Dear Presence-seeking family,
I have been praying about an extended fast, and I felt today like the Lord wanted me to invite you to pray about a fast–and consider fasting–with me, together as a group.
I don't know about you, but I love fasting. That is to say, I love the spiritual benefits of fasting. I love the feeling of drawing close to the Lord. I can feel it the moment I commit to the fast and begin to pray over my prayer list!
I also love the results of fasting.
Fasting shakes things in the heavenlies. It pries open doors that were previously closed. It brings down blessings you never imagined before. As the late Franklin Hall wrote, fasting gives your prayers atomic power with God.
Related: On Intercessory Fasting
When I have fasted–truly fasted with a right heart, not just grouchily abstained from a meal or two out of a misguided sense of guilt, duty, or condemnation–God has moved.
He's moved on time, quickly, every time.
I will admit that I don't love the sacrifice of fasting.
I don't always fast from all food. As Dr. Elmer Towns says, don't make rules where God made none.
Daniel and his friends fasted from sweets and meats. Others in the Bible fasted from both food and water–but that was a supernatural miracle that we should not try to replicate unless God carries you up to Mount Sinai like He called Moses.
But no matter what I'm giving up whenever I fast, it's has to be a sacrifice. It would do me no good to give up something meaningless.
For example, I'm a vegetarian. If I were to fast from meat, that would have no meaning to me or God. It would do me no good, because I don't eat meat anyway. I have been a vegetarian my whole life.
Related: Field Notes from My Fasting Failures
But I do love ice cream. I love pie.
And I love cheese, Mexican food, pasta, breads, juices, smoothies, milkshakes, and other sweet and cheesy foods of every kind. Giving up any of those things is a HUGE sacrifice. Giving them all up would be a miracle.
Nevertheless, God will give us a supernatural grace for glorious fasting if we ask Him.
Fasting is supposed to be a sacrifice. It's about offering up a love offering to the Lord, sacrificing something so we can simply stare at Him awhile. So we can adore Him. So we can remove all blockages and hindrances that would prevent us from ministering directly to His heart.
And one of the things that helps us fast gloriously is praying before the fast for the fast.
So I have been praying. At first, I told the Lord that I know I need to fast, but I don't want to. I asked Him to help me want to if He really wants me to fast right now. After all, the apostle Paul wrote:
for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
So I submitted my will to the Lord and asked Him to change my heart. I've continued to pray that for several days, as I sensed the Lord was probably drawing me into a season of fasting. Probably.
But I wasn't altogether sure.
Just before I wrote this, however, I became sure.
The confirmation came when I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to me to start the fast this Wednesday, February 14–and to invite any of you who desire to do so to fast with me.
When I hear the Lord mention a date like that, or a date range (He told me to fast 40 days), I usually look and see what spiritual holidays or Jewish holidays fall on the dates He has shown me.
So I looked it up. I've been a little out of the loop recently, so I wasn't sure what holidays were happening this month (other than Valentine's Day in the USA). And when I looked it up …
… this Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. It's the beginning of Lent. And 40 days from Wednesday is Palm Sunday.
So, I get it. Okay, Jesus. You'll have to help us, but I'll do it … and I'm inviting any among you to join me if you want to.
Do you want to join me?
You can fast from whatever you work out with God. I'm breastfeeding a baby, so I can't fast from food. But, I can cut out certain things that the Lord has asked me to offer to Him as a sacrifice through fasting. I will miss those things, and I will need Papa's grace to get through. But, my baby won't suffer.
Likewise, you can fast from anything the Lord leads you to fast.
Don't let anyone else's leadings determine your own. Just ask the Lord what you should give up and how you should fast, and He will show you.
Also, please read the articles about fasting in the links above. They will help you practically, inspire you, and encourage you.
So, that's it. I felt led to invite you to fast with me if you want to. The fast begins on Wednesday, February 14, and ends on Sunday, March 25. I'd love to have you join me!
Do I have any takers? If so, please leave a comment below!
Love in Christ,