Mat 6:16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Mat 6:17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
Mat 6:18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
Fasting is not to be seen of man, they have their reward and it is only flesh. Fasting is to accompany prayer, to deny the flesh and seek the face of God for direction, for his grace, and for his power to overcome the work of the devil.
Mat 17:15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is a lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
Mat 17:16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
The disciples could not cure him. Today we might refer to medical causes or psychology to explain away the condition. Jesus knows that he is the power to overcome all things. Why do we lack faith? There are times that things appear hopeless, but do not lose faith in the LORD.
Mat 17:17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
Jesus was upset with their lack of faith. Let me say this; we are not to ever accuse someone of not having faith if not healed. We could be in their same condition. Jesus looked into their fearful hearts; their flesh thoughts of personal glory or even lack of trust. If we could see hearts we would often be upset, perhaps if we saw our heart as Jesus sees it, we would repent and fast in prayer?
Mat 17:18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
Mat 17:19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
Mat 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Mat 17:21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
Some things require more than casual faith. For example; if we are deeply concerned about something, like the coming elections, fasting and prayer will change things. We must be serious and sincere, without known sins. Repent before you pray, for if you have iniquity in your heart, planning to sin, God will not hear you.
1 Pet 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
Do not pray long prayers to men
Mark 12:38 And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces,
Mark 12:39 And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts:
Mark 12:40 Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.
James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Confessing faults is personal and not to be shared with one who gossips. Find those who are of faith, of one heart and spirit and pray. Intercede for those in need, even if they have no relationship with Jesus. Pray for God's will to be done. Your righteousness in Christ will bring an answer.
James 5:17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
James 5:18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
What should we know about prayer?
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Mat 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Mat 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Not in empty repetition
Mat 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
The Lord's example of prayer
Mat 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Pray to God our Heavenly Father
Mat 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
His will to be done
Mat 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
For daily needs
Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
For Holy paths and protection
Mat 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you
Mat 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Forgive as you have been forgiven, or God will not forgive you
Pray for workers to harvest souls
Mat 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
Watch and Pray
Mat 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Keep from evil
John 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
Pray in the Spirit
Rom 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Rom 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Pray with understanding
1 Cor 14:15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
Pray without ceasing
1 Th 5:16 Rejoice evermore.
1 Th 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
1 Th 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1 Th 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.
1 Th 5:20 Despise not prophesyings.1 Th 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
1 Th 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
Our prayers are stored in Heaven, so we are sending up spiritual incense.
Rev 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
Rev 8:4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.
Jesus always prayed His Father's will to be done. What is more important than that? It is time to pray for our country that is in serious need. Pray for righteous God fearing leaders. We pray to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; not to another god or godess. There is one Holy God who hears and answers our prayers. Repent, come humbly to the throne of grace and pray.
2 Chr 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.