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Fasting With Purpose
Why would one even consider denying themselves something good, like food or entertainment? The only reason I can think of would be if one had a higher priority. Surely a person would miss an important football game if a loved one was suddenly rushed to the emergency room. As good as sporting events might be, there would suddenly be a higher priority. If a parent had a limited amount of food and their children were hungry it would not be a difficult decision to “deny themselves” so that their children could eat. In these examples sacrificing something good is done willingly in order that one might attend to something more important.
In the Bible people fasted when they realized a pressing need that was more important than eating and drinking. Click here to see how often fasting was practiced in both the Old and New Testaments. Fasting is voluntarily denying oneself something good in order to receive something better. When we as Christians participate in a fast we are asking God to do what we are incapable of doing, but desperately need and desire.
We have designated the week of September 4-10, 2016 to be a week of prayer and fasting specifically for the study we will soon begin called BELIEVE. This week will bring our 40 days of prayer to a close. (Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to see the 40 prayer initiatives.) Now is the time to ask God to do his will and accomplish his purposes in us and through us.
Think of what you would be willing to give up for a few days this week. This could be food. (Click here for guidelines to follow when fasting from food.) Some may want to do a complete fast for a day or a few days; others may choose to do a partial food fast where they abstain from particular types of food (such as meat or sugar). Still others may want to fast from social media, t.v., or non-work related internet use.
When fasting devote yourself to prayer. When I fast I use every hunger pain to remind me, “I want God and his will to be done more than I want to eat (and I really like to eat!).” I plan to go back through the 40 prayer initiatives and pray again specifically for God’s will to be done in each of those areas. Please join me. There are blessings God wants to give if want them bad enough to ask. Make asking a high priority this week and let’s see what God will do!