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Archive for the ‘Fasting’ Category

Several months ago, a sweet friend of mine shared with me that she and her sister were fasting and praying on the first of each month.  The prayer request that drove them to fasting and praying on this regular basis was so earnest that I determined to join them.  Recently, during the appointed fasting day, I realized that the requests that I was praying were downright impossible ones.  Nothing about the requests were humanly do-able.  I can’t change a person’s heart.  I can’t heal an incurable disease.  I can’t make a person stop loving his sin.  I can’t peel off scales of deception.  I can’t fix a mental illness.  Have you ever prayed such impossible prayers?

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever!  Amen.  Ephesians 3: 20-21

What a relief to know that the God that we serve, the God Who is hearing these impossible prayers, is the One True God.  There is no one else like Him.  And, Jesus tells us that “with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  Jesus was telling His disciples how it was possible for anyone to be saved; only through God.  His answer applies to many other prayer requests we lift, though, too.  In fact, the answer to all of our prayer requests is:  “With God all things are possible.”  Who knows how God is going to work in our lives?  It is not up to me to try to figure out God’s ways (see Isaiah 55: 8-9), but I can turn over every single concern and trust that He is a good God whose thoughts towards His children are thoughts of peace, not of evil, and His plans are to give us a future and a hope.  Certainly this is bound to look different than our plans and I pray that we can all determine to believe that God is indeed working all things together for good to those who love Him.

Are you praying impossible prayers?  Or are you giving up before believing that with God all things are possible?  The Ephesians passage reminds me that God can do so much that I cannot even measure His works, not by anything physical like a measuring stick nor by anything in my mind, like a really vivid imagination.

Let’s access His power that is at work in us and ask those impossible prayers.  May God be glorified in us and in the Church forever and ever!

Love, Wendy

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Hearing God’s still small voice is a treasure to me.  Sometimes I don’t hear Him because of the noise and distractions in my life.  Sometimes I don’t hear Him because I choose to listen to other voices instead.  But, this past week I was glad that I heard Him…and obeyed.

Recently, I felt the urging from God to fast from food.  It had been a long while since I had abstained from food, so I was a bit hesitant but excited all at the same time.  Feeling led to do this, I began asking questions of friends who had fasted recently.  ” How long should I fast?”  “What should I fast from?”  “Why is it good to fast?”  Then, this past Sunday, during the sermon, our pastor, David, shared that he would be fasting from sundown Sunday to sundown Monday in order to pray for the children of Christ the Word.  Instantly, I knew that I would be fasting along with him!

After a hearty Sunday lunch, I mentally prepared for the fast ahead of me.  I prayed to God that He would work in me and that He would do mighty things in the children/teenagers of Christ the Word.  I had hoped that God would increase my faith and teach me something new during this fast.

Was it because I hadn’t fasted for so long that the hunger pangs and urges seemed all the more traumatic?  I was positive that I really wasn’t *that* hungry!  Yet, those acute urges were my signal to pray for the children/teenagers…and I prayed much during this 24-hour period.  Although I prayed for all of the children of CTW church, I couldn’t help but focus great energy on my own children–especially my two oldest sons.  I’ve found that as your children grow older, your faith is really tested.  I’ve had to ask myself, “Do I honestly believe that God will care for them in this situation?”, “Will God really protect them and rescue them…?”, “Can I trust God when all else seems to be pointing to the impossible?”  Not to diminish the fatigue and demands of the early childhood years, but I really believe that a greater faith and trust in God is required as children grow older!

So, with each urge to eat or each pang for hunger, I prayed.  And, God was faithful to teach me a few things during those times of prayer.

  • He is always with me.
  • Resisting my flesh is a powerful thing to do.  I don’t HAVE to act on every impulse that I have to “feed my flesh”.  Snacking is so tempting for me–just a cheese stick or a cracker here and there.  Yet, giving into those cravings (not real hunger) does not teach me to resist my flesh and walk by the Spirit.
  • As I was resisting my flesh against “hunger”, I experienced first-hand what my husband and I have been instructing our oldest boys:   waiting for God’s best.  We tell them that there are loads of young ladies out there, but God has certain boundaries for them.  His restrictions, His instructions, are good for us.  His plan for us is good.  So, for example, if a son is tempted to like a young lady who is not a Believer, he must resist his flesh.  This may seem downright impossible, yet it is good and right and possible through the power of the Holy Spirit.  By denying my fleshly urges for food, I was experiencing first-hand what our sons must do daily.  This was a good reminder of what it feels like to be a young man, full of hormones and untamed desires.  Oh, the prayers were abundant for this!!

Mentally, I had set my fasting deadline for dinner on Monday evening with my family.  I had pictured that as a perfect conclusion because it would be like the feast after the fast.  As the sun was quickly setting and  I was preparing the delectable, New Orleans- authentic andouille sausage and chicken gumbo for our evening meal, though, I began thinking about how Pastor David would be ending his fast at sundown.  He was probably already eating again!  But, my husband wasn’t home yet, so we wouldn’t be eating our dinner until his arrival home (after sundown).  I was so close to the end of my fast!  Secretly I thought, “just a cracker…it’s almost time for the fast to be over…no one would even have to know…” and then God spoke to my heart that the blessing was in the wait.  At that moment, a picture of a bride and groom came into my mind.  Imagine this couple desiring to wait for their wedding night to enjoy one another for the first time.  Before then, though, they would have to resist their fleshly urges and be focused on purity instead.  But, then, they find themselves alone on the night before the wedding, after the Rehearsal Dinner.  The wedding was just the next day; who would know?; they’re basically husband and wife right now!  Yet, to sample and snack prior to the wedding feast (or the Monday evening gumbo, in my case) would steal the blessing found in the wait.  So, I waited as this picture remained vividly in my mind.  I replaced the idea of a quick snack to satisfy an urge with the idea of sitting down with my husband and children and savoring the little feast spread out upon our table.

It is a good practice to deny ourselves and it is a real celebration when we can truly wait!  My husband and I have discussed this lesson that God taught me and we believe that we should be giving our children more experiences of denying their flesh.  The more they can experience the importance of this discipline, then hopefully the more they can tame their urges when they are not in line with God’s best.  

Love, Wendy

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