21 Days of Prayer and Fasting - Day 5
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
The practice of fasting involves abstaining from food, and thus it also involves hunger. Regardless of how long the fasting period is, your body experiences the sensation of hunger. This is a key part of the practice not because we are trying to inflict pain on ourselves, and not because we simply want for our stomach to growl. This is a key part of the practice because of something that you’ve noticed before when you’ve been hungry while not fasting. You probably get a little “hangry,” which is the combination of hungry and angry just in case you didn’t know that one.
Fasting exposes our hunger. It intentionally exposes not just our physical hunger, but also the hunger of our flesh or disordered, sinful desires. Fasting can reveal how and what we use to cope and comfort ourselves. It can reveal our emotional reactions during difficulties. It also reveals patterns that we live by. This is really heavy stuff. The realization of our hunger and what we pursue to satisfy it is sometimes painful. However, in confronting and confessing our hunger, we can find freedom. The truth sets us free from the disordered desires of our flesh that enslaves us.
In the midst of practicing fasting, we can also realize not just our disordered desires, but also our deepest desires. What do we really long for? In regards to hunger, our deepest desires are for freedom, satisfaction, fulfillment, contentment, peace, joy, and love. These desires can be fulfilled seeking first God’s kingdom and righteousness. (Matthew 6:33). Then these and more are added to us.
To be human is to hunger. To be a blessed human is to hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Take a moment to simply be with God in gratitude. God knows you and your hunger, and loves you with the love of a perfect, heavenly Father.
What hunger has been revealed to you during this time of fasting?
Respond in repentance by rethinking everything about your hunger in light of God’s kingdom being open to you, and His righteousness bringing fulfillment.