prayer

Fast Byte, day 13: Finnegan begin again

getting to the end

Ahhh.... coffee...

My fast ended up being 13 days long. It was a corporate fast, which means that my whole church was doing it together. I started one day late because I had a family celebration on the first day and thought it best not to unleash the beast at a baby shower. 

I thought about going an extra day, just to get the 14th day in, but I tend toward legalism and I'm very strict with rules in general. I mean, if I set the elliptical at the gym for 30 minutes, it takes a fire, earthquake, and a plague of locusts to get me off of there before the timer beeps. So in my case, it is almost more difficult to end a day early, but I felt that finishing up and celebrating on the Sabbath along with everyone else was the right thing to do. A little imperfect, perhaps, but perfect in its own way. 

Fast Byte, day 12: A prayer by any other name

Yesterday was my most difficult day since the beginning, at least in terms of denying myself. I wanted a freakin' cup of COFFEE! I also wanted something substantial to eat, I wanted flavors and textures that you don't enjoy with fruits and vegetables and water. Maybe as the end of this fast comes into view, I am like the hare who thinks the race is won and so wants to stop and take a rest along the side of the road. Hang on, baby; we're not there yet. 

Fast Byte, day 11: Can I get fries with that?

I entered this fast with a couple of specific intentions in mind. Usually, when I petition someone about something, one of two things happens: they give it to me, or they say no. Once they say no the matter is closed. If that happens, I can try to find what I need from someone else or figure out some other way to solve my problem. 

That's doesn't seem to be how it works when you petition God. When I ask God for something, a myriad of things can happen. In fact, I believe they do. Once I set my desire on something and I vocalize it in prayer, an entire drama is set in motion, one that includes and affects me, my desire, the other people who would be touched in some way when the prayer gets answered, and if it doesn't. Praying is like that old adage: A man can't step into the same river twice; he is changed and so is the river. 

Fast Byte, day 10: In the flow

My fast seems to be a moving thing. It swells and ebbs. Some days it is agitated and some days it is peaceful. Some days it changes from hour to hour. My body is a boat, floating on a river, leading me to somewhere I've never been before. 

My cravings and my body in general have grown more quiet. Even my prayer time has become more quiet, as I've learned to approach the altar with remembrance of all the miracles that God has performed in my life, all the ways in which He has demonstrated His great love for me. 

Fast Byte, day 9: Tender my surrender

The paradox

I'm thinking about the concept of surrender. Last Sunday at service, Pastor Pierre asked, "Are you willing to surrender your dreams and your vision for your life to God?" My automatic response is "yes", but then I ask myself, "Do I really understand what that means? The thing that has always confused me about that is that in one breath he is teaching that God has ordained me for a purpose, and that I must - in faith - flatten the mountain in my life that is driving me back into complacency so that I can fulfill God's calling on my life. Then, we are encouraged to surrender our visions to God. But how can I surrender and forge ahead at the same time?

Fast Byte, Day 8: Stones of remembrance

Week Two (WHEW)

Entering week 2 feels like a great success to me. I never thought I would make it this far. Without getting fired from my job, or divorced, that is. 

But here we are. Yesterday was an uplifting day, with a couple of very energizing church services at The Father's House and a three-mile walk in the cold in between. It was a day of learning and reflection. 

Rebuilding my altar

One of the main things I took away from Pastor Pierre's message (and there was a LOT to take away) was the idea of rebuilding my altar. He asked, "What is your altar built on?" In other words, what premise am I coming from when I come to God in prayer?

Fast Byte, day 7: To move, or not to move

Ask and you shall receive. Maybe. Sometimes.

I was thinking more about the reasons why I  began this fast and about the conflict between what the Bible says about prayer, and what my personal experience with prayer tends to be.

The Bible clearly says, "Ask you you shall receive" but clearly it's just not that simple. At least it hasn't been for me. I was thinking yesterday about the how some prayers take such a long time to get answered, if they get answered at all. We live in a complex system of people, culture, desire, and circumstance, all of which is always moving and changing. Our prayers are moving targets and we are archers on the run.