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Spontaneous Fast

In his regular blog, Frank shares about his experience of fasting:

“The spiritual discipline of fasting is ancient and trustworthy, and perhaps can help develop a greater hunger for something more profound. Perhaps the giving up of food or drink can awaken a hunger for a deeper and more meaningful life, can develop a hunger for God.

Those of us who are alcoholics, or addicts of another sort, are fasting today, if we are working our program. I am fasting from alcohol today, and have been for more than 33 years. God willing, I will continue the fast the rest of today and begin again tomorrow. Giving up alcohol and other drugs has opened my life up in profound ways, most importantly in my search for God. I no longer look for the God of my understanding, as is mentioned in the 12 Steps, but I seek and am found by the God completely beyond my understanding, the God of grace that forgives my sin and faithlessness not because of what I’ve done but because of who Jesus is.”

Frank, and his wife Brenda, are Inspire Missioners in Texas. They are using Inspire principles to grow the church they serve in.

On the last Friday of each month we set aside time to fast and pray for Inspire. Some people set aside other times in the month to fast and pray as well. Subscribe to the Inspire Prayer Bowl for reflections, prayer points and wisdom to help you make fasting and prayer a regular practice.

The discipline of fasting is sometimes a tricky topic to talk about. Teaching on it can vary and there is a tendency to avoid it because fasting can become legalistic, dutiful or even hypocritical. ‘The Discipline of Fasting’ is a short booklet by Phil Meadows (awaiting publication but available for purchase from Inspire on request) It explores fasting as a way of seeking hope, repenting, developing self-discipline and a way of receiving strength and God’s blessing. It is a brilliant resource that offers biblical teaching as well as encouragement and practical suggestions of how you could make fasting part of your rhythm of discipleship. Below is an extract which we hope will encourage you to pray and fast on the last Friday of the month:

“On the one hand, the discipline of fasting is about paying attention to God by intentionally turning away from the things that distract us the most. It is about prayerfully saying ‘No’ to all that hinders our walk with God, and looking to the spirit for guidance and strength to do what is right. On the other hand, fasting makes us more attentive to the presence and activity of God in the lives of others. It is about prayerfully saying ‘Yes’ to the inner voice of God that calls us, in the flow of everyday life, to deny ourselves and seize every opportunity for loving our neighbour in works of service and words of witness. The kinds of fasting that God positively demands is that we love him without rival, and love others by sharing all we have.” 

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