Worship God With Prayer and Fasting
Anna never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. Luke 2:37 NLT
Luke 2 is a part of the famous Christmas story. Jesus is born and then eight days later Mary and Joseph present him in the Temple in Jerusalem. As Mary and Joseph are talking to Simeon, we are introduced to Anna, a prophetess. She “was also there in the Temple. She was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four” (Luke 2:36, 37).
This is Anna’s one and only appearance in Scripture, and she has some incredible qualities and characteristics mentioned to describe her: Anna “never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer…she began praising God (and) talked about the Child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem (v 37, 38).
We see Anna had a regular pattern of fasting and prayer. This was a constant habit in her life— day and night, fasting and prayer. Anna was disciplined in her pursuit of God. She meant business! Fasting and prayer for Anna was more than a one-time thing, it was a way of life for her. Maybe God is calling you into a regular habit of fasting and prayer, like Anna?
Anna also gave her life as an act of worship. She worshiped God with fasting and prayer. Most of the time, when we think of worship, we focus on singing and music, especially in today’s modern church experience; but Anna offered her fasting to God as her personal worship. This is beautiful and inspiring.
And then these inward values produced an outward expression in Anna that impacted everyone around her: She talked about (Jesus) to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.
Anna was not only a prophetess, she was an evangelist! Her lifestyle of fasting and prayer, her commitment and devotion to God birthed a passion for Jesus and for sharing about the Son of God to everyone she interacted with. Look for ways that this season of fasting and prayer will open doors for you to share your faith and speak to everyone who might listen.
Anna’s life also gives unique encouragement to those who are currently single/unmarried. Paul also talks about this in 1 Cor. 7:32-35, how being unmarried can be a great blessing and a great opportunity because a person can really be focused on God. Anna’s whole life was lived to please God and she was able to give Him undistracted devotion.
If you are currently single, for whatever reason, you have a great opportunity to live an Anna-lifestyle devoted to prayer, worship, fasting, prophecy, evangelism, and ministry to God and others. Anna’s lifestyle can also apply and inspire those who are in the empty-nest phase of life or retired (and still married). Ask the Holy Spirit for a specific direction concerning how He would like you to invest your life for His cause.
PRAY THIS OUT LOUD
Jesus, I invite You to touch my life in a powerful way, like You did for Anna. Birth in me a night-and-day devotion to fasting and prayer. I worship you with my life, with fasting and prayer. May my life be marked by sharing You with everyone who is open to Your Kingdom. Take this season of fasting and produce in me an even greater, constant, night-and-day devotion to You!
What verse or phrase from today’s Scripture reading was the most meaningful to me?
What key truths or observations stand out to me in today’s story of fasting?
This was reproduced from Griffin, Chris. Fasting For Breakthrough: A 21-Day Biblical Roadmap for Fasting and Prayer (p. 95). BookBaby. Kindle Edition.