Wednesday, July 1, 2015


We recently had a day of prayer and fasting at East Taieri Church.  It was a significant time for many people and I believe God was at work in at least two levels.  First, our Saturday retreat about our ministry in the community went very well, so God answered our prayers.  But, just as importantly, God was encouraging people in their discipleship through the experience of fasting.  Some people commented that they hadn't fasted for some time and it was a helpful day focusing them on God.  Others described the way they prayed when they felt hungry.

If you haven't fasted before or not for some time, can I encourage you to experiment with this spiritual practice more.

Fasting is going without food (or some other thing) for a limited time for the spiritual purpose of focusing on God and glorifying Him.  Fasting is not a hunger strike, nor tying to get God to do what we want; nor an attempt to earn our way into heaven, nor a way of appearing to be deeply spiritual.

Some Hints:
·  Fasting usually helps our physical health, but check with your doctor if you are uncertain (e.g. diabetics, expectant mothers should probably not fast.)
·  Fasting and Prayer go together.
·  Begin gently.  Try missing one meal.  Then fast from after dinner until the next dinner, missing breakfast and lunch, drinking fruit juice.  Then try drinking only water.
·  Your stomach will initially complain – especially at meal time.  Try sipping a drink at those times (not too cold).
·  Then consider longer periods.  Headaches from caffeine withdrawal and feelings of weakness or dizziness will pass.

Some Benefits of Fasting:
Ø  It puts the non-essential things in perspective.  “We do not live by bread alone…”
Ø  We affirm and experience another world.  Fasting is feasting.
Ø  We humbly learn to trust God to sustain us.
Ø  It develops self-control over our body.  Our bodily passions need not rule over us.
It often reveals the things that control us (anger, pride…), and begins to deal with them.

No comments: