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Tag: prayer

What time is the ninth hour of prayer?

What time is the ninth hour of prayer?

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  •  3:00 pm – Ninth Hour (None)………………………………….Psalm 117 

The Mosaic law did not regulate the offering of prayer, but fully recognized its spontaneous character. In what manner or how far back in Jewish history the sacrificial prayer, mentioned in Luke 1:10, originated no one knows.

In the days of Christ it had evidently become an institution. But ages before that, stated hours of prayer were known and religiously observed by all devout Jews. It evidently belonged to the evolutionary process of Jewish worship, in connection with the temple-ritual.

Devout Jews, living at Jerusalem, went to the temple to pray (Luke 18:10Acts 3:1). The pious Jews of the Diaspora opened their windows “toward Jerus” and prayed “toward” the place of God’s presence (1 Kings 8:48Daniel 6:10Psalms 5:7). The regular hours of prayer, as we may infer from Psalms 55:17 and Daniel 6:10, were three in number. The first coincided with the morning sacrifice, at the 3rd hour of the morning, at 9 AM therefore (Acts 2:15). The second was at the 6th hour, or at noon, and may have coincided with the thanksgiving for the chief meal of the day, a religious custom apparently universally observed (Matthew 15:36Acts 27:35).

The 3rd hour of prayer coincided with the evening sacrifice, at the ninth hour (Acts 3:110:30). Thus every day, as belonging to God, was religiously subdivided, and regular seasons of prayer were assigned to the devout believer. Its influence on the development of the religious spirit must have been incalculable, and it undoubtedly is, at least in part, the solution of the riddle of the preservation of the Jewish faith in the cruel centuries of its bitter persecution.

Mohammedanism borrowed this feature of worship from the Jews and early Christians, and made it one of the chief pillars of its faith

7 BASIC STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL FASTING AND PRAYER

7 BASIC STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL FASTING AND PRAYER

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I believe the power of fasting as it relates to prayer is the spiritual atomic bomb that our Lord has given us to destroy the strongholds of evil and usher in a great revival and spiritual harvest around the world.

How to Begin Your Fast

How you begin and conduct your fast will largely determine your success. By following these seven basic steps to fasting, you will make your time with the Lord more meaningful and spiritually rewarding.

STEP 1: SET YOUR OBJECTIVE
Why are you fasting? Is it for spiritual renewal, for guidance, for healing, for the resolution of problems, for special grace to handle a difficult situation? Ask the Holy Spirit to clarify His leading and objectives for your prayer fast. This will enable you to pray more specifically and strategically.

Through fasting and prayer we humble ourselves before God so the Holy Spirit will stir our souls, awaken our churches, and heal our land according to 2 Chronicles 7:14. Make this a priority in your fasting.

STEP 2: MAKE YOUR COMMITMENT
Pray about the kind of fast you should undertake. Jesus implied that all of His followers should fast (Matthew 6:16-18; 9:14,15) For Him it was a matter of when believers would fast, not if they would do it. Before you fast, decide the following up front:

  • How long you will fast—one meal, one day, a week, several weeks, forty days (Beginners should start slowly, building up to longer fasts.)
  • The type of fast God wants you to undertake (such as water only, or water and juices; what kinds of juices you will drink and how often)
  • What physical or social activities you will restrict
  • How much time each day you will devote to prayer and God’s Word

Making these commitments ahead of time will help you sustain your fast when physical temptations and life’s pressures tempt you to abandon it.

STEP 3: PREPARE YOURSELF SPIRITUALLY
The very foundation of fasting and prayer is repentance. Unconfessed sin will hinder your prayers. Here are several things you can do to prepare your heart:

  • Ask God to help you make a comprehensive list of your sins.
  • Confess every sin that the Holy Spirit calls to your remembrance and accept God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
  • Seek forgiveness from all whom you have offended, and forgive all who have hurt you (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3,4).
  • Make restitution as the Holy Spirit leads you.
  • Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit according to His command in Ephesians 5:18 and His promise in 1 John 5:14,15.
  • Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master; refuse to obey your worldly nature (Romans 12:1,2).
  • Meditate on the attributes of God, His love, sovereignty, power, wisdom, faithfulness, grace, compassion, and others (Psalm 48:9,10; 103:1-8, 11-13).
  • Begin your time of fasting and prayer with an expectant heart (Hebrews 11:6).
  • Do not underestimate spiritual opposition. Satan sometimes intensifies the natural battle between body and spirit (Galatians 5:16,17).

STEP 4: PREPARE YOURSELF PHYSICALLY
Fasting requires reasonable precautions. Consult your physician first, especially if you take prescription medication or have a chronic ailment. Some persons should never fast without professional supervision.

