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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 from sunrise until 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 an example to me. Prayer and fasting requires much discipline. But why do we pray and fast? To grow closer to God? To challenge our sinful habits?
When I think of praying, I have an image in my mind. In our new book, "Tears in a bottle: seeing though their eyes," which I am writing with my Muslim friend Avianne, 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 tells Esther prayer is having an intimate relationship with God. You can talk to God from your heart at anytime and at any place and He will listen. Esther is fascinated by Ariel's description. Do we As Christians visualize prayer that way? An intimate time like that with God? Do we believe God looks forward to our praying like a child talking to his father? This might revolutionize our prayer walk!
When I mediate 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 shall never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me shall never be thirsty again." (John 6:35)
In fasting, we are hungering for God. We want to draw closer to God and are saying that food will not rule my life and my 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 satisfy our hunger and thirst. This month we too should fast and draw closer to God. He will indeed satisfy our hunger and thirst with himself!

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