On Prayer and Fasting and Depending on God

There are times when we must purposely fast, when we know we need to bring our bodies to submission to the spiritual things. But there are other seasons when fasting is the only natural way to come before God. Our bodies refuse to eat, and we have a greater need to pray, to fast, to come to the Word.

Being hungry for Him, and not hungry for food is a gift; a reminder that we are not of this world, that our flesh and all its desires will one day pass away. The heaviness of the soul is a reminder of how much we need His grace. All sufficient grace. Grace that satisfies our deepest needs, our longings. Grace that points our sin and grants us a repentant heart. Grace that lights up our way, that helps us think clearly.

In those days in which our bodies don’t crave for physical food, in which they refuse a morsel of sweetness, those days are days for fasting; for entering the prayer closet and open our hearts before God.

Let us welcome the days in which our only desire is to be with Him, and cry. Let us welcome the nights in which we cannot sleep and can only pray. Let us welcome the seasons in which we are reminded by the Spirit of God on how much we need Him. On how desperately we need His all sufficient grace.

Seasons of prayer and fasting are here to remind us on how much we must depend on Him, and not on the physical world that promises to satisfy our soul but always leaves us with a greater and deeper longing.

This year I have prayerfully purposed to live each day with a watchful heart; and how can I watch with all diligence if I don’t pray and fast? I welcome this season. I long for more of Him.

Under His grace, always clinging to Him…


My prayer today, I Lift Up My Hands

How to Close the Day With God -Part 4-

With this post I finish the series, How to Close the Day with God, adapted from Matthew Henry’s book, A Method for Prayer.


An excerpt from An Evening Prayer for a Family:


“Most Holy, and blessed, and glorious Lord God, whose we are, and whom we are bound to serve; for, because thou madest us, and and not we ourselves, therefore we are not our own, but thine…

Thou art our Benefactor, the God that hast fed us, and kept us all our life unto this day. Having obtained help of God, we continue hitherto monuments of sparing mercy, and witness for thee that thou art gracious, that thou art God, and not man; for therefore it is that we are not cut off.

One day tells another, and one night certifies to another, that thou art good, and doest good, and never failest those who seek thee, and trust in thee. Thou makest the outgoings of the morning and of the evening to praise thee.

We confess we have sinned against thee; this day we have sinned and done foolishly: O GOD, thou knowest our foolishness, and our sins are not hid from thee; we misspend our time, we neglected our duty, we follow after vanities, and forsake our own mercies. We offend with our tongues: are we not carnal and walk as men, below Christians? Who can understand his errors? Cleanse us from our secret faults.

We pray thee give us repentance for our sins of daily infirmity, and make us duly sensible of the evil of them, and of the danger of them, and let the blood of Christ, thy Son, which cleanseth from all sin, cleanse us from it, that we may lie down to night at peace with God, and our souls may comfortably return to Him, and repose in Him as our rest.

Do us good by all the providences we are under, merciful or afflictive: give us grace to accommodate ourselves to them, and by all bring us near to thee, and make us fitter for thee.

We commit ourselves to thee this night, and desire to dwell in the secret place of the Most High, and to abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Let the Lord be our habitation, and let our souls be at home in him.

Refresh our bodies, we pray thee, with quiet and comfortable rest, not to be disturbed with any distrustful disquieting cares and fears; but especially let our souls be refreshed with thy love, and the light of thy countenance and thy benignity, which is better than life.

When we awake, grant that we may be still with thee, and may remember thee upon our beds, and meditate upon thee in the night-watches, and may improve the silence and solitude of our retirements for communion with God and our own hearts; that when we are alone, we may not be alone, but God may be with us, and we with him.

And forasmuch as we are now brought one day nearer our end, Lord, enable us so to number our days, as that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Let us be reminded by our putting off our clothes and going to sleep in our beds, of putting off the body, sleeping the sleep of death, and making our bed in the darkness shortly, that we may be daily dying in expectation of it and preparing for our change, that when we come to die indeed, it may be no surprise or terror to us, but we may with comfort put off the body and resign the spirit, knowing whom we have trusted.

