Do you think of prayer as a sort of magic trick?

Everyone's got their own idea about this great big thing we cram into one word - Prayer. I pray.

To me it's simple.  Simple like a woman talking to a living-breathing person, closer than any flesh and blood has ever been.  But it is also cosmic and overwhelming at the soul-same time.


What a gift it is! And yet this talking and thinking and hearing from the God of all creation can be absolutely elusive for many people.  So we're going to have a talk about it, right now, you and me.  Here on my couch we're going to sit together, hands reaching across knees and taking hold of one another as we go deep.




You and me, right here - right now, because this stuff is more important that any simple how-to blog post you can read today!  I haven't got three simple things you can do to have a better life, raise better kids, or communicate more lovingly with your spouse.  This is a discussion we're having - talking together about prayer:

I'm a praying woman.

I have cried out to God for healing and help, I've prayerfully interceded for loved ones, and I have humbly asked Him to turn my sorrow into gladness.  I've lifted up my children, pleaded for wisdom and discernment, and talked intimately with the Lord as I've drifted off to sleep.  Last week I even prayed for our nation, smack-dab in the middle of a busy mothering day. In short: I'm a praying woman, and my motives, most often, are right pure.

Some of you would say the same, but others of you would ask me to back it up a bit.

You're not so sure about this whole idea of God and faith. Or maybe, you can get your mind around there being this Creator-God, but talking with Him like two old friends confuses and confounds you.

Yeah, I get that.

You know how I tenderly refer to this website as my Living Room?  Well, the truth is, it's just a page of 1,000 words, and sometimes I wish so desperately that we could really meet together in my living room and go deep.  Nevertheless, I try to hunker down on my orange couch, laptop on my knees as my littles build legos in their room down the hall, to work through these big ticket questions one at a time.



kitchen 4

29 days into this 40 day no-sugar fast, some of you are asking WHY PRAY?


I guess the short answer is because God told us to.  He specifically said that we are to come up close and have a sit down talk about it all with Him, believing. He said seek me out and you will find.  He said ask me and you will receive.  He charged us knock, and keep on knocking, though our knuckles get bloody, and He's going to open it all up to us... and open us up too.  Isn't that a conversation with any dear friend?  Open doors to one another, opening our hearts to one another.


Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. “Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? “Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!" (Matthew 7:7-11)


However, sometimes I forget about the intimacy of the giver who bids me come and knock and seek and find. Sometimes I forget the giver and focus solely on the gift.


th In these moments I remember that God is not magic that I can conjure, but a magic deeper still. A magic wild and unbridled, beyond my fathoming mind.  He is good and generous because it is His nature to be so... not because I have prayed a certain number of times each day, facing the east or the west, lying prostrate before Him.  God is everywhere, always working his will into the farthest reaches of boundless creation, throughout all mankind. Who am I to wield a magic wand that He obey me?


He is beyond my imagining!


"It means that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards." (Aslan describing the Deeper Magic, The Chronicles of Narnia, Chapter 15)


Prayer touches that deepest magic.  The white Witch of C.S. Lewis' Narnia wanted death for Edmond, who had most assuredly sinned.  That was the Deep Magic!  Though Aslan knew of a magic deeper still, a magic we discover as talk with Him and walk with Him prayerfully and in His Word.  God doesn't want us to die for our sins!  He died for us, as allegorical Aslan did!  And prayer, talking and hearing from God, allow us to hear and receive this deepest magical, we-don't-deserve-it, GRACE gift!  But after a while, we can forget about the deepest magic and think of ourselves as the magicians as we pray.

A magic trick, a little hocus pocus and fairy dust covered equation.  I pray = you answer, God.

But God tells us to stay clear of sorcery of any kind, and He's no magic trick for us to play with. Absolutely, we can never squeeze The Lord of all creation into a simple A+B=C equation.  Try as we may! But you and I both know how we hunger for equations, formulas, and promises that it will all go well for us if we just follow the plan.  Pray and fast and tithe and memorize scripture and sing in the choir and love on widows and orphans...  If I go to college, I'll be successful.  If I marry a Christian, we will have kids who believe as well.  If I eat healthy, I won't get cancer. If I am kind to others, people will be kind to me.

