Praying and Fasting Part 1

We have big decisions to make.
While talking about it with some friends they recommended we pray and fast over it. I’ve never fasted. In all honesty out of a fear it wouldn’t help or that I would fail. But with their encouragement and explaining it doesn’t mean we will get a clear “absolutely yes” or “don’t you dare” but that it helps bring clarity and reliance on God and pushes you outside yourself we decided to fast this week.
Sure, we’ve prayed about this decision, but because it could take us really taking a leap of faith, it felt like we needed more. That we needed to make sure we’re really stepping out of ourselves and our wants and seeing what God wants.
As I write this we’ve fasted from all social media for a few days. The first two days were easy. I was excited. I had daily bible reading to catch up on while feeding Fitz when I normally scan Facebook or Instagram or Twitter. But now we’re a couple days after that. The newness and excitement has worn off. I’ve caught up on bible reading. No one has to know if I checked Twitter. If I posted Fitz’s weekly photo. And I fluctuate between legalism of following the rules to get the result I want and realizing this is a small sacrifice to draw near to God and seek him better than I normally do.
I’ve been reading Prayer by Tim Keller and it couldn’t be at a better time. In the time when I’m supposed to be meditating on God’s word and filling my time with prayer, I need all the help I can get to pray well. To reorient myself and my thoughts and my motives. To better understand how to pray scripture and be encouraged that I can pray for whatever I want. Keller writes
If God’s will is always right, and submission to it is so important, why pray for anything with fervor and confidence? Calvin lists the reasons. God invites us to do so and promises to answer prayers — because he is good and our loving heavenly Father. Also, God often waits to give a blessing until you have prayed for it. Why? Good things that we do not ask for will usually be interpreted by our hearts as the fruit of our own wisdom and diligence…God will not give us anything contrary to his will, and that will always include what is best for us in the long run. We can therefore pray confidently because He won’t give us everything we want.
I still want God to literally just tell me what He wants of us. A dream. For someone to come up on the street and tell me. Any way that means I don’t have to try so hard to listen and see if our desires line up with His.

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