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A Heart Cleansing: A Story of Prayer and Fasting

We live in two worlds—the physical world and the spiritual world and those two worlds are constantly battling each other. Our fleshly nature wants to be in control, but the Spirit of God in us should be in control. All too often our flesh wins this battle. We can see, touch, smell, hear, and taste the things in the physical realm, so naturally it is easier to succumb to the things of the world, allowing them to dominate over our Spirit.

Fasting for the purpose of prayer and communing with God helps to reverse this. The Spirit gets on top of the flesh, causing it to submit to the things of God rather than the things of man. You will find that as you fast, your mind becomes sharper and clearer. You may become moody, but this is only natural as your fleshly nature is being made to surrender to the Spirit. You might also notice a keen awareness to God’s presence. Lean into this time of surrender and submission by leaning into prayer, God’s Word, and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

A Fasting Story …

I remember fasting several years ago when I was trying to complete a writing assignment for a Bible study. I tried and tried to crank out those last few chapters but I was stuck. They call this writer’s block. After several days of frustration and panic, I felt prompted to fast for a week, so I did. Each day I fasted from sun up until sundown, only eating at the dinner hour. Cranky doesn’t even begin to describe the first few days, but as I continued my emotions leveled off and I began to sense a real peace. I no longer anxiously sat at my computer forcing the words. Instead, I prayed, trusted, and listened for God’s voice.

On the last day of my fast, I went to bed as usual and around 3 AM I sat straight up in the bed, wide awake. Now, you must understand I don’t wake up in the middle of the night—ever. That is unless I’m sick or someone else in our home is ill. And I’m certainly not wide awake at 3 AM. I immediately heard that still small voice in my heart, “Get up and go write.” I went to my computer and began typing. The words flowed like a river. Never had writing been so natural, such an overflow. I wrote for five hours straight and finished my chapters. I assumed I would be exhausted for the rest of the day but the opposite was true. I was energized and rejuvenated in my spirit.

All that from fasting. Yes! My soul was in desperate need of a cleanse and that’s what fasting did for my spirit. My heart was ready to hear from the Lord, but not until it was still, quiet, and at peace with Jesus.

Our church is designating Fridays in the months of September and October as fasting days (#fastingfriday). Our Fasting Guide will help you focus your prayer time each Friday and gain greater focus and perspective as you pray.

Below are some tips that may help you as you decide what type of fast you will choose for our Fasting Fridays.

  • For some, fasting from all food is not an option for health reasons. If you have concerns, check with your physician before embarking on a total fast from food.
  • You may find that you can fast from one particular food or food group (sugar or desserts, chocolate, soda, coffee or caffeine).
  • You may choose to fast from one meal rather than doing a total fast.
  • Another consideration for fasting is to give up something non-food related such as TV, social media, cell phone, movies, or some other non-food pleasure.
  • It is best to prepare your body for fasting from food or caffeine by gradually reducing the amount of these items you intake a few days prior.
  • Remember to consider what your day will be like during the time you fast. Is there a social event on the calendar where food is involved? How will you handle that situation?

I hope you will join us for these next few Fridays as we seek to ready our hearts, our minds, and our feet to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those around us.

Praying together,

Jacqueline Heider
Director of Women’s Ministry, Prayer & First Impressions Team

Fasting Guide Download

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