Saturday, December 27, 2008

Answered Prayer

I'd mentioned awhile back my grief over separation from some whom I love. The Lord guided me to a book on fasting. I've tried a water-only fast a couple of times before in my life, for just 24 hours, and became ill both times. This time, I tried only fruits and vegetables and juices for 24 hours. For me, that was much more tolerable. That same day or the next, the key person in that relationship prepared a gift with a note and a card for us. We also had a very pleasant phone call from that direction this week.

This was a major breakthrough Am I taking credit for it? No. I think the Lord who guided me to fast was eager to teach lessons both to me and to the other party.

I praise the Lord who answers prayers. I'm eager to continue fasting gently from time to time in the future, as the Lord guides. However, I'm absolutely positive that fasting isn't the key to the successful Christian life. Jesus himself is the key.


Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

People make many uses of fasting, sometimes linking them to various bible verses, such as, "that kind of demon is driven out only by fasting and prayer" or "when you fast, don't be like the hypocrites," etc.

My church of course even has rules for fasting, and decrees four official fasts during the year, as well as two days every week. Fasting from animal products is usually what is meant by fasting, as well as eating less than normal. The water only fast is not part of this, but rather an individual effort.

The best fast and most useful is the one that comes by our second nature. When we are deeply concerned about someone or something and have to maintain a steady vigilance in prayer, we fast almost involuntarily. Who feels like eating when, for example, one's mother or father is in danger of dying? One only wants to stay close to them and to God in prayer, keeping watch. That is the most real fast, because it is inseparable from prayer, and from almsgiving (if someone asks us to help them or give them something while we're in this state, we generally respond, because something in us just "knows" that every request placed upon us must be answered, as we are waiting on our answer from God). In Orthodox Christianity, fasting, prayer and almsgiving are inseparable—fasting without prayer and almsgiving is just dieting.

Anyway, these are just a few thoughts on fasting.

The Postman said...

Fasting is an area which I fall short. But I do seek grace to pick up here too. Sharing thoughts which the Lord has showed me through faithful brothers

Jesus said in Matthew 6:16 And when you fast ...
and not "if you fast"

Jesus did not come to show us the way, HE IS THE WAY.

Just as it is not our prayers that bring the answer, but God who has said that He will hear our prayers, who in His soverignity hears and answers us. Same way it is not our fasting.

But let no one know when we fast. let us hide it as a bride who has words that only the bridegroom will hear, not for public consumption!

there are a few articles on site on fasting, that might be edifying.

Jim Swindle said...

Thank you, brothers, for your encouragement and counsel.