Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Fasting and Prayer - The Reward
When Jesus taught on Fasting it was from the prospective that we would fast. It was assumed that fasting was a part of our spiritual experience. He said 'when you fast' and then he went on to give specific expectations of fasting. Jesus told us not to fast like the leaders of that day. It seems they made a public spectacle of themselves because this is what Jesus said.... "Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting" (Matthew 6:16). So it seems that their primary focus was what they appeared to be doing rather than what they should have been doing and that was to be in communion with God,  having a very personal and spiritual experience. Jesus goes on to say  in verse 17, "Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward". Reward? Is there a reward for fasting? In verse 20 we are told that we are to lay up treasures in heaven - thus we can determine that as we fast (turn away from the world) and turn toward God we are investing in our eternal accounts in heaven. Fasting should be an eternal experience we should anticipate a personal spiritual payoff.
So, what is the process for the obtaining the reward of our time with God? Jesus tells us very specifically "But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, anoint your head and was your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly",v17. It is the reward that is to become evident to everyone not the fasting. The outcome of your fasting and prayer will not only render an eternal reward for you but also a testimony to all those who see what God reveals through your life. Your testimony of your blessing will reveal God's glory and grace - the greatest spiritual reward one can receive. When you are asked how is it that you have received this blessing? Your truthful  response must be God did it!

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About the Founder of Oasis of Prayer Ministries

Reverend Mattie B. Thornton Criddell Reverend Mattie Criddell believes that a viable prayer life is absolutely essential for spiritual development and Christian living; and thus she is dedicated to using her spiritual gifts of teaching and preaching to facilitate the development of an effectual prayer life for all who desire it. She has served God’s people through the Ministry of Prayer for over fourteen years. As the Staff Pastor of Prayer Ministry for The Church Without Walls, she was responsible for every aspect of prayer for the church-body of fourteen thousand active members. She also shared in leading and preaching for the worship experience each Sunday for three of five church services. Oasis of Prayer Ministries is a new call on her life. Reverend Mattie believes that every answer of “yes” to God’s call requires another “yes”, and thus she has answered God’s call to establish Oasis of Prayer Ministries. She has been called by God to help men, women and children everywhere to develop a meaningful prayer life and to maintain a relationship with Him. She anticipates that this ministry of prayer will give her greater opportunities teach the biblical message and methods of prayer, and to lift up the Name of Jesus to a lost world.

Oasis Of Prayer Ministries

Oasis of Prayer Ministries VISION The Oasis of Prayer Ministries seeks to provide a time to rest in God, reflect, reconcile and renew one’s awareness of the presence and power of God in our lives. The Oasis of Prayer provides a space of hospitality devoted to prayer, silence and simplicity. In this environment, the body, mind and spirit are welcomed to be strengthened and purified in response to God’s invitation for divine union and intimacy. MISSION The Oasis of Prayer is committed to advancing the principles, practice and productivity of prayer to expedite the power of prayer and to enhance the development of an intimate relationship with God. What we are about: • The Oasis of Prayer is an ecumenical organization that is open to all who desire to develop and/or advance an intimate relationship with a loving and compassionate God. • The Oasis of Prayer’s primary function is to provide instruction that will assist men and women in how to still away and experience the presence of God. • A Ministry of Prayer that provides instruction to assist individuals and churches to develop an effective prayer life as it has been taught to us by Jesus Christ, Matt. 6:7. • A Ministry of Prayer committed to providing a refuge and solitude through an environment that is conducive to prayer and meditation. • A Ministry of Prayer committed to interceding for those who are hurting and longing to experience the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. • A Ministry of Prayer committed to providing a time to retreat from the pressures of life and provide a time of guided prayer, reflection and discernment of a loving God. • A Ministry of Prayer committed to providing the information and tools necessary to develop a meaningful prayer life.