It happens every time I fast and pray: I give up food for one purpose and God unexpectedly opens another unrelated opportunity for me. I love it!
This morning, I’d been fasting only one day when a dearly-loved friend for whom I’ve been praying for several months dropped in. She sank into a chair at my round dining table to share her horror and dismay at the Boston Marathon bombing. “Don’t you feel like just giving up sometimes?” she asked.
“No,” I told her. “Instead of making me feel like giving up, the bombing made me want to pray harder for more people to turn to Jesus because that’s the only hope for our nation. I quoted, “’If my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and heal their land’” 2 Chron 7:14. I pushed the point, “The only hope for our nation is for people to turn to the Lord . . . and that means you, too!”
Rather than getting angry or uncomfortable, my friend agreed, telling me that she has been praying and can sometimes feel God working in her life. For the next hour, we went over some of the basics of scripture. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be a Christian like you,” she said.
I told her she didn’t have to be like me. She just needed to read the Bible and confess that Jesus is God. We talked about why Jesus is the only way to heaven.
Do I think fasting somehow opened the way for me to chat with her? Absolutely. I’d been wanting to talk to her, but the opportunity didn’t present itself until I fasted. Is that biblical? I can’t think of a scripture that says exactly that, but I do know that every time I fast, opportunities come up and I’ve heard the same from others.
The moral of the story: Fast and pray.