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,