Jump directly to the Content

Heart & Soul

Someone said the prospect of standing before a firing squad marvelously focuses one's mind. Other things can have the same effect—like the telephone call from a friend last March in which he told me, "Perhaps the Lord is leading us to fast for forty days."

Us? I hate to fast. I'd tried fasting, and instead of insights I got irritable.

When Bill Bright reported on his forty-day fast, I held him in awe—the same detached awe I have for someone who can run a mile in under four minutes. It's amazing he can do it, but it would be futile for me even to try.

So my friend's call got my attention. As I prayed, the unwelcome conviction grew that a forty-day fast was precisely what God was asking of us. So we covenanted with thirty or forty people to fast for the forty days leading up to Pentecost.

The purpose would be to fast and pray for the two things Jonathan Edwards urged the churches of eighteenth-century New England to pray for: the spiritual awakening of the church in our town ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Different ways to observe the Christian discipline of prayer.
From the Magazine
Martha: Busy Hostess or Dragon Slayer?
Martha: Busy Hostess or Dragon Slayer?
The Gospel of John and medieval legend show Mary’s sister to value theology and hospitality.
Editor's Pick
Hard-Copy Bibles Aren’t Just Nostalgic
Hard-Copy Bibles Aren’t Just Nostalgic
As a seminary professor, I’m requiring the physical book in class. Church should do the same.