16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
OK! You may well be wondering, “Are we really going take an entire message to talk about fasting?”
As you will hear in this PODCAST, Yes! We are indeed! And for some very good reasons.
Just the mention of the word sounds like something out of an ancient Byzantine Orthodox liturgy. Certainly not something relevant to our fast-paced 21st century get-up-and-go, hectic, frenetic lifestyles. Which is precisely the point!
The fact that our lives have indeed become so deliriously fast-paced (Get it? Fast-paced? When talking about fasting? A little pun there.) demands that we build this discipline into our lives.
And just to give you one tantalizing clue as to where we are going with this: Fasting has much more to do with our time than it does with our food. As you will hear me propose in this message, fasting is much more of a time-management issue than it is a food-management issue.
It’s not at all surprising, really, that Jesus followed up His presentation of The Lord’s Prayer with this invitation to fast. Because here’s the thing: We can approach our newly-discovered insights on The Lord’s Prayer with all kinds of renewed enthusiasm and excitement about praying the way Jesus taught us to pray. (I certainly hope you do!)
But the raw reality of the situation is this: Many of us simply don’t have the time or take the time to pray. To get alone with God. To embrace the silence, an endangered species in our day, a silence in which we prayerfully consider the significance of each phrase of The Lord’s Prayer.
I mean, if your life is at all typical, as you run here and rush there, you barely have time to eat, let alone time to pray. Which, again, is precisely the point!
So take some time — relatively very little time — to listen to this podcast. It may just change your life in a really, really good way.
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