Monday, March 24, 2014


Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. (Matthew 4:1-2 NRSV)
I was raised in an Episcopal church, and one of the things we were taught is fasting. The Bible has a lot to say about prayer and fasting. Click here for some verses. Fasting and praying are Biblical disciplines that are supposed to bring us closer to God.

Fasting isn't really an emphasis in the Methodist church, but I still always give up something during Lent. I've given up sugar, drinking alcohol, coffee, but most often sweets because that is my greatest weakness.

Last week a friend gave us an apple pie. As I dished up pieces for my family, I just couldn't help myself. It started with licking my fingers. Delicious! Then I ate a couple pieces of apple that fell out of the pie. It's fruit, right? But as that pie called to me over the evening, I eventually cut off a small slice and gobbled it down.

Fasting fail.

As soon as I finished eating the pie I felt guilty, and my prayer to God was, “I love you, Lord. I'm sorry. Please help me resist temptation tomorrow.”

The following evening when it came time for dessert I walked out of the kitchen, saying, “If anyone wants pie, they'll have to get it themselves.” And I managed to resist by removing myself from the temptation. Cheating? Maybe a little, but hey, whatever works. And my prayer was, “Thank you, Lord.”

What's your greatest weakness? What is separating you from God? Is it food? Coffee? Social media? Television? Smoking cigarettes?

Whatever your weakness, whatever your sin, during this season of Lent try praying and giving it up for just one day. Through prayer and fasting, God can speak to us. All we have to do is listen.



  1. I find the temptation to cheat on a fast to be strong, but what I learn from God when I resist and keep the fast, my dedire and dependence on what I fasted signigicantly decreases.

  2. I admire your wisdom and honesty Denise. I don't think removing yourself from temptation is cheating at all, but rather the Holy Spirit at work providing discipline. so proud of your example.And I love the goal of one day at a time...forty days seems so overwhelming, but any amount of progress makes God proud and leads us closer to Him.

  3. Thanks for the comments, guys. It's not easy, and I don't always succeed, but I find myself talking to God a lot more often than usual. :)

  4. Hmm. Failing, acknowledging your failure, discussing your failure with God and yourself, searching for a way to overcome your failure, and actually succeeding in resolving your failure by the next day... Doesn't sound like a cheat to me. Or a fail. Actually sounds like it took more effort and meditation than it would have if you had "succeeded" the first time around. But that's just my opinion, and I admit to being a little biased (in a good way) towards you. :)

    1. Well, we can't always be perfect. But we always strive, right? Hugs, babe! :)

  5. I've been looking for the original source, but unable to find it. I once read that occasionally the broken fast is as meaningful as the fast that is kept because it can remind us of our weakness and need for the strength of God. Your post reminded me of this, but I could not find the original text.