Fasting, Prayer, & Meditation
Good Morning Queens,
It's your girl Jess, and today I'm going to be talking about a rather serious topic: fasting, prayer and meditation. Well serious in the regard that it is important to me.
So every year, my church does a fast to start the year off right. We call it Consecration because it literally means 'to be set apart.' Last year I wasn't able to participate for health reasons, but this year I was super excited because I had never fasted for 31 days before. I've fasted here and there, but a full 31 days completely devoted to the Father? I was pumped! Let's just say that dying to the flesh daily is NOT an easy thing, but it is extremely rewarding.
For the past 26 days, I have been dominating my flesh by denying my body certain foods. So for the first week I could only eat fruits, vegetables, and soup. Each week more food has been added to our diet, so it's gotten easier, but the first week actually wasn't as difficult as I expected. God truly stepped in and gave me the strength I needed. Now, it's like a piece of cake! (funny thing I mentioned cake because I've been craving sweets all month! LOL) I have also only been getting on social media for a few days out of the week and I have ONLY listened to gospel music to make sure that good seeds are being planted in my heart, instead of corrupt seeds that would interfere with my progress. (I'll talk about music in more depth in another post).
Along with fasting, I have been stepping up my prayer life by praying constantly and seeking God for my every move. I wanted to be really intentional about my reasoning for fasting. I didn't want to do it just to say "Hey, I'm fasting. I'm cool right?" I wanted to cling to the Father and really seek his face. I wanted guidance in every area of my life, and I wanted to build a stronger intimacy with God. I've been praying alone and praying with my church on Wednesdays, and boy have I seen a difference in my life, as well as those who I am praying for. I can hear God's voice every time I think or say something, or even when I make a decision. It's like he's my coach and my best friend. He's been dropping so many gems into my Spirit and I'm so in love with this relationship. For example, if a friend is struggling with something, a scripture that relates will pop into my head and I encourage them by sharing it.
Another step in our church-wide fast is reading a new chapter of Proverbs each day for 31 days (there are 31 Proverbs). The book of wisdom has so many great nuggets in it, so I suggest you try it out. This prompted me to encourage my Instagram followers to do the #ProverbsChallenge with me, and the response has been great!
So where does meditation fit into fasting and prayer? It fits perfectly in the middle because in order to stay focused on God and not become weak in Spirit and in flesh, it's important to have a meditated mind. Basically, it's important to remove all distractions while you're fasting and praying. Let your mind sit in silence. Remove your long day from your mind and focus on talking to God. I actually use an app called Simple Habit that helps me de-clutter my mind. It's also and awesome idea to meditate on scripture. If you just read the Bible and then go on with your day, what are you really learning? I usually read the Proverb more than once to grasp the concept and then I relate it to my own life (how can I apply this, who does this chapter remind me of, am I being wise or a fool today). Then, I discuss the Proverb of the day with a friend.
I have truly been blessed through this process! Don't get me wrong, the devil has still been trying it (especially during the first week), but I'm able to drown out his lies, deception, and evildoing more than ever now.
Want to fast but don't know where to begin? No worries, I got you!
- Be intentional about why you're fasting. Think about what you want to hear from God or what you want to gain from fasting. Don't just do it.
- Figure out what kind of fasting you're going to do (no social media, no fast food, no sweets, Daniel fast, etc.)
- Figure out how long you want to fast and stick to it. I wouldn't suggest just going with the flow because Satan might step in and convince you to stop. It could be 2 days; it could be 31 days. Seek God first!
- Pray, pray, pray! Fasting means nothing without communication with God. You'll definitely need the strength and encouragement!
- Bury yourself in the Word! Read the Bible, devotionals, watch sermons, etc. Feed yourself Spiritual food.
- Don't become discouraged. There will be times where it gets hard and you want to give up, but that's exactly what the enemy wants. He hates that you desire to be closer to the Father. Keep pushing and confide in Christian friends if you need to.
Matthew 6:16-18 When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face,
18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.