How do you feel about fasting during the Lenten season? I’ve always been interested in fasting and have tried many different kinds of fasts. Last year I fasted from fasting and even that was a good thing. Fasting itself is not the end goal and fasting won’t get you into heaven. Instead, the purpose of fasting is to ready you to the Easter joy. If our lives are very cacophonic and chaotic, the holiness and awesomeness of Easter might elude us. That’s why fasting prepares a way for Christ. When I diminish, there is more room for Christ. That’s why Lenten fasting is such a blessing.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21, NRSV,*)
This year I have decided to fast in many different ways. I will fast from meat, sugar and cut my hours on the internet. But I will also add on some things (more Bible reading, walking, and I will – God willing – be starting a podcast in Finnish).
Fasting is not supposed to be a victory of self-control but to teach us to lean on God’s grace power (and not on our own strength). That’s why I decided this year to fast in so many ways that there is no way I could do it on my own power. So I get to practice leaning on God’s help every day.
Lenten fasting starts on Ash Wednesday and it will last 40 days. Sundays are not counted as fasting days, they are “little Easters” along the way. On those days you can f.e. eat meat (if that’s what you’re fasting from). There are people who fast also through Sundays because they say it’s easier that way. Pray and find your own way of fasting.
Lenten fasting at its best provides an opportunity to stop and observe our own lives and possibly make some necessary changes. Fasting is time to repent and prayerfully seek for a new course. The more time we spend with Jesus, the better spiritually nourished we are and hence ready to meet the resurrected Jesus.
Thank you for inviting us closer to you.
Show us the right way to fast and get ready for Easter.
Thank you that fasting is not a demand but an opportunity
and we can prepare our hearts in any way you lead us.
Empower us to fast, Lord.
Teach us to solely trust only you.
Be praised forever and ever.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: How are you going to fast this Lenten season!
Be blessed as you find your own way to practice Lenten fasting!
Photo by Chandana Ban on Unsplash.