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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hungering for God

Ramadan is a very special and holy month for Muslims all over the world. They will spend sunrise to sunset in prayer and fasting and reading the Quran. For me as a Christian, a month of prayer and fasting is a tremendous challenge and example to me. Prayer and fasting requires much discipline. But why do we pray and fast? To grow closer to God? To challenge sinful habits?
When I think of praying, I have an image in my mind. In our new book, "Tears in a bottle: seeing through their eyes," that my Muslim friend Avianne and I are writing, There is a scene in which Ariel is explaining prayer to her Muslim friend Esther. Ariel describes prayer as sitting on her Father's lap and telling him what is on her heart. She describes prayer as intimate fellow-shipping and talking to God. Esther is fascinated by this description. Do we as Christian visualize prayer that way? An intimate time like that with God? Do we believe God looks forward to our praying like a Father to his child? This might revolutionize our prayer walk!
When I meditate on fasting, I have an image of hungering for God. I remember what Jesus declared. "I am the bread of life. Whoever believes in me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty again."(John 6:35)
In Fasting we are hungering for God. We want to draw closer to God and are saying no to food ruling our life and our passions. We shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes out of God's mouth!
These images tell us something about God! He longs to hear our prayers and He desires to satisfy our hunger with his unfailing love and presence.
We can learn something from our Muslim friends this month. We too should fast and pray. God meets with us in prayer and fasting. He promises to satisfy our hunger and thirst with himself!

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