I consider myself to be a man of mediocre judgment. I’ve done many things in my life of questionable character, but when I took advice from a friend of mine last year to fast food for three days, I came to the conclusion that I had officially lost it. Because I really like food, and food makes me happy. Except for pickles, they make me sick.
But I desperately wanted to see a breakthrough in my life, so I hugged that water bottle for three days straight. Day two was the most painful day of them all as the headaches came rolling like wrecking balls, and I was particularly hard on myself that day because I couldn’t stay focused on Jesus whatsoever. I tried praying, but my mind wandered everywhere but to Jesus. I was discouraged, because the main reason I wanted to fast was to pray more, not less. I thought I was doing the whole thing wrong, and was unsure how I could call myself a Christian if I couldn’t even get myself to pray. But that wasn’t what God thought of me.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” (Romans 8:26 NIV)
Fasting is like one long prayer with the Spirit, and we can rest assured God hears our wordless groans. When we don’t know what to pray, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. As we go through the testing of our physical body, we are constantly reminded of God’s presence at an unparalleled frequency. When we fast, we are praying to Jesus, whether the words come out as words or as sighs and groans. And while most of us don’t fast food for 21 days this February, but maybe sugar or social media, we are honouring God through our dependency on Him. So let’s not be so hard on ourselves if we have a hard time focusing on Jesus every so often. Our fast is one long prayer saying: “I want you this much Jesus” and God delights in that.
– Lasse Hultén
- Are there any situations happening in your life right now that are too complicated and overwhelming to express in words?
- Thank the Holy Spirit that He is praying for you, through your wordless groans.
- Our extension service in Malmö, and the leaders there.