Don A. Carson tells of this story about prayer in his book Call to Spiritual Reformation:

Two years ago at a major North American seminary, fifty students who were offering themselves for overseas ministry during the summer holidays were carefully interviewed so that their suitability could be assessed. Only three of these fifty- 6 percent!- could testify to regular quiet times, times of reading the Scriptures, of devoting themselves to prayer. It would be painful and embarrassing to uncover the prayer life of many thousands of evangelical pastors.

There is one pitfall of prayer and fasting that we all need to guard ourselves against: too much focus on ourselves and our long prayer lists, storming the heavens for things we want and things we desire, giving God a continuous barrage of prayer “requests,” all the while forgetting to really commune with Jesus.

We do not fast to get God to do things for us. He already did much on the cross. That iPhone or house or car are probably necessary. That relationship is probably as important. So is that promotion. But God is not an ATM terminal or our rich uncle who buys stuff for us.

Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshippers meeting together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become “unity” conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.
I want my life to be a pure reflection of your love… I want my life to be a sweet devotion to you.
Rita Springer
It was these times when we’re unable to sing at all, that we’re singing loudest of all.
Duane Scott