Ezra 8:23 “So we fasted and earnestly prayed that our God would take care of us, and he heard our prayer.”
Prayer is not just a religious duty or a meditative exercise that results in a pleasant feeling of calm. Prayer actually makes a difference in both regular daily life and occasional crisis. Get into the habit of fasting and praying because whichever way, you will have to fast and pray. The way the world is designed makes even atheists pray when they are faced with real problems. Some of them instinctively call out to God. Think about it, why are they calling on God?
I remember when we were going to start a church in the Caribbean, St. Vincent. On the flight to Barbados, I was seated beside an atheist and he was reading a book titled, ‘God Delusion’. I glanced at the book and this man began to speak to me but with a lot of arrogance. He said he had five nationalities and passport to all five countries. He was a lawyer and he told me about the different fields of law where he was an expert. I found it very interesting, and I also seized the opportunity to tell him about God. As expected, he raised his argument which made me smile because he was really smart, and I liked him a lot.
It is noteworthy to mention that, you do not know what you have until you see someone that does not know God. I hope you can relate to what I am saying here. Are you aware that there are people who do not know God? Yes, there are, and they are waiting for you to tell them about God. That should excite you and not scare you. I am excited about that. We went back and forth in our conversation for a while. Then I said to him, “Look down from the aircraft” and he did, “If this plane drops now, what is going happen to all your degrees, your passports, and your arguments? Do you know where you are going? Before you answer that…” I said, “I know where I am going.” I looked into his eyes intently and I said, “if this plane drops now…”, it was as if I was commanding the plane to drop.
Guess what? He told me to stop. He said, “Can we agree to disagree?” There was a part in me that did not want to back down. However, I felt a seed had been sown so I backed down. Even the atheist, when he or she is faced with the reality of death, except he or she is in denial, knows there is something he or she is missing. Jesus prayed and fasted; Jesus did not wait for any particular time to fast. Jesus fasted! You have to fast and pray habitually.
Prayer (hymn): I need no other argument, I need no other plea; It is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me… On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand. Amen!