Fasting & Praying - Why & How?

Day 2 of 6 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Give wings to your faith! 

I did my first week of fasting and prayer when I was a young Christian. I went to Switzerland, in Ebnat-Kappel, in a magnificent hotel, to participate in a group fast. I met Eric Dufour for the first time there, who became a precious friend. However, I had a horrible week...For financial reasons, I slept in a nuclear bunker under the hotel (I didn’t see much of the beautiful Swiss countryside!).

Because of the fast, my body reacted, and I got the stomach flu twice. I was as sick as a dog and laid in my “military” bed most of the time during this week of fasting.

The last day, I saw an apple sitting in the hotel lobby. I took it discreetly, and not wanting another participant to catch me, went to eat it outside, in shame, a bit like Adam who ate the forbidden fruit.

After this, I didn’t even dare take the communion that brought the seminar to a close...So I said to myself, “Eric, fasting is not for you.”

For years, I deprived myself of the benefits of fasting and prayer: spiritual benefits, physical, emotional, etc. Until I took a sabbatical and a break from ministry for 3 months. During this time, when I was no longer immersed in my work, I was able to put my focus on Jesus and let Him lead me to fast once again. I learned, actually from Eric Dufour and his wife Rachel, that we could fast in different ways, like with fruit and vegetable juices.

I learned that it’s normal for the body to sometimes react violently, and that there are ways to alleviate that. So I began to like fasting for 3 days, then 7 days, then 12 days...and even regularly plan times in my schedule to get away, often to an isolated place, to pray and fast. And also to write some of the texts you’re reading…

And what seemed to me totally impossible and medically inadvisable became something I wait impatiently to do, knowing, despite the hunger of the first days, how beneficial this practice will be and how much it’ll give wings to my faith. 

We read in the Bible in Philippians 2:13, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” God will give you the power and will uphold you when the time comes for your fasting. So, don’t be discouraged when you don’t succeed in fasting! God isn’t angry with you; on the contrary, He wants to encourage you to not give up. I encourage you to find a way to fast that is right for you (by starting slowly) and let God meet you there where you are.

I invite you to pray with me…“Lord, You see my desire to obey You, to put aside a time to fast and pray to come closer to You. I’ve tried several times but haven’t made it to the end, stayed the course. Give me the strength to keep this commitment, and show me the best way to honor You in order to see a change in my life. Thank You, Lord. Amen.”

Thanks for existing!
Eric Célérier