Free & Fit - Fasting in Silence
Free & Fit - Fasting in Silence by Tim Cheux
In order to establish a strong and pure Christian faith it is important to follow the Spiritual Disciplines that help form our belief in Jesus Christ. Richard Foster states in the Book Celebration of Discipline” that the “Disciplines of Abstinence; (solitude, silence, fasting, frugality, chastity, secrecy, sacrifice) and Disciplines of Engagement (study, worship, celebration, service, prayer, fellowship, confession, submission) are essential practices for every Christian (p. 158, Foster, 1978)”.
Furthermore, in her book “Rugged” Gretchen Ronnevik shares the Spiritual Disciplines of the Spiritually exhausted including the chapters on “God Disciplines Those He Loves, Christ is Always the Way, Dependence not Achievement, Enough, Authority, Privilege and Submission, Freedom through Dependence, Generosity, Lament, Rest and Discipleship (p. Contents, Grettchen, 2021)”. The nucleus of Prayer, Reading the Bible, Worship, Community, Silence (Listening to God), attending Church and developing relationships with fellow believers really strengthens an individual’s faith, but as recognized by Ronnevik and Foster it is essential to find a balance of Prayer and Active formation in our everyday lives. This can involve the most ancient of traditions of fasting. To have faith, in the midst of adversity, is to fast, to remain silent and to be still and not just know God, but truly trust God.
Therefore, to have an accessible process by which to combine our faith and practice of fasting as one it helps to inform our Christian practice of Spirituality through Jesus witness. One way of this is available to us through the practice of silence and fasting in some ways becomes accessible through contemplation. Richard Rohr introduces to us, through Micah 6:8, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Michael Curry’s Way of Love. Rohr and Friends in their book “Contemplation in Action” invites us to “act justly, love tenderly and to walk humbly with our God” through the practice of Fasting & Studying whilst actively practicing our Christian faith.
How do we do this practically?
By surrendering our voices and remaining silent we must not speak. Silence, the practice of no noise, is the ultimate fast by which we do subconsciously in prayer. Sometimes we fast through intermittently forgoing a meal, fasting a habit or a desire, but fasting speaking is a way to listen to God. The serenity prayer and proverbs can help us with how to listen when silent.
Serenity Prayer The Original Full Version:
God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
Living one day at a time, Enjoying one moment at a time, Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, Taking, as Jesus did, This sinful world as it is, Not as I would have it, Trusting that You will make all things right, If I surrender to Your will, So that I may be reasonably happy in this life, And supremely happy with You forever in the next. In Jesus name. Amen.
Source: Prayer Foundation
“Trust in Jehovah with all thy heart, And lean not upon thine own understanding: In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he will direct thy paths.”
The Serenity Prayer has been such a gift to so many as a humanity we seek freedom from addictions. For so many the Serenity Prayer, the Twelve Steps program and recovery classes have helped people to overcome fears and find faith.
This is not always the story, but so many have been able to fight addictions, find new habits and build towards finding freedom we walk through today’s prayer like thousands others who have been seeking to find Jesus.
Through silence, fasting speaking and staying close to God we can humble ourselves and seek the Kingdom of Heaven to experience change through fasting. In Jesus name. Amen
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