“Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: ‘Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish’” (Esther 4:15-16).
Fasting is mentioned throughout the Bible. It appears to have been utilized when people were humbling themselves before God (David in Psalm 35:13 or Ezra in Ezra 8:21), and when people were in intense times of petitioning God about an important issue in their lives (Esther 4:15–16).
Fasting was connected with such activities as solemn assemblies, weeping, confessing, repenting, and appointing leaders.
It is possible that the absence of fasting in many churches in the twenty-first century has also caused the absence of weeping, confessing, and repenting. These activities help redirect our focus and attention back on our heavenly Father and on His purposes.
–Adapted from The Path toward Passion (Nine Disciplines that Connect Your Heart to God’s) by Dean Trune. (Click on the title for more information about this resource).
Father, how often I make decisions or face struggles in my own strength without tapping into Your power through fasting. May I learn how to weep, confess and repent in Your Presence. Help me learn to take even the smallest of steps towards learning how to fast regularly before I do life-changing things or when I need wisdom.
Editor’s Note: This is the second time in the February Connection that two back to back devotions on fasting have come together. Perhaps God is trying to get our attention. How will we respond?
Praise God for caring intimately about you. Thank God for choosing you to help fulfill his plans. Confess any self-centeredness or preoccupation with your desires and needs rather than those of God and others. Commit yourself to walking under the Spirit’s control, trusting him with the circumstances of life (Ps. 31:15). Ask for more sensitivity to the needs of others.
Pray for persons who have decided to follow false religions. Ask God to open their hearts and minds to Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life (Jn. 14:6).
“We ought not to tolerate for a minute the ghastly and grievous thought that God will not answer prayer. History, as manifested in Christ Jesus, demands it.” —Charles H. Spurgeon
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend (Click on title for more information about this resource).