Dying to Self- Fasting
Since I was young, I've always known about fasting. At the beginning of each year, my mother will gather us all in her bedroom and we would bring in the New Year praying, sharing our New Years goals and fasting. We would do a total fast for 3 days only drinking water and broth. The point of this fast was to fully give ourselves to God in the New Year and to let go of the past. In the words of the Apostle Paul “so that we can die to ourselves and be more like Christ.” This fast was NEVER easy, when I was younger, it was a challenge fasting in such a way. As I grew older, I saw the deeper significance of it and would try my best to focus fully on God during it despite the hunger pains. There are plenty of examples in the Bible of people fasting for the sake of Christ, or for Christ to reveal things to them. In this Lenten season, I decided to change my fasting tradition up a bit, and focus on making my body a temple.
It is very important to not push one's body too hard and pray to God, to show his will when it comes to fasting. Fasting isn't about starving oneself, it isn't about self, it is about God. It is about denying oneself so that God can be glorified through you. It is about humbling oneself and trying to understand what Christ has so graciously done for each and every one of us. Fasting shouldn't be seen as a daunting task, it should be fun but also challenging and, in the times, when temptation arises one should lean into Christ and pray for his strength.
I highly encourage fasting, God sees you and is so proud when he sees his children striving to live more like him. If you need help figuring out where to begin, hopefully, this prayer will help.
“Precious Lord, I come to you today in the name of Jesus, as your humble servant with open arms, asking to receive your will for this fast. God, I want to be more like you and I want my life to be a living example of your goodness, mercy, and praise. Lord bless me and protect me to do your will. Show me the best way to fast for you Lord; may it be a total fast, an intermediate fast, a Daniel’s fast, a fast from social media, a fast from TV. Whatever you see as something that pulls my attention away from you, helps me to give it up for whatever period of time you need me to, to show my dependence upon you. Lord I want nothing more than I want you and I pray that I can make that known to you through this fast. You're such a good father, thank you for your love, support, acceptance and grace/mercy. In your Holy Name, I pray Amen.”