21 Days of Prayer and Fasting
Daily Devotional – Day 2, January 7, 2013
“Achieving Your Goal in Christ”
Read: Philippians 3:13-15
Every sport with a ball has a goal (even if it isn’t named “goal”) and is used to score points. Football has goal posts. Basketball has a goal. So does soccer. Each player works to achieve victory by placing their ball strategically into the goal. A player suits up, steps onto the playing field, and exerts tons of energy because they believe they will score in their goal causing them to ultimately win the game.
Goals aren’t met easily. But with training, patience, work, and perseverance, goals are met. Every goal met leads to great chances of victory. Maybe you’ve never played a sport but I’m sure you’ve set your eyes on a goal before. During this 21 days of prayer and fasting remember: set small, reachable goals that add up over the duration of the “game”, (the 21 Days), and end with success.
The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:13-15, “One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things.” Paul set goals to win! His goal was knowing Christ. Knowing Christ better was a win for him and is a win for us. As you set goals during this fast remember this: goal setting is risky. You risk not meeting it. But you also risk meeting that goal. Goals never set are never reached. No goals mean no failure but isn’t failure really never setting any goals at all? Setting and striving toward goals builds character, perseverance, and maturity. Don’t set too easy of goals that you aren’t challenged. That’s like shooting first then drawing a bull’s eye around the bullet hole.
Clearly define your goal. That’s step one. Remember that what your abstaining from is just half the goal. What you decide to put in its place (prayer, scripture memorization, worship, bible reading, etc.) is the other half. If you aim at nothing you will hit it every time! Start slow if you’ve never fasted before. Fast a meal a day. When you achieve that, step it up and fast a whole day, remembering to pursue the Lord as you evade food.
- What goals have you set in fasting? What goals have you set in worship? Prayer? Bible study? Bible memorization?
- Are these reachable goals? Is it too easy of a challenge? Is it too hard?
- Which is bigger a bigger goal to you: Knowing Christ more intimately or abstaining from food (or something else)? Which is harder to do? Why? How are they connected?
- Do you have a plan for growth? What scriptures are you going to read tomorrow? Which will you memorize? What time will you set aside today to worship? Have you made a prayer list?
Thank you Lord for having a specific purpose and goal for my life. Help me by giving me courage, desire, and direction in fulfilling those goals during this time of prayer and fasting. You are my strength and my ultimate goal is knowing you more (not just knowing more about You). Like Paul, I forget the things of the past that want to drag me away from the goal and prize of knowing you. Thank for you for victory! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.