We do a lot of things in a very rapid fashion. As a culture, we like fast food, and we don’t like to wait very long for our food at a restaurant. We don’t like waiting in line at the theater or the grocery store, and when traffic is slow and heavy, we frequently complain.
But there are times to go slow, times to not rush. One of them is when we take time to pray and fast. Our congregation is setting aside a day next week to pray and fast. We are going to focus our prayers on the need for rain and snow, and on asking God’s guidance as we move ahead toward calling an associate pastor.
Prayer and fasting are fantastic resources that God has given to us. It’s so easy for us become very worried about the lack of rain, or to feel anxious about calling another staff person. When we become worried, fearful, or anxious, we tend to doubt God’s care or become more negative.
When we pray, we are in conversation with God. We read his word, letting him lead us in conversation. The Psalms can be very helpful in this way, as many emotions, thoughts, feelings, and concerns are expressed for us in the Word of God.
Fasting is a great reminder that we depend on God for everything. When we feel hungry, we are reminded that “man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD” (Deu 8:3 NIV). So fasting can be helpful as it helps us to remember that God provides all of our needs, that we depend on him, and that we can count on him.
How do we know this? We know this because Jesus gave himself for us, dying on a cross and rising from the dead. We can trust him to hear our prayers and answer in his way and time, doing what is best for his kingdom.