Fast Thinking

Today we had the monthly meeting of our staff Christian group which was talking about things that we would like to see happen over the year thinking about the passage Matthew 29, about the blind men asking Jesus for their sight to be restored.

As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him.  Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”  The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”  Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.  “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”  Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

(taken from Biblegateway.com)

We then moved on to Luke 11 5-13.

Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’  And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’  I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity[a] he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.  “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[b] a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

(taken from Biblegateway.com)

And having read these two readings we got into a bit of a discussion of what we would like to see in the year and questioning whether we have asked for these things or if we’re just expecting them to happen in our lives – a big message in this passages was ask and it shall be given onto you – such as the Blind-men being given their sight back, or the host being given three loaves of bread and this really got me thinking about 2011 being the year when I really make the effort to deepen that relationship with God.

This got me thinking more about how I could do this and looking into Biblical examples of how people have done this in the past and the one I kept on coming back too was the 40 day fast in the desert.  Don’t worry.  I’m not intending to go into the desert and fast for 40 days before returning.  I’m not going to ask you to do this either – having a brief Google on the idea goes to show that it doesn’t really seem a good idea from a Health point of view – and I don’t think that work would be happy with me disappearing for 40 days either. But I was thinking about trying to keep a fast for 40 days but in a slightly different way.  Instead of fasting every day for 40 days I’m thinking more of fasting one day a week for the next 40 weeks – this then hopefully gives more of a time of reflection and the opportunity to deepen that special relationship whilst at the same time (hopefully) not killing yourself.  While I’m not certain that I’m going to do this myself as I want to give it some prayer time to think it over, I thought I’d do a post on it to just share my thoughts and possibly start the same thought processes in others as I’ve had today.

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5 thoughts on “Fast Thinking

  1. Hmmm, I think it’s a big ask to fast one day a week for 40 weeks. That’s very nearly a year! I’m not saying you should not do it for that reason, but you need to consider it carefully. I think fasting in the Bible is something which is generally done at times of real spiritual need for a particular purpose, not something which is done all the time. I would think maybe doing it every week for 40 weeks you might find it losing some of its effectiveness, you might start to resent doing it which probably wouldn’t be good!

    I would suggest setting your sights a little bit lower. But yes, in principle it sounds like it would be a good way of perhaps helping your spiritual life a bit!

    The other thing is, don’t forget you can help your spiritual life in more mundane ways too. What I quite like to do when I get the time, especially at this time of year when it’s dark outside, is just go and take a walk and pray at the same time about what’s on my mind. I just find it comes more naturally when you’re not sitting inside trying to think of something to say. It’s more like a conversation.

    Tell you what, maybe if you resolve to do something like fasting, I could resolve to do that (say) once a week and see how we get on 🙂

    • Don’t worry – that’s why I’ve commented on it up here to get thoughts and to try and get a clearer idea before moving forward.

      Though I also want to note that it’s not meant as a grand gesture more a opportunity to build a relationship…

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