Do for us, we pray thee, abundantly above what we are able to ask or think, for the sake of our blessed Saviour Jesus Christ, who is the Lord our Righteousness. To him with the Father and the eternal Spirit, be glory and praise, now and for ever. Amen.

May you find rest in Him, the Prince of Peace, tonight,


Related Articles:

How to Close the Day with God -Part 1-
How to Close the Day with God -Part 2-
How to Close the Day with God -Part 3-


How to Close the Day With God -Part 3-

Katie Lloyd Photography


It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Psalm 127:2


“This duty of closing the day with God, and in good frame, I know not how better to open to you, than by going over the particulars in the text, in their order; and recommending to you David’s example.

1. First, let us retire to lay us down: {we}shall lie down in the evening…and rest in the time appointed for rest; and not turn day into night, and night into day, as many do upon some ill account or other.

One rule for the closing of the day well, is to keep good hours: every thing is beautiful in its season. I have heard it said long since, and I beg leave repeat it now, that

Early to bed, and early to rise,
Is the way to be healthy, and wealthy, and wise.

We shall not take it for granted, that unless some necessary business, or some work of mercy, or some more than ordinary act of devotion, keep you beyond your usual time. And let us lay down with thankfulness to God, and with thoughts of dying; with penitent reflections upon the sins of the day; and with humble supplications for the mercies of the night.

2. Secondly, when we lay us down, our care and endeavor must be to lay us down in peace.

Let us lie down in peace with God; for without this there can be no peace at all… Dare not to sleep in that condition, in which thou darest not die.

3. Thirdly, having laid ourselves down in peace, we must compose ourselves to sleep. I will lay me down and sleep.

What good Master do we serve, that allows us time for sleep, and furnisheth us with conveniences for it, and makes it refreshing and reviving to us?

4. Fourthly, we must do all this in a believing dependence upon God and his power, providence and grace. Therefore I lay me down in peace, and compose myself to sleep, because Thou, Lord, makest me dwell in safety.”

*Excerpt from Matthew Henry’s, A Method for Prayer, Third Discourse (emphasis mine).


Related Articles:

How to Close the Day with God -Part 1-
How to Close the Day with God -Part 2-
A Prayer for Tonight: Lord, Hear My Evening Supplications

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A Prayer for Tonight -Lord, Hear My Evening Supplications-

“Your reward shall be great, and you shall be the children of the Most High: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” Luke 6:35

I will arise and go to my Father, and will say unto Him —

“MY FATHER, I would seek to end another day with You, looking up for Your promised blessing. How wondrous are the words, just read, from the lips of Your dear Son! You condescend not only to invite all to draw near to You in filial trust and confidence, but you call them “children,” yes, “children of the Most High.” Your kindness is, like Yourself, illimitable. An earthly father would long ago have disowned and disinherited me. But I listen to the amazing assurance — “He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” Past evil and demerit and sin have not excluded me from hope of pardon, or involved the forfeiture of favor and love. You have “devised means by which Your banished one may not be expelled from Your presence.” You are ever waiting to be gracious; not willing that any should perish, but that all should turn from their wickedness and live.

Anew would I wash, this evening, in the opened fountain. Lord, take away my unthankfulness, and attune my lips to the never-ceasing song of Your redeemed — “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!” Deepen within me, a sense of my obligations to Christ for all that He has done and suffered on my behalf. May it be my habitual desire to love Him more and serve Him better — my soul a consecrated altar, and my life a living sacrifice”

I would thank You, too, for Your many temporal mercies, the many tokens of Your unmerited goodness in my daily lot. While other hearts and homes are clouded with sorrow, or saddened with poverty, or stricken with suffering — You have caused me to lie down by the green pastures, You have led me beside the still waters. Your goodness and mercy, like two guardian angels, are still following me, as they have followed me until now. I may well accept Your love and faithfulness in the past, as pledges and guarantees for the future. Blessed be Your name, that that future — the morrow — is unknown. Better still, that it is in Your hands; that all which concerns me and mine, is planned and ordered by You; and that You have promised strength for the day.

