Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Thoughts on fasting

This week we are asking everyone who calls RFC their home, to set apart Thursday 1 Nov to pray & fast for our new venue. We have two prayer meeting planned, one at lunchtime 12:30-1:30, the other 8-9:30pm.

To help prepare us, here are a few thoughts on Why, How and When not to fast:

Why fast? I could just say because Jesus did but here are some other reasons to. Fasting can free up 'meal times' to be used as 'prayer times'. We can let our hunger work for us by using it to remind us to pray. Hunger can be helpful because it temporarily weakens us and reinforces our dependence on God. Having to choose between prayer or food can reveal our true priorities. Fasting creates a short term crisis which can guard against 'mission drift' in our everyday life. Hunger helps us identify with 2/3 of the world who have little food security and reminds us of our affluence & responsibility. Fasting is inconvenient, that's the point, there's never a good time to fast.

How to fast - Most people can skip one meal and safely endure hunger for a few hours. Many of us are well enough to not eat for an entire day with no adverse effects. That said, it is VERY important to drink a lot of liquid when fasting, personally I drink a lot of tea & 2lts of squash over the day! If skipping a meal feels too big a step, you can create time by getting up earlier, not watching TV or not listening to music on your commute and using that time for prayer. The point is to pray & humble yourself before God more than you would normally do. Please don't just skip meals, go hungry and not pray ... that's called a diet :o)     

When not to fast - if you are unwell, pregnant or on certain medication then don't fast (if in any doubt check with your GP). It is unwise to fast if you have no faith for it or are only doing it out of a misplaced sense of Christian duty. If you don't want to fast, please don't... but do create time to prayer more this Thursday.

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