Cheryl is a poet, freelance writer, author, and former newspaper columnist. She has degrees in Psychology and Biblical studies
There is an answer
The coronavirus is increasing in the land in spite of the many prayers going forth.You may have noticed that the Lord is not moving I your life as He once did and there is a reason. Jesus gave His disciples authority to cast out demons but one day they came upon a possessed man and they could not make the demons leave. Perplexed they asked their master what was wrong and He told them that “ this kind” only comes out by prayer and fasting. Many believers have been taught that attending church services, tithing, and sowing seeds is the answer to power from heaven, but the Bible does not teach that. Christians faithfully work on the church and serve their pastors but have no power over sickness or unclean spirit. We are dealing with end times issues and COVID-19 is a this kind of issue.
Time to get serious
COVID-19 shut down church attendance and should have been a time to reflect in our secret closets. Instead, greedy preachers went online, pushing cash app and PayPal giving, to keep their coffers full. The Internet and curbside services replaced worship in the buildings and many simply wanted to return to their usual routine. We are in a dispensation where a lifestyle for fasting and prayer is the only way to maintain a close connection with Him. In Matthew 17:21 and Mark 9:29, the disciples could not cast out a demon. Jesus told them that the only way they would have the power to do so is through fasting and prayer. This is more than simply "turning over your plate" as some preachers teach. This is denying yourself whatever you can as often as you can and seeking Him as if your life depended on it and it does. There are two new testaments Bible characters who did just that. Their names are Simeon and Anna.
Simeon exhibited such a determination when it came to the Lord and had such a closes relationship that the Holy Spirit revealed to him that he would not see death until He had first laid his eyes on the Christ Child.
Luke 2:25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
33 And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.
The Holy Spirit was upon Simeon who did what was available to him in his day, which was to remain in the temple and fast and pray. The Bible also indicates that he was just and devout.Both he and Anna had their focus in the right place.
36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
Put Him first
We live in a time now where what was once disdained is now embraced. You might walk out of your house after hours of fasting to hear profanity-laced music booming from a vehicle. You may encounter someone cursing on their cell phone or see young ladies with their butt cracks showing. If you are trying to live for the Lord, these things will disturb you, but fasting and praying will help keep you in a spiritual frame of mind.Be careful to understand that in the days of Anna and Simeon they basically lived in the temple but that is not what He is requiring of us today. The fact that He has allowed church doors to shut speaks volumes. A lifestyle of fasting and praying today will mean different things to different people. If you are taking medication it may not be wise for you to miss a meal. What you can do is skip a television show, or some other daily routine and use the time to pray. You can listen to worship music in your vehicle and pray the entirety of the time to and from your destinations. Perhaps you can get up earlier or go to bed later and spend the time talking to the Lord. Make Him your priority and let Him knows that He is your first love.
Make it personal
I have had days where I was babysitting a friend's child and had my three grandchildren. I was also helping my spouse with at-home therapy after a hospital stay. From 7:00 AM until midnight some days I was moving and on the go and could not set aside time to read the word and pray. On these days I would pray in tongues all the time. This is much easier now in public as we are wearing masks. Praying in the spirit connects us to Him in a way that just sitting in church and reading confessions does not. We are in the end times and the demons that have been unleashed have an agenda. It is only through a lifestyle of fasting and -prayer that we will be able to stand. Find your own personal way, to give Him the most of your every day and watch as His presence and power increase in your life. You might skip lunch if you are working and spend the time in your vehicle praying. I began saying the Lord's prayer and 23 Psalm every time I was alone in my bathroom and praying as I did the dishes. Seek Him outside of your usual routine an make it personal. (James 4:8). I know it's difficult but when you shed yourself of your Sunday to sing, or usher, taking care of the building and or trying to please the pastor, you will see more clearly what He desires. If you were not able to attend services again, you would have no choice but to seek Him all on your own
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Cheryl E Preston
OLUSEGUN from NIGERIA on July 29, 2020:
This is a blessed work ma. More than ever we should draw close to God.
Lorna Lamon on July 28, 2020:
I believe that this is the worst pandemic the world has ever seen. I feel at peace when I connect with my faith and your article speaks to this truth.