Monday, January 17, 2011

January 17, 2011 Fasting? What's Up With That?

Many people throughout the world set aside a special time at the beginning of the New Year for fasting, prayer and personal devotion.  Although since the 80’s I’ve wanted to learn more of how to follow the ways of Jesus in my day-to-day world, I’ve skipped fasting.  Did not seem fun to me!  I had this attitude towards it even when I have experienced what seemed  to be a radiant peace in others who  employed this act of devotion.   

The early Christians associated fasting with penitence and purification (see Matthew 6:16; Mark 9:29). During the first two centuries of its existence, the Christian church established fasting as a voluntary preparation for receiving the sacraments of Holy Communion and baptism and for the ordination of priests. Later, these fasts became obligatory, as did others subsequently added. In the 6th century the Lenten fast was expanded from its original 40 hours, the time spent by Christ in the grave, to 40 days, on each of which only one meal was permitted. After the Reformation, fasting was retained by most Protestant churches and was made optional in some cases. Stricter Protestants like the Puritans, however, condemned not only the festivals of the church, but its traditional fasts as well. The Orthodox church observes fasts rigorously.

For some reason, my attention was recently drawn to this “Awakening , 21 Days of Prayer , Fasting and Personal Devotion”  Jan 10-30th. Check out the website at .  The site gives a lot of helpful tools and tips on fasting and prayer.  There are SO many types of fasting that it is really easy to choose one that fits.

In these 8 days, I seem to be more aware of His work in my life.  He has given me a very keen awareness of areas in my life that are hindering me in my desires to be His light and love in a hurting world. 
BTW, fasting is good for your health too!  Check out their site.  And one can go on a fast anytime not just January!

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