The very first Thanksgiving dinner was not a one day celebration as we celebrate it now. It was over the course a few days, which is why we, as a family, started celebrating on Tuesday with our reminiscent dinners. As my family begins to prepare our hearts for the big feast that we will enjoy with family tomorrow, we want to take a day to fast and pray.
Fasting, an often overlooked spiritual discipline, goes radically against the flesh, and warrants an opportunity for us to avert our eyes to our Savior. Fasting is not meant to draw attention to ourselves, unless of course it’s an unveiling of our destitution, then self-evaluation is appropriate, but fasting prompts us to turn our eyes toward our amazing God in praise and worship as we deprive ourselves of a specific, normal function.
Many choose to deprive themselves of food as they seek the Lord through prayer and fasting. Since food is the primary means by which fasting is taught in the bible, I think it is wise for one to follow this model.
However, there are circumstances when giving up food is not wise. Right now, my body is fighting to recover from a nursing strike brought on by a confused 10 month old. Therefore, to deny myself the needed nutrients to rebuild and maintain my supply of milk would be unwise. Therefore, my day of fasting will consist of a deprivation from Facebook, Twitter, and blogging. This proves to be particularly challenging due to the fact that my husband purchased an I-phone 4s for me as a Happy Birthday gift. No using it for the very thing I wanted it for? Not to mention, I will be in the car for seven hours? Yeesh! And to be clear, this post was scheduled yesterday. So, no I didn’t get on to post this today either. 😉
Anyways, fasting must be done with a clearly defined spiritual purpose. Therefore, our purpose for fasting is three fold.
1. To Express Love and Worship to God
He is worthy of all of our praise. Fasting is a means by which we can express our devotion to our mighty God. A word of caution: By fasting, we do not earn a better standing before God. We are not more righteous for depriving ourselves of the gift of food. We are merely expressing that our greatest pleasure and enjoyment in life is only found in God.
2. To Seek God’s Guidance
We are desperate for God. We are desperate for clarity as we seek His will for our lives. By fasting, we are opening ourselves more fully to God to see His will emerge. Of course, more clarity and clearness of sight is not guaranteed, but we do put ourselves in the path of grace.
3. To Add Weight to Our Prayers
Fasting strengthens our petitions before God. Fasting has been used for centuries by the people of God to add weight and passion to their prayers. As we pray for our time of fellowship with our family, fasting orients our hearts toward God, and creates an urgency to our prayers.
So, my friends, we are using this second day of our intentional approach to Thanksgiving to submit our prayers to our Heavenly Father through a passionate acceptance of His gift of fasting.
Tell me. Have you ever fasted for a specific purpose? What was the result?
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