“Was as it really for me that you were fasting?” (Zechariah 7:5b, NLT)
At Woodland Church we fast because we to draw close to God. I admit there is also the motivation that we want to hear from God. It doesn’t mean that we hear an audible voice but as we wait quietly on the Lord, He speaks to us clearly through the Bible, through those nudges of the Holy Spirit in our life, and yes sometimes in our circumstances. We can anticipate this because God is eternally the same, not predictable but reliable. “One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Appoint Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.”” (Acts 13:2, NLT)
We fast and pray for others. “When they were sick, I dressed in black;instead of eating, I prayed.” (Psalm 35:13, Message) I don’t dress in black but it is important to respond serious illnesses with a time of fasting and prayer. I’m grateful for the people who have fasted and me when I was ill.
We fast and pray for our leaders. We entrust them to the Lord and his protection. Again, as a Pastor I’m so grateful for the people who have agreed too fast and pray with me in ministry. “Paul and Barnabas hand-picked leaders in each church. After praying—their prayers intensified by fasting—they presented these new leaders to the Master to whom they had entrusted their lives.” (Acts 14:23, Message)
Fasting is a way to sacrificially worship the Lord. The Bible commemorates Anna, an 84 year old widow who “… never left the Temple area, worshiping night and day with her fastings and prayers.” (Luke 2:37, Message) I pray for more and more grandparents who will spend time fasting and praying for our children and grandchildren.
May God use these thoughts to motivate us during our annual fast!