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Today I Fasted

Today I fasted.

I abstained from eating food for 24 hours in pursuit of God. 

Fasting is a unique spiritual practice, because it’s more in your body than in your mind. Scripture reading and prayer, the two most common ways to engage with God, are primarily about your thoughts. There are postures associated with prayer, and sometimes Scripture is read out loud adding in one of the five senses. But usually, the ways we regularly pursue God are more in our minds than our bodies. 

Not with fasting!

While fasting, you feeeeeeeel the practice. Hunger pains, headaches, and weakness, are common. Even your saliva can taste differently while abstaining from eating!

If you’ve never fasted before, you may be wondering how going hungry for a day helps you pursue God. But it’s not just the hunger that draws you to God. It’s also the time, focus, and intention.

First, let’s break down the time. Think about the time you spend each day eating and drinking. The time spent shopping for ingredients, preparing the meal, eating it, and cleaning up is astounding! Even if the actual eating part only takes 15-20 minutes per meal, there’s a lot of time spent on either end of the meal. Imagine if this was time spent wholly devoted to pursuing God. How much more Scripture would you read? How much more prayer would you lift up? Fasting allows us to remove something from our schedules instead of finding time in our already busy lives to devote to God. It’s just replacing something we already do. Even without having a dedicated focus or intention, the time spent pursuing God would already lead to significant life change.

Next, let’s talk about focus. Fasting is a common practice for nutrition, not just in religion. And although many different faith traditions incorporate fasting, you don’t have to be a person of faith to fast. Intermittent fasting is common for dieting. Here, the focus is not on the pursuit of something but on self-control and metabolic function. This isn’t bad or wrong; it’s just not a spiritual practice. Fasting in pursuit of God is not the same as fasting for nutrition. The focus isn’t on weight loss, it’s on becoming more like Jesus.

Which leads us to intention. My friend Cyndi encouraged me to ask “What is the purpose of my fast?” Do I simply desire to spend more time focused on God? Is there something specific I’m praying for or interceding? Is there something I need to repent or confess? Fasting is more about replacing than it is simply giving something up. So what’s the purpose of my abstaining?

Time, focus, and intention, combined with the hunger pains which make us aware of our basic needs and wondering about what truly satisfies, work together to create a powerful experience of spiritual growth and dependence. 

Today I fasted. I removed food from my day so I could spend that time reading the Word of God and pursuing his will for my life. At the end of the day I was hungry. And yet, I was full. 

Thanks for making this a part of your day!
Feel free to share it with others!

2 Responses

  1. I am currently doing intermittent fasting (not so much for the weight loss and more for spending more time in God’s Word and praying). My husband is also doing the same. It’s amazing how much better I feel since we started this practice. Thanks for sharing about your fasting. I am diabetic and my doctor doesn’t want me to fast for a whole day, and when I heard about intermittent fasting from a woman that helps her husband run bus tours for seniors, it instantly sounded like something I can do.

    1. That’s amazing! I love that you were able to find a way to fast that is healthy and works for you, because so many people would let that hold them back. Thank you for sharing!

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