Paul and Barnabas handpicked leaders in each church. After praying—their prayers intensified by fasting—they presented these new leaders to the Master to whom they had entrusted their lives. – Acts 14:23 (MSG)
In our “biggy-sized” American life today, most of us know little of hunger – literal or figurative. The concept of “fasting” is hardly ever heard except in the context of fad diets, political statements, or as preparation for uncomfortable medical procedures. Food today is not just nourishment, but a substitute to fill all the empty spaces that nothing else can satisfy: comfort, self-esteem, purpose. We eat because we’re sad, we eat because we’re bored, we eat to hide our shame, anxiety or pain.
The practice of fasting is one of the most ancient of ways to clean out our lives, break down defenses, clear our minds and to focus outside the immediacy of our physical body to matters of the soul. As with anything, fasting can be abused, misused and applied for all the wrong reasons, but presented as a gift to God – offered in humble submission – we can expect powerful transformation in our lives.
Sue Breland, Worship for One Journey Through the Cross©