Wednesday, September 24, 2008

40 Days before the Election

Tomorrow, September 25th, marks 40 days until the election for our new president and vice president. I strongly encourage you to ask the Lord if He would have you fast those 40 days and if so, what He wants you to fast.

Before you quit reading, let's talk about the purpose of a fast and the many forms it can take.

A fast has on primary purpose--to focus you on God. Period. Fasts tend to do two things for you: 1) Kills off false idols such as food, tv, computers, telephone, etc.
2) Makes you look to God to be filled. The escapes collapse, so your needs are laid bare. You have no way to avoid them, and the only place to take them is God. Your focus becomes God, not everything else.

Fasting isn't complicated. A person gives up something so that he/she can spend the time usually given to whatever to the Lord in prayer and study. It's that simple. You are giving up something so you can spend that time focusing on the Lord.

While most people associate fasting with only food, I encourage to think beyond that to things that might be even harder.

When I wake up in the morning, my first thought isn't food. It's email. When I want to relax because of a stressful day, my thoughts aren't food. They are TV or movies. Lisa Whelchel fasted all literature except the Bible for 40 days one time. Maybe it's fishing or scrapbooking. Frankly, it's pointless for me to fast lunch when I'm at the table talking to my children, BUT my thirty minutes of reading in the afternoon is uninterupted. Perhaps the Lord will ask for that. There are a myriad of things we use to fill our days.

Ask God what He wants you to offer to Him so that you can have time together. Then do it.

Don't try to rationalize or make excuses. If it isn't something you would just think to offer, then it is probably Him, so just obey.

Some of you may be wondering what to pray for or about. Here are a few thoughts:
Our leaderstheir marriages
their children
wisdom
compassion
salvation
encouragement--call forth some folks to bless them. Maybe the Lord will pick you.
intercessors for our leaders
intercessors for different levels of government
think all levels of government
think about what you would want folks to pray about if they were praying for your family--I guarantee you others want the same for their families as you do.
pray for our leaders to be people of vision
pray for specific issues--foreign policy, insurance for folks, economy

I could go on, but you get the idea, and if none of those things appeal to you at the moment, stop and ask, "Lord, what do you want me to pray? I want to be in agreement with you about my leaders and nation. What is your heart?" And then, go to town.

If you have questions or comments, feel free to post them. They will not appear without approval, but I will check them daily.

Be blessed!

2 comments:

Jan Parrish said...

What a great idea. We need to pray for our country and the economy.

Robin said...

Great post Jerri! I did a study on prayer and fasting for my church's Wednesday night Bible study for three weeks when our Pastor was busy. It's something we don't think enough about and definitely don't participate in enough. I brought out the same things you did because we can all find a reason why we can't fast food, but we can choose to go without the things you mentioned and spend that time in prayer.

Of course fasting food for 40 days is possible also. I've never fasted that long, but my maternal grandmother did and really got a lot out of it. I would say that if you plan to fast longer than three days it would be a good idea to do some serious research and to make sure you are in good health. There is preparation you can do that will help in the long-term fasting of food that will help you. I believe (could be wrong) that Bill Bright wrote some books on the subject or maybe it was some info on his web page (or maybe my pregnant brain is off now and it was someone else all together).

Again, Jerri, great post!

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