21 DAYS OF PRAYER

A COMPANION TO THE "A BETTER STORY" MESSAGE SERIES

DAY NINETEEN

TRUE FASTING

You’d be remiss to spend time fasting without reading from Isaiah 58 at least once. Read the whole chapter for context. The Lord is asking them what kind of fasting they think He expects from them, and then in verses 6–9 he gives them the answer:
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.”
God is not secretive in that he desires mercy over sacrifice.

Fasting is a time of sacrifice on our part. God certainly welcomes it, but if we are not living lives full of mercy…

PRAYER

God who hears us; hear our plea. Lord, we want to be with you in all things. We want to be called friends of God. We want to be your co-workers in the field. We don’t want our fasting to be sacrifice without mercy. We don’t want to be hearers of your word and not doers. Move us, guide us, show us where we can be extenders of your mercy to those around us who need it.