In the past year, we’ve found ourselves talking a lot with people about devotional times, “quiet times”. John Piper’s “When I Don’t Desire God” has radically challenged and shaped us in this area. Whether overseas or not, this can be a challenge for people to maintain, but the reason it’s a struggle sometimes is the same for us as it is for others…essentially, we all are too easily satisfied…we don’t hunger for God enough. We’re content with living each day without God’s presence and conversing with him. We direct these words to ourselves as much as anyone. We’d rather sleep in, or watch a movie the night before, or hang out, or whatever else. The battle for the morning is won the night before.
A few ideas have hit us in the past months or weeks. First of all, if we to move from California to New York, we would adjust our “time zone” so that what is normal for a New Yorker is pre-dawn for a Californian. Can’t we too do this with out time wit the Lord? Simply moving our whole “day”, going to bed before other people, would work wonders. Second, as we have found ourselves wanting more time, complaining we have no time for prayer or study, we have been reminded of fasting. We all eat, but we could use that time to pray and meditate on the Word instead. The only question is, what are we more hungry for?
A simple thought hit us the other day, which answers many immediate questions about prayer and fasting: We pray for the same reason we fast. We don’t fast for the same reason we don’t pray.
John Wesley is quite blunt when he wrote, “The man who never fasts is no more in the way to heaven than the man who never prays.”
C.S. Lewis pierces our hearts with the truth, “It is impossible to accept Christianity for the sake of finding comfort….”