Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How Should We Fast & Pray at this time of Great Lent

by Rinu Puthicode


When we go through the Old Testament we see Moses staying in the presence of God for 40 days and returning with glowing face making us to understand that we attain blessings while we stay in God‟s presence but Moses had to face difficulties on his return from his own people. This shows that blessings are accompanied by temptations. Likewise we see Jesus Christ was lead by the sprit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. We see in gospel of Mathew Chapter IV words 2 “And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.” This was the time of the tempter to approach Lord. The tempter rightly know the right time to approach his victim .the fasting will make the persons mind new like the innocent children and such that it will be like a field seeking seeds to be sworn .Prayer along with fasting makes a person new. But we don‟t have the follow ups to keep us fit .go through the word of God. It will fetch you the answers you need. We should go through a chapter fully. Feed them to your brain no pastors can mislead you. So start from the beginning.

We often go through the whole of Bible in random before each and every important incident of life, especially during prayer. But we often forget what we had read or what our brethren had read because we are jacks of all trades. So my personal request is that we shall go through only one chapter of Mathew for time being and see what God wants to tell to you & me. Great lent is a period of prayer, fast & charity and it‟s a time to show what we do for our church and others, here God says in gospel of Mathew Chapter VI „Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, That your charitable deed maybe in secret; and your father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.‟ How many of us have gone through these words taking the full meaning inside it, I my self also wants to know by others that I have done something great for others, then how can I say my brethren that we should not do the same. Had you met a single person doing ministry work who never highlights their charity? NONE is the answer. But inside a family both husband and wife should know each other what they do for society. „Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,‟ never means they should not share, since this word of God is manipulated by some people who visit our houses with the Holy Scripture.

And we may look for prayer, ie how should we pray. “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of street, and that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward”. And God had given the advice to have the prayer in secret and without repetitions. But most of us do the reverse, we want people to take note of us in open prayers .we may quote as much bible words as we can in our prayer. Recently during one of our convention meeting I had the chance of listing to one of our eminent speaker saying „use as much biblical quoting as you can in your prayer to influence God‟. But God has already made it clear in words 7& 8 that He knows what we need and we need not make repeated requests. It‟s ok in our individual prayer. But in family as well as in community prayers our religious fathers have given us hourly prayers & prayers for all occasions why don‟t we use them? Our prayers should not be like the prayer of the old lady who asked god to remove a great mountain in front of her house to be moved such that she could reach her church quickly. She prayed for months on the ground that god will hear the prayer
if we have faith of a small mustard seed. Her prayer didn‟t yield her any result and she said “I knew that God will not do this at the beginning of my prayer”.

Now we can move to fasting side of great Lent. “More over when you fast do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your father who is in the secret place; and your father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

To conclude have a look to John Chapter III: - “He must increase, but I must decrese.he who comes from above is above all; he who is of earth is earthly and speaks of earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. He who believes his son has everlasting life; and he does not believe the son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him”. Let us have a new beginning think about our missionaries, priests, Bishops, Bava Thirumeny, pray for them, pray for our religion & churches. Pray for our brothers who promote our site to public, pray for all technical staff behind this effort spread the word of Christ by telling your friends about this site. May God bless you all.

source: http://www.socdigest.org/articles/04mar09.html

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