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Fasting, Praying and Surrendering

I so appreciate the Easter hymns we sing. I really thought I would be bringing an Easter message to the small congregation who asked me to speak the Sunday following Easter. After all, the 50 days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost are considered one great feast celebrating the resurrected Christ during all that time.  So I started my study in preparation for this worship in Acts; celebrating Easter and digging into what the disciples might be doing as they waited for the Holy Spirit to come.  I thought about them and how terrifying the events leading them up to their time behind locked doors in an upper room must have been for them.  Don’t you think they may have been wondering if they were next?  To die the horrible death they’d just witnessed their dear friend die? How scared and devastated they must have been!  How lost and lonely. Not the Easter joy I was expecting to find as I sat with God to see what God might give me as a sermon.

But God…! Isn’t that what often happens?  We have these GREAT ideas but God has something else! So instead, I had to share my Lenten journey: fasting, praying and surrender.

From Dec 2021 for the next 9 months, and even now, I’ve gone through what has proven to be one of the worst times in my life.  I lost my Dad the beginning of December, 10-days later a cousin, a friend/band mate,  my favourite uncle (I know, you’re not supposed to have favourites but there it is…), my Mother-in-law in April and then in August, my husband,Tom.

Not sure how I would have made it. But God…!

God equipped my friends, family and Inspire fellowship band to help me and pray me through this. They continue to support me as I make my way through a very difficult court battle over my rights as a wife.  Sometimes it gets so heavy I just can’t breathe!  I needed to get closer to God.  I needed to find a way for, The prayer of a righteous person [to be] powerful and effective. (James 5;16) But then I saw the beginning of that passage: Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.

So I took my concerns to my band.  

The first thing that happened was that one member sent the other two of us a book, Altar’d; the transforming power of surrender*, a Lenten devotional. We agreed to read this together through Lent.  Then I heard about a Podcast: Pray 40**.  I thought that a podcast about prayer might be good as well so I signed up. And then I saw the announcement of the Inspire online course the Practical Guide to the Discipline of Fasting***.  And I thought, THAT’S IT! Devotion, prayer and fasting, a perfect recipe for Lent. Doesn’t God have such the sense of humor sometimes?  

The devotion was all about surrendering. The breath prayer every day from the podcast was: “Jesus, I surrender my life to you.  Take care of everything.” And the course? Yes, well the title gives it away. So I immersed myself in fasting and prayer.  I found fasting really wasn’t that hard – and that it isn’t just about fasting food, it’s about giving up anything that keeps you from an intimate relationship with God the Father, Christ the son and the Holy Spirit.

Our sole purpose here on Earth is to worship God – to love God with all our heart, mind, strength and soul. Not just on Sunday but Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. God wants us to hunger and thirst for more of him.

Here is what I learned this past Lenten season:  The more I prayed, the more I prayed.  The more time I spent reading the Word, the more I wanted to read.  Every time I sat down to eat a piece of bread or drink a glass of wine, I thought about Christ and what he did for me.

So did my problems that brought me to this wilderness journey magically disappear?  Not yet – but I KNOW that God’s working on it because the more important thing I learned was this little breath prayer:

Jesus, I surrender myself to you,  take care of everything.
Jesus, I surrender myself to you,  take care of everything.
Jesus, I surrender myself to you,  take care of everything.


*Altar’d; the transforming power of surrender, Susan O. Kent, Seedbed, 2023

**Pray 40,

***A Practical Guide to the Discipline of Fasting, Philip R Meadows, Inspire Movement Publishing. Click HERE to read more

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