June: Week 4

Fasting and Lament

In Scripture, fasting is regularly associated with mourning and lament. So is the wearing of sackcloth and ashes– but we are not recommending that practice! The motivations for fasting and lament may differ. Sometimes fasting is felt to be the most appropriate response to lament, while at other times a fast is undertaken to produce an attitude of lament, or to identify with those in distress. Commonly both fasting and lament are adjuncts to earnest prayer.

Nehemiah tells of his response to the sorry state of Jerusalem: 

When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. (Neh 1:4)

Is there an issue or situation that so grieves you, or that is so urgent, that you would set aside time to fast and lament and pray, asking God’s merciful action? Consider whether you could set aside half a day to fast and lament and pray about this matter.

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