Fasting: Helpful Hint #2
The spiritual discipline of fasting is not just about willingly abstaining from something, it is also about intentionally feasting on God. Whatever the motivation for your fast, whether desperation or a renewed passion, there should also be an element of meeting with God. Which means, there are other disciplines and practices that go hand-in-hand with fasting. Especially the discipline of prayer. In many ways the two should be inseparable – they go hand in hand. You fast so that you can feast on God – and it would be somewhat ignorant to ignore the role that prayer has in feasting and focusing on God. To simply go without food and then not focus on God through something so available as prayer misses the whole point of this spiritual discipline.
Practically speaking it is well worth beginning your fast with prayer. Asking God for strength and self-control while also expressing the motivation and need for your fast. Then, throughout the fast, whenever you are reminded that you are fasting, use this reminder as a prompt for prayer. When it comes to finishing your fast, your first bite of food for instance, take some time to thank God for His provision. You will find that there is a greater sense of joy and appreciation for the simple, everyday things of life when you have gone without them for a time.
So be intentional about praying and including the other spiritual disciplines to help focus on God. Hunger, in particular, is a constant reminder to pray; while, at the same time prayer and meditation and silence and the other disciplines, are all things you can do in place of what you are fasting from. Begin with prayer, finish with prayer, and use every reminder and opportunity during the fast to meet with God through prayer.