I came up with the concept of creating an altar in my home while my children were small. Our homeschool days were God centered, each day learning more about the gifts that God had given us as individuals.
One of the things my children tell me they remember while they were growing up is that every Tuesday was dedicated to prayer and fasting. I would light white candles on my home altar as a visual reminder that my day was dedicated to listening to what God had for me. Tuesday’s were Holy days. My children volunteered to join me in prayer and fasting Tuesday’s quite often. We never really talked about what we were praying for—we just prayed. Each Tuesday was a quiet day; a day with little talking, and when we did, it was in quiet voices.
In retrospect, I am so glad that I taught my children this discipline. They learned that whatever was going on in their lives, God was and is all-powerful. They are now adults, and I often call upon them to pray for me. I taught them that deep connectedness with God comes in the quiet places of our soul. Through the discipline of prayer, they have the tools to be “more than conquerors”…and for that, I am glad.
Each year, I dedicate the first week of December as a prayer and fasting week. I refrain from my blog, social media, shopping, talking on the phone and watching television. Rather, I spend time in God’s Word and drawing closer to him…preparing my heart for Christmas and the true meaning of the birth of Christ. It is a Holy time in our house.
Here are a few things I discovered from my retreat with God in December, 2012:
- A time of prayer and fasting is like going on a retreat with God.
- Intimacy with God requires silence of mind and body.
- Connectedness requires an intimate daily relationship with God.
- Be a seeker of Truth, even if it is painful.
- The Grace of God will cover us when we are willing to face difficult truths in our lives.
- God often speaks to us through others.
- As we begin to see others through the eyes of Christ, we gain wisdom and understanding.
- He can transform hearts of stone into hearts of clay.
- He has plans for each of us.
- God is only a whisper away, yet living in His fullness requires commitment.
- He will let us know when our work is finished.
- He is a God of forgiveness.
- He loves us, imperfections and all.
- We are the most harsh judge of ourselves and of others, God does not judge us as “good or bad”, we do.
- He will bring to life the dreams that you thought were dead.
- We were each created for a purpose.
- When I hold out my hand, He will fill it with His Love and Grace.
We can pray and fast, regardless of our schedule. If you work outside the home, or have a busy schedule, you need only to dedicate your day to the Lord and pray inwardly—wherever you are…constantly reminding yourself that your day is dedicated to being one with the Creator. You do not have to fast for days, just dedicate a period that you will refrain from food because you are praying.
With a new year just around the corner, it is a good time to plan ahead for those changes we would like to make in our spiritual lives in the coming year.
I have chosen several of my favorite books on prayer, through our Amazon store…Although, one could say that I am a “collector” of books on prayer, as my bookshelves are lined with many books on this discipline. I find that sometimes it is easier for me to read the prayers of others to get started when I am having a difficult time.
I want you to know that each of my blogging friends who ask for prayer have a special candle on my home altar and I DO pray for you!
Just a side note: The concept of a home altar is a visual reminder of the Light of Christ and the white candles represent His holiness. They are also a reminder to us of the people who have asked for prayer. When walking through your house, it’s hard to miss a table full of lit candles…so it serves as a constant reminder to be in prayer.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 pray without ceasing;