Have you ever done a spiritual fast? This is where you give up something, most likely food, and concentrate on praying and usually for a specific reason? Fasting is about denying yourself and focusing on spiritual purposes. When we fast we are not to tell people so they will think we are 'oh so wonderful and spiritual' but we are to do it in secret. 1 Corinthians 15:31 says "I die every day--I mean that, brothers--just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord." To 'die daily' do not mean literal death but dying to the pleasures of this world we think we need. To die is to put off always putting 'self' on the throne. It is also thinking of others more than yourself. Self can be a real problem for trying to get closer to God. Matthew 16:24 says "Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."
Perhaps you are good at making excuses of why you can not do a certain thing. Is there something going on in your life that needs serious prayer right now? Perhaps a wayward child? Maybe it is being able to let go of a hurt or forgiving someone? Maybe issues at work? Perhaps a health issue? Maybe some marriage problems? Whatever it is, have you considered the discipline of fasting? I am not promising you an instant answer to prayer, but this is one way to get serious about being close to God and giving him your concerns .
When some outsiders think of 'Christians' or 'church people' they may think of people who like to go to allot of potluck suppers because you are always hearing of that. The sin of gluttony is not mentioned much in sermons now is it? But to 'fast' we need to let our stomach growl a bit and do not think we have to eat just because it is lunch time. When you feel the urge to eat, then pray. Of course some people need to check with their doctors if they have a medical condition that would cause a problem.
In Mark 9:29 it says "He told them, "This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting." This means you may need to get serious about the praying to the point of denying yourself the pleasure of keeping your tummy full. Half the time we are hungry we do not really need to eat anyway but it is out of habit. When you feel you just can not stand it and have to eat, stop a minute and do a word picture in your head of the little children you always see in Africa with bloated bellies and only mush of some sort to eat then think how much you really need that hamburger. Give it up and go pray. We are pretty blessed here in this country and many could stand to miss a few meals anyway. We are blessed to not have to eat a bowl of cornmeal each day washing it down with dirty diseased water from a polluted river .
There have been fasting movements for the country and for others reasons .You may have something going on in your life or a family members life you want to spend quality time in prayer about and fasting is a good way to do this. If you are free to get away somewhere for a couple hours and concentrate on praying for whatever the issue is that is ideal. If you work full time you may not have that luxury. If you do this at home, take your phone off the hook, turn off the TV and concentrate on worshipping God. Do not get distracted by lots of other things like your housework and such, but focus on God during this time.
Why not pray about this and consider trying a fast? The verse in 2 Chronicles 7:14 which is often prayed in relation to the state of our nation and it says "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." I have heard the word 'humble' means to fast. Deny yourself and your needs and truly concentrate on prayer and on God.
Matthew 6:16 reminds us concerning fasting that "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full." They were basically trying to prove how wonderful they were by doing this. There is no need for this. It is between you and God.
Pray about this and seek the Lord and listen for His answer. Do you feel there is something you could fast about in your life?
PRAYER: Lord I want to be closer to you. I know there are things in my life going on that I need to be in serious prayer over. Give me the ability to do a spiritual fast if this is what you want me to do. Help me to not boast to anyone if I do decide to do this. I thank you Lord for loving me and hearing my prayers. In Jesus Name. Amen.
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