Welcome to Day Eighteen of our 21 Day Fast for Pastor Saeed. This is the home stretch! Nahgmeh Abedini believes fasting and prayer opened the door to her unexpected meeting with President Obama this week. Perhaps you’ve also experienced movement in those areas where you’ve been seeking a breakthrough.
Sometimes, it’s just a matter of perspective. Fasting helps me see my situation with new eyes. My friend Tim, who is new to fasting, said this: “A huge lesson that I have learned from fasting is that while fasting and praying, God seems to put our problems into perspective. God allows us the opportunity to get out of the weeds and soar above the trees so that we can see the total picture and his full design.” He adds, “Fasting brings a sense of peace and humility to my life. It allows me to open my mind to the very simple yet life-sustaining gifts that God grants us daily.”
I really like Tim’s image of “getting out of the weeds and soaring with the trees.” Can you relate? It’s easy to get stuck in the mire of our own issues, missing God’s perspective, but fasting helps us “soar above the trees.” We begin to see our situation through God’s eyes.
One way we do this when we fast is by focusing on the hurts and needs of others. God tells us in Isaiah 58:6-11 that this kind of fast pleases Him. As you read the following verses, reflect your experience these last seventeen days of praying and fasting for the release of Pastor Saeed.
This is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help (Isaiah 58:6,7 NLT).
Fasting and praying for the release of Saeed has lightened my own load and drawn me deeper into God’s presence. Isn’t that just like God’s upside down economy? When I’m busy with His business, He’s behind the scenes working on mine. I may give up time, energy, food, or prayers for the needs of another, only to discover my own needs are met in the process. The promised reward for God’s chosen fast rings true:
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear (Isaiah 58:8 NIV).
My Prayer: “Lord, as we pour ourselves out in prayer and fasting for those that are oppressed, we entrust our own hurts and needs into Your hands and wait expectantly for You to move on our behalf.” Amen.