Sometimes, these things work out pretty well for us, but not always. I'm learning to be okay with that, because The magic that He conjures is love so pure I couldn't ever understand His purposes and plans this side of glory.

But still we knock and seek and ask and lift up our hands for healing, and I don't think there's anything wrong with it!  God's Word is FULL of Christian equations!  I'd even call them formulas...  

Over and over again I see them. Believe and be saved... call out to me and I will hear you and answer you... abide in me and I will abide in you... draw near to me and I will draw near to you... you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart... And on and on. We do something and the Lord responds in favor. But it's not a magic trick and we must be very careful to remember that. He is not to be played like a deck of cards that we can manipulate to do our tricks, to do our bidding.

But at its heart, prayer is no equation.  Prayer is coming and seeking.  And prayer is a funny thing -  equal parts boldness and humility.  Come boldly, He tells us to approach Him, and yet the prayers of little children are those He hears.  The veil was torn, that we might approach Him, but approach Him with meekness, lowliness, as a servant before her master.

Let us pray because He tells us to, but guard our hearts least we become formulaic in the offering.  

I will do this and You, Lord, You will respond like that...

So many Christians tend toward legalism for this very reason - and it happens naturally when we think we've made sense of God!  But God is a wild sort of love that cannot ever be understood until we stand face to face with Him in Glory. He is not bound by formulas just as prayer and fasting cannot ever be bound by rules. Bound by works. Though, remarkably, prayer and fasting does unleash the Power of God, it is not a cut and dry thing to be manipulated, but a taste of that deeper magic.


Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be full.

(John 16:24)


The Lord desperately wants us close to His heart, and he wants to give generously to His children, and so He's given us this thing we call prayer. 

Would you like for Him to come in to the living room, center most place of your heart? Is an unanswered prayer in your wounded past holding you back?  I dare you to step forward to the door and telling Him all about it.  He knows and He cares and He is there to open the door and open You up too.  Open you up for healing. Would you like this wild sort of love to come in and sit down and talk with you? Yes? Then start now, today, here.  Lift up a whisper confession, timid and soft. "Lord, I need to know you.  I don't even know about this knocking and seeking... but I sure need to find You now.  Open up and let me in, show me how to open up my heart and let You in.  I'm unsure.  Teach me Lord.  I'm crying out, just wanting to believe, Lord, help my unbelief.  Here I am praying.  Here I am praying, knocking, seeking, awkward about it all.  Here I am Lord.  I'm simply a weak person who has sinned and gone it alone for far too long.  I don't want to conjure up any magic trick, God, I'm not looking for lightening and a crash of thunder... but I want you to do a magic work on my heart with your Love.  Show me what that even means, I pray.  Amen."


Oh Prayer... a magic deeper still.



Praying for America - When a mom is already so busy doing everything else


My hair was wet and cold, I should have dried it before I took the kids to school this morning, but my husband was on a conference call in our bedroom and I didn't want to disturb him.  Then my children were all out of sorts about the way I scrambled their eggs, and one child looked sideways at his brother when they were supposed to be brushing their teeth, so that was a whole other something to focus on this morning. Now here I am with a cold scalp, praying against the cold that always threatens to creep into a mother's heart.  

Today is the National Day of Prayer


Every morning I wake up and thank God for the day.  I do, I truly do. I greet my children joyfully, with loving touches and warm food.  Every morning I actively choose to practice grace here in our home.  But, friends, this constant inner focus can take it out of a woman!  Loving and caring, correcting and praying for the hearts here in the girdle of these four walls is a full time job! Sometimes there's nothing left over for anyone else. 


 Today is The National Day of Prayer


Driving to school we pass a flag raised high and I remember what day it is, halfway through a tongue twister at the time.  Working on tongue twisters on our way to school - tongue twisters to help my boys with their speech impediments.  Over and over again we practice: The girl hit the tiger with her purse... "Ouch,"said the tiger, "That hurt!" And then we go over our spelling words and a few multiplication facts and out they hop with a blessing to honor their teachers and be kind to their friends.


