We’re praying and fasting tomorrow for God to change us, change men, and bring about the wonderful and challenging change of marriage.
Last Sunday I signed up for Weight Watchers (summer is coming!). Monday, I fasted breakfast and lunch, and by the time 6pm came, I was hungry. No, ravished. I decided to break my fast at dinner. So I ate. And I ate. And ate. I’d fasted all day, so I needed to eat, right? Watching me devour dark chocolate-covered almonds after my Weight Watchers ice cream sandwich, Mark said “I’m not sure this Weight Watchers thing is looking very promising.”
When we started prayer and fasting almost 4 years ago, my main motive was petitioning God for powerful intervention. I wanted God to change me — to show me my relational blind spots and to work redemption. I wanted to be married and I wanted my friends to get married. And I wanted God to change the men I saw around me, and pull new ones out of the woodwork. Four years later, I still want all those same things. God has graciously given me a husband, I’ve experienced real change, and some of my friends have gotten married. But there is still so much more I want him to do. Much more I want him to change in me. Many more marriages I want him to bring about. So I continue to fast and pray.
But somewhere in the midst of the four years of fasting I realized that this was not only a more powerful way of praying; it was also having an effect on me. I started hungering for God more. Some Mondays feel like a bust, but most Mondays I feel a stronger draw towards God and a greater desire to worship than I do at any other time in the week. I can’t quite explain it, but my guess is that many of you who have being going at this for a while can relate. This renewed hunger for God has become quite precious to me. I’m finding I need it — in this distracting world with so many competing demands and desires, my heart needs the help of fasting to stay hungry for God.
I never want to fast. Sometimes I just throw in the towel — even before the day has begun. Other days I find I can make it. As I am feeling the discomfort of hunger pains, my favorite verse to repeat is “The gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and few are those who find it.” Pursuing God is hard, but it’s life.
My God give all of us grace to pray — and fast — tomorrow.