3 Key Motives For Prayer and Fasting

When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get...
And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get.
— Matthew 6:5,16 (NLT)

Prayer and fasting are a fascinating way to kick off the new year. So, how do we embark on a prayer and fasting experience that is pleasing to God? Let’s start with three key motives that best guide our time together with our Heavenly Father.

Motive #1 | An Intimate Time With God

Prayer and Fasting are essential to a vibrant Christian life. Along with engaging with God’s Word and worshipping together, the practices of praying and fasting are an important facet of enjoying a growing relationship with Christ. Make the time you’re sacrificing all about leaning in to listen to your Heavenly Father’s whisper. It’s not about you. It’s about intimacy with God and fulfilling His purpose in your life.

Motive #2 | Growing in Humility

As Christians are called to imitate Christ, nothing should influence us more than Jesus’ attitude towards fasting. Effective and productive prayer and fasting is measured by the motives of our hearts. Growing in humility and killing pride is critical to spiritual growth. Pray today asking God to uncover your motives for fasting and ask for ways you can seek the encouragement you need from others without clouding your heart with pride. Be careful about trying to appear spiritual so that others will notice you.

Motive #3 | Developing a Lifelong Spiritual Habit

In Matthew 6:5–6, Jesus said, "When you, pray.” In the same passage, He also said "When you fast..." (16–17). Our Heavenly Father not only desires for us to enjoy fellowship with Him through prayer and fasting, He also equips with His Word so that we integrate these essential spiritual exercises into lifelong habits.

Today’s Prayer

Heavenly Father, I want to make you the complete focus of my life. I know you desire to do great things in my life. Reveal your your desires and will for every aspect of my life as I pray and fast. And help me have pure-heart motives. Thank you, God, for this time and this opportunity.