At the start of a new year, many people begin fasting. There are many kinds of fasts including; intermittent fasting, cold turkey fasting, alternate day fasting and overnight fasting. So at the start of a new year, and in an effort to “shed”, people will withold and restrict, in hopes of loosing those unwanted pounds.
This is the American way~~out with the old and in with the new. We strive for improvements, goals, achievements and rigor~at the start of each new year.
But what if there was a different type of fast~~one that restricts in order to gain?
Spiritual fasting… provides just that and yet is all together different.
A spiritual fast is the physical denying of food while focusing on intentional prayer and spiritual connection to God. When we are put into a position of need and dependency, we are made meek and humble, as our Lord becomes our source of strength.
Fasting through prayer is all about gaining~ gaining wisdom, insight, gratitude, love and discernment, that comes from our indwelling Spirit and sustains us. It aligns our hearts with the heart of Jesus and nourishes our emptiness.
A spiritual fast is an act of faith, as we deny the physical needs of our body. And by setting aside the needs of our temporary bodies, we become increasingly focused on healing our eternal souls.
This practice of discipline and self control, allows us to deny our flesh and yield toward our Spirit. And as the Spirit overwhelms our physical body with strength and sustenance, our dependency on our Creator is cultivated.
Spiritual fasting creates a place of deep introspection and prayer by temporarily weakening our physical bodies as our souls become revived and refreshed. When we allow this time to be focused on God, through prayer and biblical study, we are afforded the opportunity for greater spiritual insight and connection to God.
And while fasting can occur without prayer and prayer without fasting…In the Bible, fasting is always connected to prayer.
Through fasting and prayer, we are given an opportunity to take our focus off of the things of the world and focus ouselves on Christ, as we gain deeper fellowship with God.
A spiritual fast is soul cleansing and awakens our faith in a new way
So as the world sets out to be remade with resolutions and benchmarks….I will rest quietly with new spiritual practices that serve to nurture my heart and soul, through a strengthened connection to my Heavenly Father.
One day in each of the upcoming twelve months of 2020, I will deny my body of it’s physical needs, while spending time in prayer, meditation and study. I will embark on this personal journey quietly without announcing it to others and I will allow my body to become a vessel for God to fill with HIS goodness.
Would you consider joining me in this journey?
Will you welcome the ancient practice of fasting to prepare you for the next step in your faith journey, in this New Year?
“But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvius to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen, and your Father, and your Father who sees what is done in seceret, will reward you.” Mathew 6:17-18
Like the Israelites who were freed from Egypt, there will be a time of preparation. This is an act of faith as we prepare ourselves for the fulfillment of God’s promises however unlikely they may seem.
In preparation, I’ll ready my mind, heart, spirit and body. I will draw close to Jesus and allow him to prepare my heart to recieve all that God has in store for me during each period of fasting. I will remain actuely aware of the presence of Jesus as I limit my obligations and distractions on that particular day. I will fill my day with calm and peace and allow myself to become overwhelmed by Christian music, soothing scents and friends and people that uplift and encourage me.
I will give myself grace and allow myself to recieve the love Jeusus gives. and I will relish in intimacy with my Heavenly Father.
I will ask the Lord to forgive my transgressions and reveal to me unrepented sin as heart and soul are renewed in our precious Father-Jesus Christ.