I’ve gotten into the habit of fasting at the beginning of the year using Pastor Stoval Weems’ book “Awakening.” My wife hates it when I fast simply because she has to cook two meals. I believe she’d think it easier if I just did a water or juice fast instead of my normal Daniel Fast. And fasting around a 5 and 7 year old is quite comical. They think I’m on a diet. And it is hard to explain why I am fasting or what it is.
But isn’t that the case for adults too? When you explain fasting to someone who doesn’t understand it, you begin to sound like you are from another planet – dare I say another culture. That brings up a totally different subject. As Christ-followers, why don’t we sound like we are from a different culture on a regular basis? But I digress…
I used to be really bad at fasting. I’m still not the best, to be honest. I can starve myself with the best of them. But devoting myself to prayer is difficult with a busy mind and a busier cell phone. Information comes too quickly and my mind wonders. But this time around I really dared myself to concentrate on the reading and prayer portion of the fast.
So what is fasting? It is a time where you give up something to focus on drawing closer to God. How does it do that? For me, every time I have a desire to eat, or to partake in something I give up, I pray. Its that simple. I did a Daniel fast this last time. That is where I eat only whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and water. If it sound horrible it really isn’t. My wife makes incredible bean salads and I like hummus. Still, I want a cheeseburger or Krispy Kreme doughnut. When I had the desire, it reminded me to pray – which was quite often.
If you’ve never fasted, I encourage you to try it. Start by fasting 1 or 2 days. Fast from sugar, or social media, or meat. Just try it and stick with it. And don’t forget to pray. What should you pray for? Whatever is on your heart. But I would stick with a theme for the duration. Maybe your theme is finances, or health, or spiritual growth, or your children. It can be anything, but it should be something that is near to your heart. You’ll be amazed at how God will honor the time and begin making things clear to you.