First off, sorry to be posting so late in the day. I ran out of time in between class and work.
Good results on my fasting so far. I’ve certainly lost weight, which is a plus. I took a boy I was babysitting to Dunkin Donuts today and I didn’t feel tempted by the treats (although the guava and cream cheese pastries at my work still call out to me). I’m still a bit sleepy off and on throughout the day, but not exhausted like I was the first week.
Service on Sunday was phenomenal. We had what you might call a “chainbreaking” service. The pastor preached on the power of words–the devil’s words, our words, and God’s words–and how we can choose whether to live victoriously or in defeat by which words we choose to listen to and say. At the end, we held an altar call for anyone suffering from an addiction, a depression, a generational curse, chronic health issues, or any other oppressive thing in their lives. I would say the majority of the congregation went down front.
Even the earlier worship set wasn’t business as usual. You could feel the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit in the place. It was wonderful. It was also one year to the day since our dear intercessor, secretary, and all-around sweetheart passed into glory. I don’t know how much time people in heaven spend looking down at what we do on earth, but I think that Sunday morning she was joining in with us, perhaps even considering it to be partly a celebration of her heavenly birthday. One thing I do know, she prayed for God to move like this in our church every day for twenty years.
“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man [or woman] avails much.” –James 5:16
My prayers during this fast are being answered in front of my eyes, even before it’s over, which is different from the times I fasted last year. I don’t think I have anything too profound to say today, but I will leave you with something I found interesting in an article about a woman in Colombia.
She was the widow of a pastor. Alicia Castilla was her name, and she was murdered last week when she refused to uproot her family and move away from her home in accordance with the threats of the militant uprising, ELN. Her husband, an area evangelist, was killed for the same reason. Now their three children, an 18-year-old son and two daughters, ages nine and six, are orphans living with their grandfather.
This couple was killed for their faith. Why do the militants care about their faith?
“The militants are also suspicious that Christians are spies and informants for the government, and complain that they give funds to their churches and refuse to support rebel activities. They also notice that when Christians fast and pray, the guerrillas’ violent plans against them are oddly stopped!”*
The effective, fervent prayer–and fasting–of the righteous avails much.
*Source: Open Doors Ministry