You’ve been there. So have I. When the heavens feel like brass. Prayers feel like they’re bouncing off the ceiling and falling silently to the floor. Where are the goose bumps? Where are the angelic visitations? Why does my head still hurt? Am I doing it wrong?
The answer? It is important to step back and understand that fasting itself is a prayer. It is a sacrifice that is a sweet aroma rising to the Father. You may not be “feeling” it but God sees what you’re doing for Him and He will reward.
My best friend is a missionary in India. When Stan and I went different directions after high school graduation (he moved to Wichita and I went to ORU in Tulsa), we also embarked on fresh, new spiritual journeys. He was winning that race. Every time I would talk to him, he would share new things he had learned about the Lord. His faith was growing rapidly and I wanted to know why. One day, while visiting Stan in Wichita, I was awakened by him praying loudly in the next room. When I arose, I discovered he had stacks of prayers and scripture confessions all over the table. He was fervently running hard after God. He shared some of his tools for successful prayer and I began to run hard with my friend after the Savior we both so zealously love.
However, as any faithful believer will testify, every prayer time is not a heavenly rapture of angel choirs and nearly audible voices from the throne. Some of them are hard. Sometimes it feels like we are plodding along with little result. The next time Stan and I were together I told him about my dilemma. He said something I have never forgotten: “Marty, 95% of prayer is just showing up…making yourself available.”
Sometimes the prayer, the fasting seems a dry, difficult dirge. But every time, it is an acceptable offering to the Lord.
Stay with it. Finish strong. Don’t let discouragement get you down. Keep showing up. Your breakthrough very likely is just around the corner. The seed you sow during the fast will often produce a harvest the week after or a month later. But the harvest will come. The breakthrough will be realized.
Keep showing up. God is showing up every time!