Today is The National Day of Prayer


I drive to the grocery store to get a gallon of orange juice for the other brother sick at home.  Miraculously I remember that this is teacher appreciation week, so I grab three thank you cards as well. A pit in my stomach forms hard and fast when I see the Mother's Day cards beside the thank you notes, and I realize I'd forgotten all about it - never sent cards to the three mothers in my own life. And now I remember again that I'm supposed to be praying for America as well.


Today is The National Day of Prayer


But I'm just hurrying home to get Vitamin C into the body of my eleven year old with bronchitis.


Today is The National Day of Prayer


My child is resting now, under a heavy blanket in his dark room with the humidifier hissing soothing eucalyptus.  I take a moment to write those thank-you notes to their teachers, because I really am so thankful for them.  And, as I switch out another load of laundry, I think of how hard it is to tell teachers and mothers how much I love and admire and appreciate them, because I'm knee deep in tongue twisters - twisted all up in the rearing of my own children here in my own life.


Today is The National Day of Prayer


What to do then? What to do when you're a praying woman who's not been able to move beyond those prayers most immediate, for her immediate family?  For health in the home and faith down in their bones. Except to stop.  Stop.  Stop, if ony for a few moments. Stop.  And move beyond your needs and theirs, and join the chorus rising from mothers and fathers and children and grandparents and working men and women all around our country today.  What if we all just stop, all of us, from sea to shining sea, for just a moment, in the middle of the twisted up day and pray for our nation. One Nation.  One People. Twisted up and desperately in need of God today.


Today is The National Day of Prayer

national day of prayer

So Let's Pray:

Dear Lord, you don't only graft people into your family tree... you are willing to graft nations!  Nations of men and women, boys and girls, who recognize You as their sovereign ruler.  So graft us in, Lord.  Graft America in, I pray.  Graft us in through faith, and let us partake in the inheritance of your peace and protection as we turn to you!  One person at a time, one mother at a time, one family at a time.  Turning to you in the busyness of life, stopping to pray.

Lord, I lift up President Obama and our other leaders to you today. I pray that they sense your Spirit alive and guiding them.  I pray that You convict where conviction is needed, affirm and strengthen them where Your affirming strength is needed, and give light to the unknown dark corners of what to do in our fight against terror. Give our leaders wisdom in the face of terror Lord, faith in the face of every threat. Let them know, even now as ISIS takes their stand upon our soil, that Greater is the One living inside of us, then he who is living in the world. (1 John 4:4)  

And I pray for families, Lord, families that are praying families praying for one another, and families that do not know you, and don't know how to pray.  I lift them all up to you, Lord, for they are America.  By Your Spirit lead and guide each person today.  Bring them radically back to You - and in so doing, lead our entire nation to Yourself.  I pray all these things, here in my home, in the middle of my everyday life, trusting that You are faithful.  You are God.  Amen.


Blessed is the nation whose God is The Lord,

the people chosen as His inheritance.

(Palm 33:12)


Prayer and Fasting:

For those of you who are journeying with me in this 40 day sugar fast, let us use this day to shift our focus off of ourselves and onto the world beyond our own needs, our own struggles, our own desire to exerience the nearness of God.  Let us focus today, and in the remaining 15 days, on those around us.  Fasting and praying for our husbands and children and neighborhoods, our schools, and even our nation.  What do you say?  Is the Lord prompting your heart even now? Is there someone specific you feel led to pray and fast on behalf of? Your husband? Your children? Or maybe beyond into the lives of your friends and neighbors?  Missionaries, pastors, those held in literal bondage today throughout the world?  Oh, to use the power unleashed through prayer and fasting for the captive releasing, bondage breaking benefit of others!

It's not easy, moms, when there are so many needs right here in our homes, but let's ask the Lord how He would have us fast and pray for these remaining days.  Amen?  Amen.

Today is The National Day of Prayer

Fasting Like a Child - a guest post

img_3586Our guest today is very special to me.  In fact, Christy Nueman has taught me more about Praying and Fasting, and therefore seeing God in the everyday moments of a simple life, than anyone else.  More than any book, any blog post, any other friend. And so, I find today's story especially sweet because, in a way, I had the same experience her son had... I saw the way his mother would fast and pray, and the joy she received coming to the Lord this way, and I wanted to emulate her as well.  

