The Hebrew word "fast" means to cover the mouth. In fact, a fast of words is one of the fasts in Isaiah 58. Isaiah 58:9b lists not pointing fingers in judgment and not speaking malicious words as conditions of great blessings.
Recently while reading in Matthew's Gospel, I was stopped by the phrase, "he saw a man." The man Jesus saw was Matthew, a tax collector, probably a man hated by those around him. The people had no use for tax collectors.
When William Mackay left for college, his mother feared he was heading down the wrong path spiritually. She gave him a Bible in which she wrote his name, her name and a Bible verse, and prayed much for him.
One mother I know said Satan had hindered her from praying earnestly for her son by saying he was a free moral agent, and therefore, her prayers couldn't be answered. She told the devil she was aware that her son could choose, but she also knew God could send hornets or whatever it took to cause men to change their minds as He did for His children in Exodus 23:28.
I found a personal application for Paul's words, "I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2). Paul said he had not focused on the Corinthians, but on Christ. I began to examine my relationships by asking, "Is my primary concern in this relationship to please Christ?"
When Pastor Jeff Kirby went to speak in Chile, his translator invited him to go to the weekly prayer meeting at the palace of the president of Chile. While there, he heard a behind-the-scenes story of the miners who were trapped in the mine in 2010.