AS WE BEGIN THIS FAST
In the parable in the Gospel of Luke, two men went to the temple to pray, i.e. to worship God: they were probably both Jews, and felt themselves led by different motives to attend at the temple, at the hour of prayer: the one to return thanks for the mercies he had received; the other to implore that grace which alone could redeem him from his sins. Here are both these addressing themselves to the duty of prayer at the same place and time (Luke 18:10): Two men went up into the temple (for the temple stood upon a hill) to pray. It was not the hour of public prayer, but they went anyway to offer up their personal devotions, as was usual with good people at that time, when the temple was not only the place, but the medium of worship, and God had promised, whenever prayer was made in a right conduct towards that house, it should therefore rather be accepted.
Hebrews reminds us to affix our glaze and intentions upon Christ. To be more like Him, To think like Him. To walk like Him. Christ is our temple, and to him we must have an eye in all our approaches to God. Both in and out of season prayer should precede our steps, guide us through our situations and continue as we move closer to our revelation and goals. Sanctification can result from fasting and prayer. And upon entering the season of prayer and consecration great joy should be applauded each day as we anticipate the outcome of manifested miracles.
Many people find it difficult to fast because it does call for great discipline and determination. There are many methods of fasting and many approaches that people take. Per the Scriptures, a desire to fast should first be prayed about and meditated upon. The kind, length and purpose of the fast should be examined. It should never be done for form or fashion or just to be a part of a corporate picture. But rather for inner peace and the desire to grow closer to Christ and our purpose. Hence, the difference between the Pharisee and the Publican. The publican had been a great sinner, and out of the greatness of his sin was brought the greatness of his repentance; out of the eater came forth meat. The Pharisee on the other hand , had an outward appearance of doing everything right. But yet, his eyes and his motivations were not turned toward Heaven.
Physically, fasting gives the body a rest from digestion and fosters healing and restoration. Not only should we look better after our Daniel fast, but we should feel better, too. Spiritually, we alight a quiet rekindling with our desire to hear God’s voice and draw closer to Him.
Remember that He that humbles himself shall be exalted. Let’s be humbled, keep one another lifted and encouraged. And with everything that we do……Pray.
Rev. Khalima S. Jacobs
St. Stephens African Methodist Episcopal Church