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Fasting

I have a suspicion that there is a greater role in the life of a church for fasting than I have imagined.  Yet, there are not a lot of examples of the Early Church fasting and there are no instructions in the New Testament letters about why and how.  But, it does seem to be an assumed practice of people seeking to be present to God.

Jesus fasted, of course, prior to his public ministry, when he was being tempted.  (Matthew 4).  And he gave instructions about fasting when he was also giving instructions about giving and praying.  (Mathew 6:1-18)  He assumed that his followers would be giving to those in need, would be praying and would be fasting.  (Except not while he was around, because his presence was like being at a wedding celebration.  Luke 5:33-35)

Most books on the spiritual disciplines include fasting, but it has not had the kind of pr that, say, Bible study has had, for instance.  I don’t know if I have ever heard a testimony that included fasting.  Except by Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade.  In the last years of his life, fasting became an essential part of his life with God.

In the Gathering Church we want to learn something about fasting, in the old fashioned way – by fasting.  We are inviting everyone involved to fast for some part of this Wednesday as we seek God’s guidance and power for a particular need.  We are currently looking for space for Sunday morning services and we are asking God to provide and guide us.  There have been conversations going on with schools, churches and other organizations about finding space to launch our Sunday morning services.  We want God to guide us.  So, on Wednesday we are going to fast and pray.

We will ‘break’ the fast with regional potlucks at different homes, where we will also pray.  This is not meant to starve ourselves during the day so that we can binge that night. We want to celebrate together God’s gracious presence among us.

Some may fast for a meal, a snack, the whole day  until dinner.  However it is done, it will be a deliberate way to be hungry for God, to hit pause on our physical needs and focus on spiritual needs.

Feel free to join us.  Email me if  you would like some instructions and readings for Wednesday.  markacuff@gmail.com