Day Six: Fasting Gives Rest

Your commitment to the 21 Day Fast for Pastor Saeed could be life changing.  Especially if you decide to make fasting a regular part of your prayer life.  It matters that we go the distance with our prayer and fasting for Saeed.  God is faithful any time we set our minds like the prophet Daniel to seek Him wholeheartedly (Daniel 10:12).

Fasting is a powerful discipline to add to your prayer life.  Ouch! There’s that word discipline.  As one friend put it,  “The idea of fasting is a little scary.”  Too often, we approach a new discipline  like fasting with such fury that we quickly burn out.  And we vow never, ever to try it again.  I’ve learned that getting adequate rest has helped me avoid burnout and sustain a habit of regular fasting.

God built regular times of Sabbath rest into the lives of His people.  “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.”  The Bible says more about the commandment to keep the Sabbath than the other nine, so it must be important.

Sabbath rest is for our benefit, as well as God’s glory.  The Sabbath was made for man, said Jesus.  It’s to be a delight (Isaiah 58:13).  Keeping the Sabbath helps us stick close to God.  Our focus on Him.  We entrust our work to Him while we rest.  Keeping the Sabbath also keeps us strong for the long haul.

When we fast, it’s like a mini-Sabbath. Work is an idol for many of us.  Fasting requires that we depend upon God to give us strength to get our work accomplished.  Even when I go about my normal daily routine during fasting,  I move at a little slower pace.  I’m more observant, more alert and watchful.  Thus, I’m more receptive to those inner nudges to pray for Pastor Saeed, as well as the other areas of my own life where I need a breakthrough.

Fasting  can deepen our relationship with Jesus.  To rest is to abide, so fasting actually helps us to abide in Christ.  Jesus spells it out clearly:  “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7 ESV).  When I fast, and rest, and abide in Jesus, I’m more likely to be praying His will. Powerful words. Powerful promise.

I encourage you while you are fasting and praying to get extra rest.   You’re going to need it to make it to the end of the 21 Day Fast for Pastor Saeed.  Today, on this Sabbath,  I’m beside a warm fire with a cozy blanket.  I am praying.  Writing.  Listening.  Asking God to speak to me.  Today, I am all ears.

A favorite memory verses about rest is Isaiah 30:15a:  “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.”

 

 

 

 


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