Fasting Like a Child, by Christy Nueman


My 6-year old son matter-of-factly announced, "I'm going to pray and fast. No bananas for 4-days."

I stopped talking mid-sentence. Silence settled. I shot a sideways glance across the dinner table. My husband stiffened like a bronze statue. He stared at the ceiling. His forehead crinkled and eyebrows furrowed.

I sipped some water to stall. My head felt like a 15 pound bowling ball resting on my clinched fist. Questions flooded my mind. Can a child fast? Does he know what fasting means? What will he do without his favorite snack for 4-days?

My son swallowed his last bite of buttered pasta. “Mom, I’m all done. Can I have dessert now?”

He started fidgeting in the chair. I stammered, “Sure, sweetheart. We’ll have dessert soon. But are you sure you want to fast? You know that means no bananas for 4-days.”

He confidently answered, "Yeah. I want to fast because I want to get this close to God." He pushed his pudgy palms firmly together to emphasize, “this close”. Somehow with those four words—THIS CLOSE TO GOD—our simple supper became sacred.

I locked eyes with my son. His hazel eyes beamed. Mine brimmed with tears.

“When do you want to start?” I asked.

“Tomorrow” he answered.

And he didn’t eat a single banana for the next 4-days.




Almost immediately, we saw the Lord begin to move in unusual ways during and after our little one's fast.  Funny to me, he gave up fruit and suddenly we saw spiritual fruit in his life.  However, this ripe “fruit” initially looked blemished and bruised.

Let me explain. About a week after his 4-day “no bananas” fast, my son got sick. We had just moved cross-country and my husband was on an extended business trip. I sent a desperate SOS text to a brand-new friend in my neighborhood. And before I knew it, she dropped off a bunch of bananas, a coloring book and medicine at my doorstep. I had only asked for prayer. And like a flash flood this storm-of-sickness passed.

A couple days later my son scribbled a single sentence. He read it out loud, “I can see Jesus.”




I scooted next to him and said, “You know. That’s like the verse from Matthew 5:8. Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.”

Then a thought illuminated my mind like a bolt of lightning. It was an image of Jesus calming my son’s storm-of-sickness—just like He calmed the furious squall on the Sea of Galilee for His fearful disciples.

My heart instantly warmed. Praise pulsed from my head to my toes. I exhaled deeply and blurted out, “Hey! Do you remember right after you fasted bananas for 4-days you got really sick? And I sent that prayer request to my friend and she brought you that big bunch of bananas. We didn’t even ask for bananas.”

His eyes widened. A gradual grin formed and he said, “Yeah, yeah! I remember. That’s a miracle!” I nodded whole-heartedly.

Yes, I do believe God performs miracles every day—miracles ordinary and extraordinary. Sometimes I think the greatest miracle is awareness of the nearness of our “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

Dear Friends, are you in need of a miracle?  Are you needing to sense the nearness of God in your life? Fasting improves our spiritual senses. Just like looking through a magnifying glass helps us see an object in greater detail—fasting magnifies God. We begin to see God everywhere—His presence, power, peace, provision, and protection our lives. Jesus was called Immanuel which translated means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). And He promises us, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).

Do you want to see a miracle? Have you considered joining this fast?

Today marks day 24 of this “no sugar” fast. which means that if you start today, you have a glorious (albeit challenging) 16 days ahead of you!  It’s not too late for you to join.

Maybe you’ve heard about this fast from family and friends, but you’ve thought, “This isn’t the best time for me. I’ve never fasted before. And I can’t possibly fast from sugar that long.” But you just can’t silence that persistent urging to give it a try. Join us!

Or perhaps you began this fast leading the pack, but you stopped because of stress or sickness. And now you feel disqualified. Let me assure you there is nothing that can make you ineligible to fast. Join us!

But if you’re still not convinced that fasting is for you, can I tell you a funny fasting faux pas?

When I casually mentioned this 40-day fast to my husband, he looked hesitant. But without wavering, my son said, “Yeah, Daddy! Let’s all fast together!” He couldn’t resist my son’s infectious enthusiasm. So fasting became a family affair.

