Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Prayer and fasting

Last night was the first of what DH & I hope will be a weekly Tuesday night time of fasting and prayer as we wait on God's guidance. I must start by thanking and praising God - he encouraged my soul. What a gift!

I have very little experience with fasting, and have only done it a handful of times, but I read an amazing article about it last year that helped me understand more about the discipline. And DH & I are in such a challenging and amazing place of having NO plan and NO idea what comes next, that it seemed like the perfect opportunity to develop this discipline.

We fasted from dinner only, and spent the time we normally would have used to prepare and eat dinner to pray instead. We thanked God, confessed, asked for a baby, and sought guidance about what - if anything - we should do next. And how sweet is this - my IL's fasted and prayed with us remotely at their home.

We didn't end our time with any answers, but my spirit was so encouraged. I walked into last night feeling beaten down and tired, but left uplifted and strengthened by the power of God. God is with us and has a plan and purpose for us. I hold onto this truth! This verse came to mind:

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. 2 Corinthians 4:7-12

After our time of prayer we listened to a couple of talks by Mike C.handler, a pastor of a large church in Texas. I had never heard of him before until recently, but my FIL pointed us to his story. He was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 35 (I think?), and is currently undergoing radiation and chemo after a major surgery to try to remove the tumor. In some ways seeing his story and what he and his family are enduring gave me some perspective in my own suffering, and I am encouraged to suffer well. To suffer in a way that God is glorified. I'm learning what this means.

So thank you for your encouragements and prayers in my last post - God is so good and faithful. He will answer us and make himself known when we seek him!


Rachel DeBell said...

Hey!! Matt is my pastor and he and Lauren have been friends of mine since college. So awesome how their story just keeps reaching further and further! Praying for you!!

Leah said...

What a beautiful post. My in-laws are Muslim, and they fast often, and explained to me why they do it. They said they feel so close to God when they do. I'm glad you ended the evening feeling spiritually renewed.

Anonymous said...

How inspiring are you!

I very much admire the walk you are on.

A said...

I love that verse!! Just goes to show how, when walking with God, He will never abandon us!! I am so happy that you came away from last night's time of fasting and prayer so uplifted!! That is just awesome!! The Lord will surely bless you for you faithfulness :)

Anonymous said...

So glad you were encouraged!

Andrea said...

Glad you find youself in a place where you feel comfort. Stay the course and don't lose sight of the prize...keep believing, stay faithful and the blessings will follow :)


Anonymous said...

In the orthodox christianity fastening is a main rule. Practically half of the year is made of lent periods. Before Christmas, Easter, and a couple of other important events.
Lent is giving up all animal products, meat, dairy, eggs, as well as intimate contacts on Wednesdays and Fridays, which are already regular lent days throughout the weeks of the year.
You will not believe how many yummy lent recipes there are out there - some call it vegetarianism, orthodox call it lent.
There are important days when all day fastening is required, and one can eat only after 6 o'clock or after the sun has set, but not too many of those.
It is a period of cleasing one's soul and by giving up some things we take for granted, we change our perspective on life and God shows us ways we never thought possible.
Perhaps you could try the orthodox way of lenting once in a while. It does not mean renouncing your faith, it is just another way of trying to get close to God. And to cleanse your body, not only your soul.
I hope you find your strenght and do get your so needed answers.

Dea.nna said...

Your post is so encouraging to me. I love that you said you didn't come out of your prayer/fasting time with answer but you came out encouraged. So often, I seek God and don't get an answer so I stop seeking. Sometimes an answer isn't the answer.

Michelle said...

Thinking of you!!!
Love, Michelle

AplusB said...

It's really powerful that you and your husband are doing this together. I'm impressed :)

Find joy in every journey said...

We pray and fast often. For a retreat my DH went on, I slept on the floor as a sacrifice. The Lord will use your fasting and show you abundant grace!
Stories of the Saints and those that have suffered really lifted us during our IF journey. I pray you will be renewed!

Al said...

Beautiful post! I think it's amazing that you and your husband are taking such brave steps to figure out what path you should be headed down. said...

i LOVE that verse and I think you and your DH are amazing people. I am glad to hear that you are full of hope and renewed in your faith even more strongly.

julie said...

I admire your strength, spirit and faith. I hope you continue to find peace in God's love.
Take Care.

Baby Wanted said...

Fasting is something we do often in our home and family. It is even more beautiful when you can have others do it for you, your IL's are sweet!

Rachel DeBell said...

NO IDEA when I will test. I have been obsessing on forums trying to figure out. I think I might wait past 14 days, since I am not doing Bloodwork, only a HPT. We'll see how patient I am.

Question: How do you hide your blog on your profile? I can't figure out how to do that?

Caroline said...

Hi Hillary,
I just wanted to drop by and give you a big online hug.
I think of you often and pray for you regularly.
I know how difficult the road is that you are travelling. Sometimes it seems that there is no light in the tunnel (I remember that feeling very well).
As you know, God is with you and has a plan for what you are going through.
I really admire your strength and your faith.
Hugs to you.