Happy New Year. I am not sure how you read that but, I was totally insincere with my new year’s cheer. (Yes, I know that rhymed.) Anyway, today is the 2nd of January and I am still reading up on how to successfully fast and pray. I am not going all gung-ho and doing a 40-day fast. For two reasons (1) because the Lord has not put it on my heart to do that and (2) because I have never fasted before. I do want to glorify God in this undertaking and not by trying to be, and failing as, teacher’s pet.
What I am going to do is a 21 day fast. My diet will consist of fruits, vegetables and their juices, and water. And what I realized today was that although 21 days sounds like a short amount of time… “oh, just three weeks.” See? It sounds like nothing. But, actually living it, I am certain that it will seem longer. However, by God’s grace I will manage. I have already begun by mixing my regular Café Bustelo coffee with de-caffeinated. By the end of this week I will be on de-caf only and then next week, green tea. The goal is to be caffeine-free for two-thirds of my fast. By the way, that is the easy part for me. The tricky part is the prayer and bible study.
I mean, I know how to read but, do I really know how to pray? Do I really know how to listen to God? And will I know when I have drawn nearer to Him?
I am pretty sure that my time of fasting & praying should not be a time filled with anxiety but, at this moment I am anxious. I am anxious about praying and fasting properly. Not to worry, this soon will pass. I know it, just as sure as I know that the Lord is always with me.
One last thing that is troubling me; I know that this season is to open my heart to receive more of God but, why do I keep reading that I am not to ask for anything? I certainly do not look upon God as my personal genie but, I am also certain that when all else fails, God still can. So, while this reading says “Why are you fasting? To seek something personally from God’s hand or to seek His face in worship, praise, and thanksgiving?” Am I wrong when I say “BOTH”??
Am I not allowed to fast and pray for multiple reasons? God’s Word says, “in all things…” He says, “in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to [Me.]” So, why is all the reading trying to make me feel as if I am wrong to ask for something other than a deeper relationship with God. I want a job and I want more of Jesus. I need a job and I need more of Jesus. Geesh! What's a girl to do? Isn’t it grand that He knows my heart? Because all of these points of view are troubling me.
Ah-ha, then we have come to this: “In preparation of your fast, repent of un-confessed sins.”
- That gift card I kept. It wasn’t mine.
- When I return sour behavior for the sour behavior given to me.
- Bob (intentionally listed 2x because, Jesus help me, my heart still welcomes his.)
I am human; you’d think there’d be more on this list. I think there should be more on this list. Well, the Holy Spirit is with me and He will let me know when there is something to confess and I will be obedient.
So, I think I am ready. I do not have an accountability partner but, that is another thing I am praying on. And, in full-disclosure, I am also giving up television during my fast. You would think I would have said the social networking but, I do not interact that much on those sites. Giving up television though, that is a sacrifice I am willing to make for my Lord.
See you on the 29th or sometime shortly after that to let you know how it went.
Pray for me.