top

Inspired and Impacted by Others: Quotes About Fasting and Prayer (Part 2)

quotes

The following excerpts from Richard Foster, John Piper, and Donald Whitney will instruct and inspire you as you fast! Application questions follow each except in order to help you get the most from your fasting and prayer.

Richard Foster

“More than any other discipline, fasting reveals the things that control us. This is a wonderful benefit to the true disciple who longs to be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. We cover up what is inside of us with food and other things.” [1]

— From The Celebration of Discipline

Application: Has fasting revealed things that have been controlling you? What bottom-line desires have been exposed?


John Piper

She [fasting, the hungry handmaid of prayer] reveals the measure of food’s mastery over us — or television or computers or whatever we submit to again and again to conceal the weakness of our hunger for God. And she remedies by intensifying the earnestness of our prayer and saying with our whole body what prayer says with the heart: I long to be satisfied in God alone! [2]

 From When I Don’t Desire God

Application: What has had mastery over you? What has been covering up the weakness of your hunger for God? How has fasting intensified the earnestness of your prayer? Have you noticed that fasting has infused your heart with one cry: I want to be satisfied in God alone?

“I will not be mastered by anything.”
Romans 6:12, NIV


Donald Whitney

Fasting can be a testimony—even one directed to yourself—that you find your greatest pleasure and enjoyment in life from God. It’s a way of demonstrating to yourself that you love God more than food, that seeking Him is more important to you than eating, that Jesus—the Bread of heaven (see John 6:51)—is more satisfying to you than earthly bread. When you fast you remind yourself that unlike many (see Philippians 3:19), your stomach is not your god. Rather, it is the servant of the true God, because you’re willing to sublimate your stomach’s desires to those of the Spirit. When Christians fast because of their love for God, they illustrate what Piper said: “What we hunger for most, we worship.”  …

Fasting must always have a spiritual purpose—a God-centered purpose, not a self-centered one—for the Lord to bless our fast. Thoughts of food during a fast must prompt thoughts for God, and remind us of our purpose. Rather than focusing the mind on food, we should use every desire to eat as a reminder to pray and to remember our purpose. [3]

Like all the Spiritual Disciplines, fasting hoists the sails of the soul in hopes of experiencing the gracious wind of God’s Spirit. But fasting also adds a unique dimension to your spiritual life and helps you grow in Christlikeness in ways that are unavailable through any other means. If this were not so, and if the blessings of fasting could be experienced by other means, Jesus would not have taught and modeled fasting. [4]

 From Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

Application: Is fasting testifying to you that you find your greatest pleasure and enjoyment from God? How is it showing you that Jesus is more satisfying than any earthly food? Is your stomach being dethroned as your god and put in its rightful place as servant, not ruler?

If what you hunger for most, you worship, what are you realizing you’ve been worshipping? What do you hunger for most? Jimmy Dean sausage … or Jesus? Fellowship with God .. or facebook? Television … or time in God’s presence?

As you’re fasting, do thoughts of food prompt you to pray? When your stomach growls, what do you do? Do you cry out, “God, I’m hungrier for YOU!”? Or do you cave and grab the Snickers? When you reach for the remote control to numb your stress with television, does fasting prompt you to instead bring that stress, that issue, to God in prayer?

How have you grown in Christlikeness since you’ve been fasting? What areas of sin and compromise have been exposed? Has your disobedience been grieving His Spirit for months—but food and other idolatries crowded out His convicting voice? Now that you’re denying temporal appetites and shutting out other voices, what have you heard God convict you to change?

“I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. 
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.” 
Psalm 63:4-5, NLT

Questions: 

  • What has had mastery over you? What bottom line desires has fasting exposed?
  • What has been covering up the weakness of your hunger for God? If what you hunger for most, you worship, what have you been worshipping?
  • Have you found the Bread of heaven more satisfying and filling than the bread of this world? 
  • How has fasting prompted you to pray and intensified the earnestness of your prayer? 
  • How have you grown in Christlikeness since you’ve been fasting? What areas of sin and compromise have been exposed?

 

RELATED POSTS

FROM THE ARCHIVES

________

  1. Richard Foster, The Celebration of Discipline (New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1978), 48
  2. John Piper, When I Don’t Desire God (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2004), 171
  3. Donald Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (Colorado Springs, CO, 2014), 214-215
  4. Ibid., 220

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Shades of Grace will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Leave a Reply

top