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.
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.