I'm setting myself some targets to get on with prayer...30 minutes each day.Well, I managed it for the first few days, though I was a bit silly and always left it to 12am ish just before I went to bed! Then I got a little slack over the weekend which isn't good. Am gonna try and keep it going this week though. There's no reason why I shouldn't be doing it anyway. Think I'll try and take the dogs for a walk each day in the early evening and fit it in then!
Moving on to this weeks topic of "Fasting". Foster gives us a good explanation and history of fasting in bible times. I particularly like,
"The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast." Matt 9:15I agree with Foster that its one of the most important statements on fasting in the New Testament. It assumes fasting will happen, and gives a mandate for it to happen - because the 'bridegroom aka Jesus' has left. It makes Christ the focus for the discipline as/when it takes place.
"Fasting must forever centre on God. It must be God-initiated and God-ordained."So what's the big deal, why is it such an unfamiliar thing? Why is fasting no longer (or was it ever in Western society?) a cultural norm? Foster mourns,
"Have we become so accustomed to 'cheap grace' that we instinctively shy away from more demanding calls to obedience? 'Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross.'"Crumbs! He's hit the nail on the head. For me at least, this is a challenging statement. What areas of cheap grace do I wallow in? Reaping the benefits of a Christian life, but ignoring the hard-slog it also is at times. I think fasting will 'bring out' those items of cheap grace in me and help expose them, so its time to find out.