21 Days of Prayer and Fasting 1

When we come to a fast, we are immediately confronted with the many things that control us and our attention. We have so many stresses in this life and what we turn to as coping mechanisms quickly develop habits, morphing into things that will soon dominate our routines. Over-eating, sleeping in, binge watching your favorite shows, social media, caffeine, sugar, and countless other things are used to help us deal with the anxieties of life. The landscape of our lives are shaped by our daily actions and only the Lord can bring you peace. This seems so ominous until you see that many of our rhythms have been superimposed onto our reality by the Lord. Seasons change, night and day, work and rest. I believe that rhythms in our lives are healthy, but we often develop patterns based on our conformity to this world. Fasting breaks us free from those patterns to return to the Lord as our only source and authority. Closeness with the Lord is the purpose of a fast and obedience the greatest outcome. Richard Foster, who has shaped my framework for the Spiritual Disciplines, says, “Fasting reveals the things that control us.” Our patterns and routines become mechanical and even good things revert into something lifeless, lived without heart and breathless. To return to God in a fast reminds me that he brings about spring, sabbath rest, eating, and even the breath in my lungs. Whatever you have chosen to abstain from, it is a break in the pattern of your life to reintegrate a healthy, God-given rhythm of prayer and peace.

Read Philippians 4:6-7, Genesis 1:1-31, Romans 12:1-2, and Psalm 4:8