Fasting and Intimacy With God

During the four years Nancy lived in the mountains of Vietnam as a single missionary, she read a biography of David Brainerd, a missionary to the American Indians. She became fascinated with his way of communion with God through fasting and prayers. She realized she had a deep longing to know God intimately and so began spending every Saturday on the quiet hills alone with God for meditation and prayer without food.

God also used the story of Moses talking with God face to face while fasting to motivate her. As Nancy began to fast, she identified more and more with Job's words: "I have treasured the words of your mouth more than my daily bread" (23:12). She, too, felt she could say, "I desire to hear your voice so much that I don't even care about food."

Nancy discovered she receives many benefits through fasting. She listed a few for me.

The Scriptures become alive to me.
I gain an increasing love for the lost.
I gain more patience with people.
I discover the will of God more easily.
I find it is easier to discipline other areas in life.
The Spirit inspires my prayers.
I see many answers to prayer.
The hush of His nearness thrills my heart.

As Nancy begins her fast, she focuses on the Lord--who He is, not on what she wants Him to do. She takes time to delight herself in Him, to contemplate His attributes, and to worship Him with humility. This is different from thanksgiving. It is simply adoration. She quotes someone who said, "As I meditate, the fire burns and my soul soars in adoration to God."

Dear Lord, thank You for the privilege of fasting through which we can draw nearer to You.

"Anna...never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying" (Luke 2:37).

Aletha