Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked…in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness-. – 2 Corinthians 11:25-27.

Tomorrow is the day which Intercessors for America are urging Christians to unite in prayer and fasting for the United States. It seems fitting that their should be a day of prayer and fasting to begin the year 2000. We are urged to pray for several things: Lordship of Christ, Spirit of Wisdom, Sanctity of Life, Congress, and Presidential primaries. We can most likely think of a few other things to pray about as well.

Prayer and fasting. I remember the first time I tried to fast. My pastor had spoken briefly about fasting and I was intrigued. It was the first time I had really thought about it and understood that Christians are to fast. In II Corinthians the apostle Paul includes fastings in a list of the sufferings he had endured for Christ. I understood a little more about that by the afternoon of my day of fasting. My head was killing me! No caffeine, and by about 5:00 P.M. my fast was over. I was thinking “I am never doing this again!” I did not try fasting again until after I was a pastor. I now realize the tremendous importance of fasting but it is still difficult for me and not something that I do lightly.

Fasting throughout the Bible seems to be something that gets God’s attention. Fasting seems to be a statement to God that we are very serious about a certain matter. It allows us to focus on God. The Psalmist says in Psalm 35:13 that he humbled his soul with fasting. In Psalm 69:10 the Psalmist chastens himself through fasting. Fasting is beneficial to our attitude and our health. Through fasting we are in continuous prayer during the time of our fast.

How can you fast? Fasting is basically the abstaining from solid food. Many fast with only liquids during the day and a light meal in the evening. Some fast with liquids only but use a blender to provide sustenance. Extended fasts should be approached cautiously with medical advice when medications or health conditions are involved. However, food is not the only thing we can fast. We can fast time watching TV, or time on the computer, or other things that may be important to us.

I would encourage you to try fasting if you never have. I have always been encouraged by time spent in fasting. No, you may not enjoy it but Paul didn’t say he enjoyed the shipwrecks, stonings, and beatings with rods either.

(Fasting seems to be a statement to God that we are very serious about a certain matter. It allows us to focus on God.)

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *