On Sunday our team was challenged to fast for a day this week. I chose my day to be Tuesday.
So, yesterday, unlike every other day I did not eat my 2 bowls of dry cereal before work. I did not take a brown paper bag to work. I did not have a snack after work. I also did not grab or make dinner with any friends.
Instead, I prayed. I prayed for the last leg of this summer, for preparations and revival this school year, and chose a specific country under persecution – Egypt – to lift up to the Lord.
I have done fasts before, just never quite like this one or in this atmosphere. I was surrounded with not only accountability, but also with others striving for the same things.
As a group we were also encouraged to read Isaiah 58, about true fasting.
Verse 6 stuck out the most to me as allowed me to see the real reasons I should fast:
“Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke? (Isaiah 58:6 ESV)
The actual fasting wasn’t too difficult, even working in a food service place. The hardest part was probably the evening when I was simply exhausted and ready to eat or sleep but still had so much to do. We had an outreach team meeting and afterwards decided as a team to go sharing. My friend David and I hit the streets with our supplies. As weak as I was, sadly, I would have been satisfied with a few surface level conversations. Instead, a different plan was in order.
Feeling discouraged after a few initiations, David recommended we prayed and tried something new. He suggested we do what some people call either Vision Prayers or Treasure Hunts (I prefer the first). These prayers consist of asking the Holy Spirit to reveal a vision of a specific person, place, outfit, or characteristic. After you have prayed, you wait to see something that you now go find. I have heard crazy cool stories of this happening but never experienced it myself, until last night.
As David and I waited, I found myself seeing a bench with one man on it. Well that narrows it down to only the entire city. We proceeded to walk for half an hour, almost going back, until we chose to go down Main St. once more. This time, an older man was indeed sitting by himself right near us. We approached him and although he was very clearly apprehensive talking with us, he soon revealed his desperate need for prayer that exact day. He shared about different health struggles and desires for his family and himself. As he was finishing telling us about his life, he looked us both in the eye and said we had come to him at the perfect time and he appreciated and needed it more than we know.
Both David and myself were more than blessed by this man. Later, when I was stuffing my face after midnight, I knew the Lord was showing me his strength in weakness and the continual power of the Spirit in our lives.
[originally posted 7.18.2012]