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An ancient tradition used to enhance prayer is the spiritual discipline of fasting from food for a period of time.
What is the connection between prayer and fasting? Fasting is not a diet; it is a discipline that enables us to focus our attention toward prayer. Fasting can give us a great sensitivity to hear God. When you are hungry …pray…or you may say, “feast on God.” This turns our thoughts from ourselves to focus toward the heart of God.
What is the pattern for the Wesley fast? Each Thursday evening, after the evening meal, until mid-afternoon on each Friday, John Wesley would not take solid food but fasted and focused much of his time in prayer.
Who is invited to participate in the “Wesley fast?" John Wesley expected the “preachers” to participate, and he wanted people to follow this discipline.
Why follow this pattern? Methodist people are invited to discover the power in this regular discipline that John Wesley followed for a half a century. For Wesley, the more important reason for fasting was that fasting is a help to prayer. John Wesley wrote, "When you seek God with fasting added to prayer, you cannot seek His face in vain," and "I advise you to keep...a day of fasting and prayer."
How should I pray? Be led by the Holy Spirit. Fasting, a personal, voluntary humbling of the heart before God, is a worship activity that increases spiritual receptivity by creating a climate for the Holy Spirit to speak.
God bless your prayers and fasting. God bless your faithfulness to Jesus.