However on the first day of the 40-day fast my Kindergartener bashfully admitted he ate a cupcake at school. So we made this age-appropriate exception: our son’s fast started when he got home every day.

And this is good news for two reasons: God’s grace never changes and there’s not just one-way to fast. Keep in mind that Biblical fasting is going without food, but other examples of fasting are abstaining from things like: sugar, caffeine, alcohol, TV, social media, sleep and even sex for a period of time.

After his cupcake confession, my son looked deeply into my eyes and said, “Well, I think it’s going to take two or three fasts for me to get really close to God.”

I paused and prayed for wise words. “You know. God loves you so much. And He is always with you. But in this life, we’ll always desire to feel closer to God—no matter how many times we pray and fast. Our earthly eyes can only see God like a dim reflection in a mirror, but in heaven we’ll have new eyes that can see Him.”

My son’s eyes brightened and he said, “I can’t wait to see Jesus!” And in the very next breath he said, “Mom, will you make me snickerdoodle cookies when this fast is over?”

I tickled his tummy. Tiny giggles erupted.

“Of course, I will!” I answered. And I sealed the deal by kissing his round cheek.


Lord, I want to see miracles. Help me to walk by faith not by sight. I desire supernatural eyesight to see You working all things together for good in my current life storm. Teach me lasting lessons from this simple story about fasting like a child. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child…For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” 1 Corinthians 13:11, 12 (NKJV)

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.’” Matthew 18:1-5 (NIV)


Don't you agree?  Isn't Christy just the most darling example to follow as we tentatively learn to draw near to God in this new way?  Of course, she'd blush in my literal Living Room if we were all sitting around together today.  But here in this virtual space... I can gush as much as I please!

Christy Nueman lives a simple life deep-in-the-heart of Texas with her college sweetheart and son. She’s passionate about marriage, motherhood and ministry. She’s co-founder of A.B.I.D.E. Adoption and Infertility Ministry and on the Board of Directors for Sarah's Laughter. She warmly welcomes guest bloggers from all seasons of life to share their stories on her blog called The Write Season.


Streams in the Desert


streams in the desert  


California is in a drought, a real drought with limited water supplies and earth cracked open, parched.  Perhaps your soul knows how that feels. The soil's dry and rocky inside, and you wonder where the fruit has gone.


If only it would rain.


This is what the Lord says— “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise. (Isaiah 43:17-21)


Few things are harder than giving praise in the desert, as though He's already brought relief; thanking Him for the healing when healing hasn't come; boasting about His kindness when our circumstances seem downright mean; and proclaiming His praise because of what He can do, regardless of what He chooses to do it.  How can we do all that in a barren wasteland?  Because of faith, believing, we offer up our sacrifice of praise...

Lifting our heads up to the skies, trusting He will bestow good and not evil. bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. (Isaiah 61:3)

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

"This is what the LORD says: "'I will restore the fortunes of Jacob's tents and have compassion on his dwellings; the city will be rebuilt on her ruins, and the palace will stand in its proper place. (Jeremiah 30:18)


And I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten... (Joel 2:25)


If you are in a drought of any kind today - spiritual, emotional, relational, financial, physical, circumstantial - press on believing that rain is coming.  Rain is promised because a kind God reigns - so give Him the reigns to all the dry-bone places, gloomy expressions and soul-sad complaints as you fast and pray you way through this season.

Press in and press on... believing.


"I do believe; help my unbelief." (Mark 9:24)


(Dear friends, I am blogging my way through a 40 day sugar-fast and this is day 5. Some days, like today, I will simply post scripture devotions inspired by our 40 scriptures. Other days I'll journey down paths paved with stories of what I'm learning, or I'll invite guests to share how God is at work in their lives as we press in and press on together.  Fasting is a private thing, and we're not putting on a show, simply offering encouragement in the abiding and the stretching and the growing.  Join us?)

Return to Me


I wake up most mornings serenaded from within by this verse, this childhood Sunday School song.

"This is the day (this is the day), that the Lord has made (that the Lord has made) I will rejoice (I will rejoice) and be glad in it (and be glad in it).

