Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Note about Fasting

I'm hopeful most of you have seen by now that we're planning a day of fasting and prayer for Ashleigh tomorrow: Wednesday July 30.  This was organized by one of Ashleigh's sorority sisters and former roommates at Tech.  For those of you who aren't familiar with fasting, we wanted to provide a quick explanation of what fasting is and why you would do it.

Fasting is temporarily setting aside a normal and everyday part of your life and replacing the time and mental energy usually devoted to that task to thinking about God and praying.  In the Bible, food is typically the fast-ed item of choice since it's both universal and necessary for survival. In today's world it is just as drastic to fast from TV, facebook, texting, or the internet as a whole (now that's just crazy talk) as it is to speak of surviving for a time without food.

There's nothing inherently spiritual or metaphysically enlightening about fasting in and of itself.  It is a physiological mnemonic device, a mental "reminder string tied around one's finger". Maybe you have a Catholic friend who fasts from something for the season of Lent - the idea here is that every time you get a craving for chocolate or to check facebook or indulge in the fast-ed item, you mentally re-direct that thought into a prayer.

For the 15 months of our engagement (WAY too long, but that's another story!), Ashleigh and I fasted and prayed for our coming marriage each month on the 7th.  We were engaged on April 7th 2006 and married on July 7, 2007, so it made sense.  We would not eat from midnight to midnight, and often got together during the day to pray for each other, our coming marriage, our future children, and many other things.  Then, at midnight when the fast was over, I would typically go to Taco Bell and load up on some delicious fast food (get it?).  This is not technically a spiritual requirement to concluding a fast, but after a day of not eating I certainly thanked God all the more heartily for that sweet ground beef and cheese ambrosia.  Sorry, back to the point:

Fasting is a statement of priority - that talking to God is fundamentally more important than watching TV, drinking coffee, or even eating.  Check out Jesus' words on this (quoting the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy) - that "man does not live by bread alone".

Fasting is a statement of faith - that we believe God can hear and will answer our prayers, otherwise we're just fools denying ourselves food and facebook for no reason.

Fasting is between you and God - the Bible specifically calls out and condemns folks who make a big deal out of their own fasting, just like it calls out folks who make a big deal out of praying in public just to sound spiritual.

So if you feel so moved, join us tomorrow in a day of dedicated prayer for Ashleigh's healing.  In a separate post, she'll make list of requests to keep you busy through the day.  And if you'd like help remembering to pray for Ashleigh throughout the day, consider going without food, facebook, caffeine, or some other part of your normal routine as a reminder. 

*Note: Obviously if you have some health-related reason for not fasting (i.e., sickness, pregnancy, nursing, etc.), we discourage you from doing a fast from food. There are many other ways to remember to pray that doesn't involve food.

8 comments:

  1. This is a beautiful explanation, Brad. Thank you!

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  2. Sugar is the only food that keeps cancer alive! Totally change your diet so that you get as little sugar as possible. You must remember to watch potatoes, pasta etc as they are high in carbohydrates that convert to sugar. do some research on this subject. I will be praying for you, God is the ultimate healer and there is nothing that he can't do.

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  3. افضل شركة تنظيف خزانات ومنازل وشقق بالمدينة المنورة شركة غسيل خزانات ومكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة ونقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة مؤسسة صفوة المدينة
    شركة غسيل خزانات بالمدينة المنورة

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  4. الشرق الاوسط من اهم شركات نقل العفش بالدمام متحصصه فى نقل عفش واثاث بالدمام ونقل العفش بالخبر كما انها توفر شركة نقل عفش بالجبيل والخبر وشركة نقل عفش بالقطيف والاحساء وجميع خدمات نقل العفش والاثاث بالمنطقة الشرقية بارخص اسعار نقل عفش بالدمام وتقدم ايضا شركة تخزين عفش بالدمام والخبر
    شركة الشرق الاوسط
    شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
    شركة نقل اثاث بالخبر
    شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل
    شركة نقل عفش بالخبر
    شركة نقل عفش بالقطيف
    شركة نقل اثاث بالاحساء
    شركة نقل عفش الجبيل
    شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
    شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل
    شركة نقل عفش بالخبر
    شركات النقل البري بالدمام
    شركات نقل العفش بالدمام
    ارقام شركات نقل العفش بالدمام
    ارخص شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
    شركة تخزين عفش بالدمام
    شركة نقل اثاث بالخبر

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