At present, there are fifteen situations going on in my church that I am either sad or burdened about. I know it may seem unusual to know that there are fifteen, but it occurred to me the other day that there were so many prayer burdens pressing upon my heart, that I ought to count them all. On top of all of those concerns is the added burden that my prayer life hasn't produced the results that I've been wanting; namely for all of these burdens to be "fixed" or rectified.
I keep meditating on the verse: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." I need a lot of grace and so I've been thinking about praying for humility. I say "thinking about" because I worry that a prayer for humility will result in a chain of bad circumstances or events brought to me by God in order to produce that humility. And I feel that I run into enough of these without praying for more of them. (That line of thinking is probably the proof that I need a lot more humility.)
And so then my my mind turns to wondering if I can ask God to make me humble with a caveat: that the humility would come without trials or testing. And then my mind turns to fasting. It seems to me that fasting would be a way to humble oneself on purpose. My husband has fasted off and on over the years, but the truth is that I've heard very little teaching on the subject and so I wonder about the hows and whys of this little talked about discipline and then I stumbled onto Bill Bright's website about fasting.
But as for me, when they were sick,
My clothing was sackcloth;
I humbled myself with fasting;
And my prayer would return to my own heart.
I'm pretty sure that this should be a regular part of my life. And so-- these fifteen things that are weighing me down will be the impetus for a new discipline in my life. May God pour His grace out on me.