What if one simple act, one singular dedicated effort or sacrifice could better your life, your soul forever? What if that sacrifice took just an hour or two or even an entire day? Would you do it? Consider it worth it? What if that very sacrifice could sharpen your focus, open your heart and move the hand of God in others and your own life?
If what I ask has peaked your interest, know that I inquire because I have the answers to these questions based on personal experience. What I have to share has the ability to better your life forever once you make the choice to take the adventure.
Twelve years ago, my friend Wendy and I felt prompted to journey down the road of fasting and prayer together. Now, why, would two average women who love to talk and do typical “girl” stuff and who also really love food want to give it up for any period of time?
God whispered in the inner places of our being to draw closer to Him in a new way. Suddenly, we didn’t want the status quo anymore. We believed, we studied, but in the hidden parts of our heart we knew there was more. We wanted to engage in the spiritual realm on a deeper level, one we had not yet experienced.
We wanted more … so much more.
So, one day a week, from Monday night after our family dinners, to Tuesday night before family dinner we would fast and pray.
We were ready. Ready for powerful changes, amazing answers to our requests and nothing short of miracles. What we got was instruction and a thorough look into the condition of our soul.
It was hard, to see what still existed in the corners of our minds and the recesses of our hearts. We found the thoughts, the unforgiveness, and the resistance to righteousness still alive and well. Big and little wrongs, judgments and critical spirits. Excessive self-awareness in danger of becoming narcissistic, fear, striving … almost too much to bear. However, we were not bombarded with this all at once.
Our God is very gentle, very kind; yet He is truth and truth was what He intended to show us. To condemn us? Never! To better us, to mature us, and prepare us to come before Him with those sincere, heartfelt requests we desired to have answers to? Yes, and He was, as scripture puts it, “doing a good work in us.”
When we fasted and prayed, our senses were heightened. We focused on getting alone, in our own special designated locations to get quiet, to listen and speak once we had been spoken to.
On occasion we would speak first, but that was usually to worship and confess anything that had been revealed by our loving Lord. This spiritual discipline tuned our ears to hear the voice of God so that He could meticulously take the sin, the baggage, the past hurts and present trepidations and give us peace that He was there. He was in control and as we relinquished our very lives to Him, He would work his good and perfect will in us to much greater and richer places only found through Him.
As time went on, we had a growth spurt.
No longer did we dread the hours we couldn’t eat, or binge the night before just so we were sure we had a reserve to live off of.
Crazy, but we actually thought and did that … remember, we have matured since then, so be kind!
Instead of hungering for food, we hungered for time alone with God, looking forward to his gentle correction and absolute drawing near to us in a way that filled us with peace, joy, hope and purpose. We were energized and eager to know more about Him, more about us and use what we learned to help encourage others to do the same.
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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Suzanne Niles is the co-author of the new book “Fast Friends, The Amazing Power of Friendship, Fasting and Prayer.” Find out more at http://www.fastfriendsbook.com.