This is Day 21 of the 21 Day Fast for Pastor Saeed. You made it! It’s been exciting to join thousands around the world praying for Saeed and Naghmeh. Her ten minute meeting with President Obama was a two year miracle in the making. I hope you’ve also sensed God moving in your life during these twenty one days. So what’s next?
I encourage you to think about what you will do tomorrow. The day you no longer wake up thinking, “Here we go. Another day without chocolate or coffee, gluten, or social media. Or whatever.” You may feel a bit of a let down.
From a physical standpoint, I find it helps to come off a fast gently. If I fasted from food, it’s best to eat lightly rather than gorging on everything in sight. Same with coffee, chocolate, or anything else you’ve been denying yourself. Ease back in. You’ll be glad you did.
But wait. Twenty one days of praying fervently for Naghmeh and for Pastor Saeed’s release. Twenty one days seeking God in our own life. What do we take away from our fast?
I’ve been pondering that question. What insights have I gained? What habits do I want to take with me as I move forward? Just how does one come out of a time of fasting and prayer? I thought I’d simply share my list.
The top ten things I plan to take with me after my fast:
1. I commit to keep praying for Pastor Saeed. To stand with him and Naghmeh until he is home with his family. He’s on my Monday prayer list. Plus, I’m setting my cell phone to remind me to pray for him every day at noon for one minute.
2. I plan to rest a little more. I like the pace I kept while fasting. Time to notice the little things. To breathe deep. To be thankful.
3. Fasting made me more alert to God’s voice. I sensed Him telling me how to pray and for whom. I want to remain alert, especially to God’s whispers.
4. I like the teamwork. It was nice knowing others were fasting and praying together for a common cause. I want to experiment with fasting and praying with friends for areas that seem stuck.
5. I’m more in touch with the plight of Persecuted Christians all over the world. I plan to continue to learn how to pray, give, and even go to those places.
6. I’m inspired to fight a little harder, endure a little longer, be willing to suffer a little more in my stand for Jesus.
7. I am going to practice fasting. I’m trying to form a habit of regular fasting on Mondays. A friend plans to do the same, so I hope we can encourage each other.
8. I’m going to watch what I eat. Fasting from gluten was a good thing. My body is thanking me, so I think I’ll stay away from gluten whenever possible. Most sugar and white flour, too.
9. I also want to enjoy an occasional feast. The Bible talks about feasting as well as fasting. Celebration as well as self denial. Feasting is delightful when you also know what it feel like to fast.
10. Stand firm. I need to persevere. The personal breakthrough I’m seeking hasn’t happened yet. Maybe yours hasn’t either. Remember, Naghmeh had a miraculous meeting with the President, but Saeed is still in prison. She has learned to depend on God’s strength daily while she waits for the final breakthrough and Saeed is home.
Waiting is hard. But fasting helped me press into God and draw more of His power and goodness. Naghmeh is right. When you allow your trials to drive you into Jesus, there’s a rest and peace that can’t be explained. He comforts and sustains us while we wait for our breakthrough.