Recently I spoke with a friend who reluctantly shared that she was fasting about an important matter and it truly touched my heart. As we talked, my mind began to wander and a few colorful memories surfaced.
Admittedly, I thought of times living in Alaska and serving in Zimbabwe, when fasting “came in handy” as a means of politely avoiding local delicacies that were being offered. With a bit of shame I silently confessed over these reminders of improper motivation for fasting and remembered true times of fasting and prayer that were more of what God intended.
Fasting is truly meant to be a time for communing with God, restoring our faith and helping us to discern direction. The examples in the Bible provide us with guidance for praying and at times fasting has been mentioned as an additional way to deepen our experience of God’s presence. While many people used to think only of abstaining from food as a means of fasting, the definition includes various forms of denial of things or acts of day-to-day importance.
As we consider the challenges our denomination is currently facing, the need for fasting and praying cannot be overstated. In our efforts to walk in unity, despite differing opinions and views, God’s Word stands ready to assist in guiding us to make any decisions that have to be made. When Israel fasted before a crucial battle, the Bible says they “inquired of the Lord.” (Judges 20:23; I Samuel 23). May Fasting and Prayer occupy a greater part of our spiritual journey. Resources and fasting guidelines are available.
Published on Thursday, February 21, 2019 @ 3:58 PM EDT