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All Good Things
March 1, 2024

Prayer & Fasting

During the Lenten season, we often go through a period of fasting. Fasting is essentially the act of abstaining from a certain act that we often participate in our daily lives and replacing it with applying ourselves more to building a relationship with God. Fasting can look different for each person; for example, one person might abstain from certain foods, drinks, meats, or sweets while another might reduce their social media presence. Moreover, we can choose to abstain from these activities during specific times based on our schedules.

We should not only fast because it is the popular thing to do but rather the purpose of this form of abstinence is to spend more time with God through prayer and devotion. Fasting should be done with pure intentions and not for self-righteousness; it is a way of learning discipline and resisting the temptations of worldly distractions and our earthly being and replacing this with dedication to God. When we learn to commit ourselves fully to Christ, we learn to be like Him and through this, God sees our hearts and grants us our desires as in Ezra 8:23 “So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty”. While fasting is not the main or only way to receive God’s blessings, this scripture reveals to us how fasting helps us in our Christian walk with God. This season of fasting teaches us how to restrict ourselves and utilize our time wisely to praise our Creator and all that He has done and is doing for us.

Another major goal of fasting is not only to build a relationship with God during this Lenten season alone but to continue these practices for the entire year and the rest of our lives. Isaiah 58:3-7 states how we must not only fast for a period and walk in holiness only temporarily, but continuously spend our time in prayer and devotion. Isaiah 58:4 specifically states “Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high”. This means that as Christians we should not only be Christlike for a season, and once we have broken fast, to return to indulging in the things of the world as doing this is hypocritical and blocks our blessings. Instead, we must use our time of fasting as a reminder of what Jesus did for 40 days and 40 nights and use this as a guide in our Christian journey to be more like Him in our daily lives.

Fasting can be challenging, but we must pray for strength and perseverance throughout this time and to open our eyes to the goal of growing in the likeness and image of God. It is a season that tests our discipline and faith in God to which He provides us the grace to endure this time. More importantly, He has given us the ability to worship Him and the gift of eternal life. As we continue to pray and fast during this Lenten season, let us learn to continue to commit ourselves to God, develop a more Christ-like character, and share His love and teachings with others.

Antonia De Leon, SFC '26
Applied Behavioral Psychology | Honors Program
CSS Student Worker | MMID Values Task Force & Advisory Board Member | Student Ambassador


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