Physical preparation makes the drastic change in your eating routine a little easier so that you can turn your full attention to the Lord in prayer.

  • Do not rush into your fast.
  • Prepare your body. Eat smaller meals before starting a fast. Avoid high-fat and sugary foods.
  • Eat raw fruit and vegetables for two days before starting a fast.

While You Fast

Your time of fasting and prayer has come. You are abstaining from all solid foods and have begun to seek the Lord. Here are some helpful suggestions to consider:

  • Avoid drugs, even natural herbal drugs and homeopathic remedies. Medication should be withdrawn only with your physician’s supervision.
  • Limit your activity.
  • Exercise only moderately. Walk one to three miles each day if convenient and comfortable.
  • Rest as much as your schedule will permit.
  • Prepare yourself for temporary mental discomforts, such as impatience, crankiness, and anxiety.
  • Expect some physical discomforts, especially on the second day. You may have fleeting hunger pains, dizziness, or the “blahs.” Withdrawal from caffeine and sugar may cause headaches. Physical annoyances may also include weakness, tiredness, or sleeplessness.

The first two or three days are usually the hardest. As you continue to fast, you will likely experience a sense of well-being both physically and spiritually. However, should you feel hunger pains, increase your liquid intake.

STEP 5: PUT YOURSELF ON A SCHEDULE
For maximum spiritual benefit, set aside ample time to be alone with the Lord. Listen for His leading. The more time you spend with Him, the more meaningful your fast will be.

Morning

  • Begin your day in praise and worship.
  • Read and meditate on God’s Word, preferably on your knees.
  • Invite the Holy Spirit to work in you to will and to do His good pleasure according to Philippians 2:13.
  • Invite God to use you. Ask Him to show you how to influence your world, your family, your church, your community, your country, and beyond.
  • Pray for His vision for your life and empowerment to do His will.

Noon

  • Return to prayer and God’s Word.
  • Take a short prayer walk.
  • Spend time in intercessory prayer for your community’s and nation’s leaders, for the world’s unreached millions, for your family or special needs.

Evening

  • Get alone for an unhurried time of “seeking His face.”
  • If others are fasting with you, meet together for prayer.
  • Avoid television or any other distraction that may dampen your spiritual focus.

When possible, begin and end each day on your knees with your spouse for a brief time of praise and thanksgiving to God. Longer periods of time with our Lord in prayer and study of His Word are often better spent alone.

A dietary routine is vital as well. Dr. Julio C. Ruibal—a nutritionist, pastor, and specialist in fasting and prayer—suggests a daily schedule and list of juices you may find useful and satisfying. Modify this schedule and the drinks you take to suit your circumstances and tastes.

5 a.m. – 8 a.m.

  • Fruit juices, preferably freshly squeezed or blended and diluted in 50 percent distilled water if the fruit is acid. Apple, pear, grapefruit, papaya, watermelon, or other fruit juices are generally preferred. If you cannot do your own juicing, buy juices without sugar or additives.

10:30 a.m. – noon

  • Fresh vegetable juice made from lettuce, celery, and carrots in three equal parts.

2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.

  • Herb tea with a drop of honey. Avoid black tea or any tea with caffeine.

6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

  • Broth made from boiling potatoes, celery, and carrots with no salt. After boiling about half an hour, pour the water into a container and drink it.

Tips on Juice Fasting

  • Drinking fruit juice will decrease your hunger pains and give you some natural sugar energy. The taste and lift will motivate and strengthen you to continue.
  • The best juices are made from fresh watermelon, lemons, grapes, apples, cabbage, beets, carrots, celery, or leafy green vegetables. In cold weather, you may enjoy a warm vegetable broth.
  • Mix acidic juices (orange and tomato) with water for your stomach’s sake.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks. And avoid chewing gum or mints, even if your breath is bad. They stimulate digestive action in your stomach.

Breaking Your Fast

When your designated time for fasting is finished, you will begin to eat again. But how you break your fast is extremely important for your physical and spiritual well-being.

STEP 6: END YOUR FAST GRADUALLY
Begin eating gradually. Do not eat solid foods immediately after your fast. Suddenly reintroducing solid food to your stomach and digestive tract will likely have negative, even dangerous, consequences. Try several smaller meals or snacks each day. If you end your fast gradually, the beneficial physical and spiritual effects will result in continued good health.

