Wednesday, March 31, 2010

FASTING - Part 3

Tonight is the night. After dinner tonight, we encourage everyone who is part of the Grace Church family to join together in a corporate Day of Prayer and Fasting as we ask for God to use our Easter Celebrations to do that which is superabundantly in quantity above anything we could ever ask or ever imagine. As we look ahead to this 24-hour period, below are some suggestions.

Begin your fast after dinner tonight and go for 24-hours until dinner Thursday night. Drink plenty of water but, if you are medically able, avoid all food for this 24-hour period.

Be sure that this 24-hour period includes times of solitude with God. When Jesus fasted for 40 days in Matthew 4, he went into the wilderness to spend time alone with His Father.

Be sure to expect temptation. Our steps of faith please God but they also bother the Evil One. In fact, it was while Jesus was in solitude in the wilderness fasting that Satan tempted him greatly as also seen in Matthew 4.

Be sure to be humble. Remember what we saw in yesterday’s blog posting from Matthew 6:16-18. We are not fasting to be noticed by men but rather to be noticed by God.

Be sure to read large portions of Scripture. In Jeremiah 36:9-10, when the nation of Israel fasted, the reading of Scripture was part of their activity. Pick a portion of Scripture, a larger portion, and commit to read that portion of Scripture more than once during your time of fasting.

Be sure to spend extra ordinary time in prayer (Matthew 17:21; Jonah 3:5-9). Remember, fasting without extra time in prayer is nothing more than radical dieting.

Finally, Be sure that you remain open to soul-searching and repentance. In 2 Chronicles 20:3, King Jehoshaphat fasted in order to turn his attention to seeking the Lord. So as you began your time of fasting and prayer tonight, make these requests the focus of your time alone with God:

Father, please show me any area in my actions, attitude or motives where I have been displeasing you so that I may confess these areas to you and turn from each one of them.

Father, please speak to me through your Word and through your Spirit over this time of fasting and prayer that I might now you better and know your will for my life more clearly.

Father, create in me a new heart and restore a right spirit within me.

Father, use this time of fasting and prayer to deepen my passion for the local church and for the many people in my community and around the world who desperately need to know Jesus.

Father, use this time of fasting and prayer in my life to help me more genuinely love you with all of my heart soul, mind and strength, and to more passionately love my neighbor as myself.


nevin said...

Would eating a cool, juicy clementine be considered food?

Pastor Scott said...

Ah, the slippery slope of fasting. First a clementine and before you know it you are eating an entire cow.

Pastor Scott said...

Ah, the slippery slope of fasting. First a clementine and before you know it you are eating an entire cow.