The fasting for the whole church started last Monday. As far as the sign up goes, 875 out of 970 fasting spots have been filled. Not a day has gone where nobody has signed in and most of the empty spots are for December which means that they will most likely be filled in the end. Some have signed up on multiple days while some have split one day of fasting amongst themselves for health reasons. I think it is safe to say that almost all of the congregation members are participating in this event. I am going print out and post it until the day when it ends.
As I mentioned, if it is not your turn to fast, please pray two times a day in the morning and at night for the three prayer requests given. Then how should the ones who are fasting pray? There are no set rules on how to do this but I’d like to share what I do when I fast. The reason we fast is to set aside time and focus on praying. However, when we fast in our busy day to day lives, we tend to focus on skipping meals and end up spending the day fighting the hunger. By the time the fasting period is over, we realize that we did not pray much at all. For that reason, I set an alarm every hour (if you have a smart phone, you can set your count-down to 60 minutes) and no matter what I am doing at the time, if the alarm goes off, I stop whatever I am doing and pray for 5 minutes. This is what I do when I fast for a day during the living life bible course. I pray for 5 minutes for 10 people at a time this way.
However, if there isn’t that much to pray for, another way is to stop and pray whenever you feel hungry or are reminded that you are fasting. This method will work well in our case since we have 3 short prayer requests to pray for the whole day. When you do this, you will not focus on fighting the hunger and will be able to focus on prayer.
One more important thing in fasting is to take some time for introspection. Isaiah 58 describes about what kind of fasting pleases God. It says that fasting given to break the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke and to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter pleases God. Basically, the right way to fast is to reflect on the relationship between you and God as well as you and your neighbors to see if there are any problems you can correct.
It is not often that the whole church fasts, so this might be the first time for some people. I hope that through this opportunity, all of our members get to experience a whole day fasting prayer and enriching their spirituality by fasting in a way that pleases God.
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