205. Power of “Voluntary-No”

205. Power of “Voluntary-No”

“10 Days Early Morning Prayer” finished well last week. Fifteen people gathered on Zoom every morning at 6 am and prayed with other partners in 5 different groups. Many have shared that they didn’t expect starting their day with prayer would make that much difference in their productivity and spirituality. Some shared that it was a “game-changer.”

Some may wonder, “What is so special about waking up early? Doesn’t God answer our prayer regardless of when?” Yes and No. Yes, God can answer our prayer regardless of when we pray. No, because our “faith” is also involved in answered prayer. Jesus often said, “your faith has healed you” after healing many people. Jesus possessed the power to heal but what made healing effectual was the faith of the recipient. If grace is God’s hand that gives, faith is our hand that receives. Both need to go hand in hand.

So, when we sacrifice something we rightfully deserve, such as food or sleep, it doesn’t help God with his ability to give, but it helps our ability to receive. Why is that? Honestly, I don’t have a clear answer, but I believe it has to do with heightened sensitivity when we choose not to enjoy certain things for a time. When we always sleep how long we want and eat how much we want, we impair our sensitivity to know what we need from God. That’s why those who don’t practice spiritual discipline are often unsure of what to pray for.

So, please do not underestimate the power of “Voluntary-NO” in the faith journey. Though we are free to enjoy every good gift that comes from our heavenly Father, when we voluntarily give up something to seek him for a defined period, something profound happens in our ability to receive and our spiritual vitality. That is why we need regular spiritual discipline to train our body and spirit. (Hebrews 12:11-12) Discipline is never easy to do it alone, but it becomes much doable when done together as a group.

So, when church starts a corporate discipline (such as Daniel Fast or 10 Days Early Morning Prayer) every year, please consider participating. Many who have participated in the past have said that they didn’t realize they needed them until they decided to participate because it takes heightened spiritual sensitivity to know exactly what we need at the moment.