Fasting Refresh

Mondays at lunch: we fast and pray for men to lead in relationships and in the body of Christ, for our hearts to be soft and open to where God is leading, and for current and future marriages to honor the Lord.

Growing up, I didn’t know much about fasting as it wasn’t ever discussed at my church. I knew the basic idea that it was giving up food (typically) accompanied with prayer, but I never had it modeled for me. I was challenged to fast after I learned more about it in a Bible class I took in college, but I never made it a regular part of my spiritual walk until I joined fast.pray.

Lately, fasting on Mondays has simply been something I do out of habit, so I’ve spent some time over the past few weeks thinking about fasting: why I do it and how I have grown as a result.

Psalm 35:13 refers to fasting as a means of humbling one’s soul – your core. David fasted when he was “poor and needy,” asking God to help and save him in order to show others what God could do (Psalm 109:22-27).

I love this. We fast and pray so our lives, more specifically, our love stories and/or God’s provision through our years of singleness, are a testimony of God at work.

(Side note: I find it rather humorous that Paul mentions abstaining from sex in marriage while a couple sets aside time for prayer and fasting (I Corinthians 5:7), and here we are fasting and praying for marriage and, let’s be honest, an end to our celibacy!)

Fasting has been an exercise for me as I learn trust. I must trust the Lord for strength to overcome my hunger and the temptation of food for a few hours every week, and as I learn to trust Him through this, I learn to trust Him with my other hungers, the desires of my heart.

As much as we would like it to be, fasting isn’t simply a means of getting God to do what we want because we gave up lunch (I fall into this trap too). However, as we pray, the Holy Spirit is interceding with us and on our behalf that God’s Will be done (Romans 8:26-27).

This week as we fast and pray, let’s remember that fasting is a spiritual discipline meant to teach us humility and trust as we pray through our requests. Let’s also remember that the reason we fast and pray is that God may be glorified as we set aside our pride and allow Him to work in ways that only He can.

Fasting and praying with you,

Emily

This entry was posted in Author: Emily. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Fasting Refresh

  1. khalta says:

    Hi there, just stumbled upon on your blog and find it interesting and refreshing! Could you explain more about the fasting. What is involved by fasting, how many hours (is it daylight hours the same way Muslims fast)? And what did you learn from bible class on fasting? Thanks so much! God bless

    • fast. pray. says:

      Hi Khalta – so sorry it’s taken a while to get back to your questions about fasting! Fasting isn’t something we do for a set amount of time or in a specific way. In the Bible, fasting is a time of an individual refraining from food for varying lengths of time as they are lead in their hearts by God and is accompanied by prayer, usually for a specific request (see 1 Samuel 7:3-10; Matthew 17:14-21; Esther 4:16, Ezra 8:21-23; 2 Chron 20:3-4; Dan 6:18-23). Fasting is meant to be a time of intimacy with God. For example, while Jesus was on earth, the disciples didn’t fast because they could literally spend time with Him. After He ascended, they would fast as a means of having this fellowship (Matt. 9:14-15).

      Happy to answer any further questions you may have!

  2. Deb says:

    Emily–Great reminders about how to keep ourselves focused while we are fasting!

    I find it easier to fast at work–there are less temptations there, unless someone has brought in treats for everyone. I do have to pray for strength to keep a good attitude with co-workers and customers though, that’s harder to do when you are hungry. But a part of learning to depend on God as He molds and shapes my character, so well worth it, IMO.

    FYI–Our Muslim neighbors will be fasting (during daylight hours) for Ramadan starting on July 9th. This is a good time to be praying for them. Go to http://www.30-days.net/ for resources on how to pray.

    Hmmmm, if you know any Muslims, perhaps mentioning that you fast too could be a way to start a conversation with them? Interesting thought…

    • Emily says:

      Hi Deb,
      Thanks for this suggestion about using fasting as a way to start a spiritual conversation.
      Praying for you today!
      Emily

    • khalta says:

      So nice to read your thoughtfulness on praying for fasting Muslims and starting a conversation with them! Beautiful. I am a Muslim and stumbled upon this interesting blog only to find myself pleasantly surprised that those of the Christian faith also fast (other than lent). How interesting, and even more so as that through our shared faith in God and pursuit to get closer to him we are reminded how we are all one people despite our choice of faith and our racial backgrounds. Big love!

  3. Heather says:

    Thank you for the blog and the focus. But what about your job on Mondays? I would feel guilty, because while fasting I’m not as productive as usual…

    • Emily says:

      Hi Heather, Great question! I usually fast from about 10am-2pm (just from food – I still drink water) and then have a small snack after 2pm to get me through the rest of the work day. I tend to get headaches when I don’t eat, and I still want to be faithful in my work. If something like this wouldn’t work for you, try fasting Monday evening instead. We suggest Mondays at lunch because that’s when most of the fast.pray. writers are fasting, and it creates a sense of community knowing that others are fasting with you.

  4. Anna says:

    Such a good reminder. I frequently fast without focusing on what it does to my heart. ❤ ya Em!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s