A few days ago Rhonda and I had a discussion about fasting. Basically, the purpose of fasting is giving up something to help you hear from God. Most of the fasts in the Bible involved giving up food for a specific period of time. Some fasts in the Bible lasted for a day while others lasted up to forty days. Fasting was never intended for us to manipulate God or to get our way. Some fasts were done by individuals while others were done by an entire nation. Jesus talked about fasting. He taught that it should be done in private without any “tooting of your horn” to draw attention to yourself.

The Bible has a lot to say about fasting. But few modern Christ-followers practice this spiritual discipline. I’m not sure why, and it doesn’t really matter why. We should fast every now and then. There should be something we give up (food, television, chocolate, Starbucks, sex, or anything else we really enjoy) so we can deepen our intimacy with God.

With that said, what should you do when you fast? When I fast I spend time praying, reading the Bible, and meditating. Since the goal is to hear from God and discover who He is and how wonderful He is. how we pray matters. If you’re like me, a lot of prayer time is spent on “God, I want, I need, I hurt, me, me, me, I, I, I.”

Jesus taught us that our relationship with God is far more important than anything else in the world. When we pray we should start with something like this:

Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. 10 May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10, NLT).

If you want to hear from God, you must start with the right attitude (I’m spending time with God no matter how long it takes; I’m not just going to rush through a few words to check “prayer’ off my list of things to do). When the attitude is right, spend the next few minutes focusing on the greatness of God, the kingdom of God (including letting him have the rule and reign of your life), and begging him to fulfill his will (starting with yourself).

How long will that take? Well, that depends on you! God wants us to let go of our lives . . . surrender our will to his will. That may take a few minutes or it may take a few hours.

So, when are you going to “put that bisquit down?” (Or whatever motivates, drives, and fulfills you.)

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