As part of the One Prayer series that we are participating in at Cornerstone, we are asking everyone to go to the One Prayer website each day to read the devotion and prayer guide. Each Tuesday, I have asked that we join with other churches around the world and fast from Sundown Monday night to Sundown Tuesday night. Fasting is a powerful but neglected spiritual discipline that can transform our lives. Fasting helps us to focus on what is truly important and it can clear our minds of daily distractions.
On Tuesday of this past week, our family was at the beach on vacation. Here’s where it gets a little complicated. Even though I was on vacation, I wanted to honor the fast. So Jennifer and I went 24 hours with only liquids and we spent some extended time reading scripture and praying for our church and our community. But to end the fast, we decided to go to an all-you-can-eat-gorge-yourself-on-incredibly-insane-amounts-of-seafood buffet. I literally ate 3 or 4 pounds of crab legs in addition to prime rib, shrimp, and fish. Now it doesn’t take a detective to see through the problem in that.
In our country, we are so used to excess that we don’t even realize what we are doing. The restaurant said they cook over 1800 pounds of crab legs each night! We let food dictate our schedules and we even plan our vacations around where we can eat. And even when we fast, we are thinking about where we can eat next. Lord forgive us for our selfish and extravagant lifestyles. What really bothers me is that most people never even see the problem. We pray for those who are hungry around the world and then eat like it’s our last meal. I am thankful that fasting is teaching me lessons and opening my eyes to where my faith and actions don’t line up.
I am also learning from my friends. Jennifer has also just completed a 21 day Daniel fast, and my friend Ronnie has been blogging and sharing about his 40-day fast. I’ve got to admit, God is really challenging me right now to get serious about prayer and fasting. And not just from food, but from other things that hold control over my thoughts and actions. I’ll be sharing more about my thoughts on technology and fasting as well.
But let me just stop and ask my readers, what have you learned from fasting? Leave a comment and join the conversation.
(if you want to learn more about fasting, check out this site from Campus Crusade. It has some great info on how to get started)