You might not typically wake up singing, but I do.  Always have.  Maybe it's because my mom would wake us by playing her piano, or singing some made up melody about it being time to wakey-shakey. However, somewhere in my teens this verse became the soundtrack to my morning routine and has remain so for 30-plus years.  The lyrics bid me rise and shine no matter how much or how little sleep I get.  Scriptures hidden in one's heart can do that, welcome us into our days, and remind us each moment of struggle to fix our eyes on what is true, combating the focus of our flesh when we are sleep deprived, anxious, or hurting.

While the scriptures of my youth have carried me well through years of hills and valleys, I know that it is time for me to gather new verses.  I've been resting on the laurels of my childhood faith for far too long.  Maybe you have too.

When we began these 40 days of fasting (if you are new this series, here is a good place to start)  I wrote out a list of 40 scriptures, and have been diving into a new one every day.  However, out of them all, the third day's verse that has most shaped my conversation with The Lord during this fast most of all.




Before my eyes opened this early morning, around the time my good morning tune usually sings me awake from within, this verse spoke into my waking dreams.


"...return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping and with mourning." 


With eyes still shut I whispered back, "Have I left you, Lord?  Have I truly left you?"


I opened my eyes, rolled over and pulled back the covers, then sat on the edge to listen.  The silence remained but I knew without a word that I had abandoned Him, I just didn't know the details of my wayward devotion. A third time the verse washed over me like a wave and then I asked the Lord for something I do not suggest anyone pray for, unless they want to weep and mourn - I whispered, "God, please convict me today of how I've strayed from you, so that I know how to turn back."


[Tweet "Conviction is like a roadmap if we're willing to take the journey back."]


His answer didn't come in the form of a lightening rod, but almost immediately I began to mourn.  Morning turned to mourning, so to speak, and I started longing for His nearness like a child would a parent who's stayed gone far too long.  Though I knew it was the child in this case who has tarried.  I was weepy, though I could have blamed the fast, blood sugar dropping low and body craving protein, but I knew down deep my tears meant so much more than physical hunger  -I was grieving, though I still didn't know what exactly for.

Over the length of the day, homeschooling my eldest, bringing glasses of iced tea to my husband who was working from home, transporting my two younger kids back and forth from one event to another, planning our family dinner and folding clothes, I began to feel the prick of conviction in the unlikeliest of places.  The way I turned to Facebook in most every quiet moment, my short responses toward loved ones over the top of another basket of clothes needing folding, the way I fantasized about time to myself as I surveyed home and all it's natural chaos... little things and big things all day long suddenly showed themselves for what they were - a temptress, brazen and bold, and how I longed to follow her toward self-focus and the things of this world that can never truly satisfy.

"God, please convict me today about how I've strayed from you, so that I know how to turn back." Those were the words I had prayed, and come the day's end I could not deny His faithful Spirit-voice. In the busyness of life, I had become a wanderer. Wandering toward the approval of man, wandering toward my selfish desire to love me first. I had strayed.

While I thought this 40 day fast was solely about sugar-addiction, God is good to not set boundaries on His extravagant redeeming Love.  "Good," He said, "I'll take your sugar addiction, but I don't want to stop there.  That one thing you are willing to deny yourself is not my heart for you... I want it all.  Your fast from sugar is simply the door through which I will come in.  If you are willing I will meet with you in earnest and have a sit down talk about every corner of your life, every idol you bow down to, every cistern unable to hold water."

My husband uses the term "Let's have a come to Jesus meeting," when He really wants to address issues.  It's said as a joke, but Jesus coming in to meet with us is certainly no joke. I see now that's exactly what a fast is - denying one small earthly pleasure, that He might come in that open door and talk with us about every facet, every stronghold, every bit of our wander-lust life. Sitting there, talking and listening and caring so deeply about our transformation, He works His goodness, so much like a fetter, binding us back to Him again. "Return to me", His whisper is soft but firm and altogether compelling.  "Return."


Oh to grace how great a debtor Daily I'm constrained to be Let your goodness like a fetter Bind my wandering heart to thee Prone to wander, Lord I feel it Prone to leave the God I love Here's my heart Lord, Take and seal it Seal it for thy courts above

(Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, Robert Robinson, 1735-1790)