Here are some suggestions to help you end your fast properly:

  • Break an extended water fast with fruit such as watermelon.
  • While continuing to drink fruit or vegetable juices, add the following:
    • First day: Add a raw salad.
    • Second day: Add baked or boiled potato, no butter or seasoning.
    • Third day: Add a steamed vegetable.
    • Thereafter: Begin to reintroduce your normal diet.
  • Gradually return to regular eating with several small snacks during the first few days. Start with a little soup and fresh fruit such as watermelon and cantaloupe. Advance to a few tablespoons of solid foods such as raw fruits and vegetables or a raw salad and baked potato.

A Final Word

STEP 7: EXPECT RESULTS
If you sincerely humble yourself before the Lord, repent, pray, and seek God’s face; if you consistently meditate on His Word, you will experience a heightened awareness of His presence (John 14:21). The Lord will give you fresh, new spiritual insights. Your confidence and faith in God will be strengthened. You will feel mentally, spiritually, and physically refreshed. You will see answers to your prayers.

A single fast, however, is not a spiritual cure-all. Just as we need fresh infillings of the Holy Spirit daily, we also need new times of fasting before God. A 24-hour fast each week has been greatly rewarding to many Christians.

It takes time to build your spiritual fasting muscles. If you fail to make it through your first fast, do not be discouraged. You may have tried to fast too long the first time out, or your may need to strengthen your understanding and resolve. As soon as possible, undertake another fast until you do succeed. God will honor you for your faithfulness.

I encourage you to join me in fasting and prayer again and again until we truly experience revival in our homes, our churches, our beloved nation, and throughout the world.

Great Catholic Prayers

Great Catholic Prayers

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Catholic Prayers you should know

Basic Roman Catholic prayers

Traditional, written prayers will form the backbone of your prayer life.

These basic Catholic prayers are the five most fundamental ones:

  • The sign of the cross
  • The Our Father
  • The Hail Mary
  • The Glory Be
  • The Apostles Creed

Catholic prayers throughout the day

Be sure to see the article daily Catholic prayer for good daily prayers, and suggestions on using these prayers. Make these prayers the foundation of a strong prayer life!

  • Morning Prayer
  • Grace before meals
  • Prayer Before a Day’s Work
  • Prayer to Keep the Presence of God
  • The Angelus
  • Daily Examination at Night
  • Act of Contrition

Catholic prayers about Mary 
(Marian prayers)

The article prayers to Virgin Mary contains these wonderful prayers about or to the Blessed Mother:

  • The Hail Mary
  • The Angelus
  • Hail Holy Queen
  • The Magnificat
  • The Memorare
  • Loving Mother of the Redeemer
  • Miraculous Medal Prayer

And of course, no section on prayers & Mary would be complete without mentioning the Holy Rosary! There’s a whole article just about how to pray the Rosary. The Rosary is one of the most outstanding Catholic prayers; check it out!

How to pray

A prayer life is essential to the Christian life — it is “a vital and personal relationship with the living and true God.” (Catechism, 2558)

Christ promises to give you “living water” if you simply come to him and ask (John 4:10). Sounds good!

But how?

  • You do not need a lot of time
  • It’s simple to begin
  • You can start right now

The keys to a solid life of prayer are very simple things.

  • The How to pray section has detailed guidance in plain language.
  • Daily Catholic prayer provides a brief set of habits that are essential to successful prayer.
  • Live in the presence of God with this set of easy habits for home & work.
  • Christian meditation, or mental prayer, will be the backbone of a lifetime of fruitful prayer.

So dig in and start your new prayer life today!


A Powerful Psalm To Boost Your Courage – Pray Now

A Powerful Psalm To Boost Your Courage – Pray Now

When you are about to face your fears, pray these words of King David.

There will always be times in our lives when we must face our greatest fears. For some this happens on a daily basis, waking up each morning to combat the many trials and difficulties in their lives.

The good news is that God is with us and is ready to pour out his grace upon us. However, we must be open to that grace and allow him to fill us with heroic courage that propels us forward, ready to meet whatever lies ahead.

The Psalms can help us in this regard, which contain the many prayerful cries from the heart of King David who daily struggled to follow God’s will in his life. In particular, Psalm 27 is a perfect prayer for courage that can bolster a person’s faith, giving them the grace that they need to confront their greatest fears.

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me,
uttering slanders against me,
my adversaries and foes,
they shall stumble and fall.

Though a host encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after;
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
and to inquire in his temple.

For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent,
he will set me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies round about me;
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud,
be gracious to me and answer me!
Thou hast said, “Seek ye my face.”
My heart says to thee,
“Thy face, Lord, do I seek.”
Hide not thy face from me.

Turn not thy servant away in anger,
thou who hast been my help.
Cast me not off, forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!
For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the Lord will take me up.

Teach me thy way, O Lord;
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence.

I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
yea, wait for the Lord!