing your Father. Prayer and fasting—you can’t have one without the other.

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