I pray for any who especially stand in need of my prayers: for those in the thick of the spiritual conflict, environed with many temptations; for those laid on couches of sickness and suffering; for those passing through the shadowed valley; for those mourning their “loved and lost.” Make them, severally and individually, partakers of Your own everlasting consolation and good hope through grace.

Hear these my evening supplications; and enable me to close the day by uttering, with ever-growing reverence, the filial ascription — my Father.

“MY Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. May Your kingdom come. May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

A Book of Private Prayer for Day and Night by J.R. MacDuff (1890)


How to Close the Day With God -Part 2-

Shiloh Photography


In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:8


A holy security is another blessed fruit of God’s favour. Thou, Lord, makest me to dwell in safety, when the light of thy countenance shines upon me I am safe, and I know I am so, and am therefore easy, for with thy favour wilt thou compass me as with a shield (Ps. 5:12)…

Nothing is more dangerous than security in a sinful way, and men’s crying peace, peace, to themselves while they continue under reigning power of a vain and carnal mind: O that the sinners that are at ease were made to tremble: Nothing is more foolish than a security built upon the world, and its promises, for they are all vanity and a lie; but nothing more reasonable in itself, or more advantageous to us, than for good people to build with assurance upon the promises of a good God, for those that keep in the way of duty, to be quiet from the fear of evil; as those that know no evil shall befall them, no real evil, no evil, but what shall be made to work for their good; as those that know, while they continue in allegiance to God as their king, they are under his protection…

God will speak peace to his people, to his saints; he will fill them with joy and peace in believing; his peace shall keep their hearts and minds; keep them safe, keep them calm.

As we must begin the day with God, and wait upon him all day, so we must endeavor to close it with Him.”

An excerpt from Mathew Henry’s; A Method for Prayer, Third Discourse.

My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
Psalm 63:5-8

May His peace reign in us as we lie down and sleep this night.


Related Articles:

How to Close the Day with God -Part 1-

How to Close the Day With God -Part 1-


I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep:
for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:8


“If God lift up the light of his countenance upon us, as it fills us with a holy joy, it puts gladness into the heart more than they have whose corn and wine increaseth, so it fixed us in a holy rest, I will now lay me down and sleep. God is my God, and I am pleased, I am satisfied, I look no further, I desire no more, I dwell in safety: Or in confidence; while I walk in the light of the Lord, as I want no good, nor am I sensible of any deficiency, so I fear no evil, nor am I apprehensive of any danger. The Lord God is to me both a sun and a shield; a sun to enlighten and comfort me, a shield to protect me and defend me.

A holy serenity is one blessed fruit of God’s favour; I will now lay me down in peace and sleep. While we are under God’s displeasure, or in doubt concerning his favour, how can we have any enjoyment of ourselves! while this great concern is unsettled, the souls cannot but be unsatisfied. Hath God a controversy with thee? Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eye-lids, until thou hast got the controversy taken up; Go humble thyself, and make sure thy friend, thy best friend (Prov. 6:3)… Are thy sins pardoned? Hast thou interest in Christ’s meditation? Doth God now in him accept thy works? Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thine wine with a merry heart (Eccl.9:7). Let this still every storm and command, and create a calm in thy soul.

Having God to be our God in covenant, we have enough, we have all; and though the gracious soul still desires more of God, it never desires more than God; in Him it reposeth itself with a perfect complacency; in him it is at home, it is at rest, if we be but satisfied of his loving kindness; abundantly satisfied: There is enough in this to satiate the weary soul, and to replenish every sorrowful soul (Jer. 31:25), to fill even the hungry with good things, with the best things; and being filled, they should be at rest, at rest for ever, and their sleep here should be sweet.”

*Excerpt from Matthew Henry’s, A Method for Prayer, Third Discourse. (emphasis mine)

Good night, my friends.


Next Article in the Series:

How to Close the Day with God -Part 2-