I spent an extended time in prayer today over this fast and as I wrote out my prayers to my Savior, I realized that I am learning some important lessons about myself even in these first 2 1/2 days. I’m going to share some of those lessons, even though they sure don’t make me look very good! But maybe others who are fasting will need to read about these lessons, so here goes the first one…

Lord, as I look back on these 2 1/2 days of fasting, I just realized that I have been focusing on 1) how weak I am physically without food, 2) how long this fast is, 3) how much I’m giving up, 4) how hard it is to fast, and 5) how much I can’t wait for it to be over. I realize I sound like the Israelites in the wilderness as they griped and grumbled after leaving the “rich” foods of Egypt. (Of course, when they were in Egypt, they griped and grumbled about their lot there, too!) Not a very pleasing picture of myself, Lord.

Oh, how easy it is to focus on me, to focus on what I wish I had, to focus on my wants and desires. How easily I focus on what I don’t have rather than what I do have. For 2 1/2 days now all I can think about has been my hunger, my weakness, my sacrifice…myself. If I’m honest, I see that happening in other parts of my life, too, at times: someone else’s bigger, nicer house or car, another church that seems to be perfect and problem-free, other Christians’ kids who are in ministry, and on and on it can go.

I don’t like what I see, Lord. At all. I’m sure you don’t, either. Thank you for using fasting as a means to reveal this part of me to me so I can seek forgiveness and cleansing. I confess all this to you. I repent over it. Please forgive me. Cleanse me deeply of such a carnal attitude, such deep-down self-centeredness. I am so sorry.

As long as I concentrate on all of the negatives about fasting, I can’t expereince joy! I admit, I’ve had zero joy through this first part of the committment! Zero. It’s been all about the sacrifice and all I’m missing out on. So, Lord and Savior, I must find joy in these remaining days. Show me my next steps to finding joy.

I’m wondering if this is all part of why fasting is so necessary: in the middle of it you teach us so much about ourselves! You make known to us things we may not be aware of – things that may have remained hidden or at least obscured when we’re going on our merry, extremely materialistic, earth-focused path. If so, then certainly for that reason alone, fasting is worth it.

Thank you so much for speaking to me, for making your will more known to me. I want to walk through the next 7 1/2 days different, Lord. Enable me to find joy, to experience peace, and to know greater strength from you, Holy Spirit, who lives inside of me.