11 May, Wednesday – Fasting and Prayer

Wednesday of the 4th Week of Eastertide

Acts 12:24-13:5
Jn 12:44-50

So it was that after fasting and prayer they laid their hands on them and sent them off

The recent opening up of borders within Singapore has seen a surge in the number of people choosing to leave the country for holidays. There is a tremendous amount of people who are trying their best to prepare for the trips by packing their bags and making plans in advance regarding the booking of accommodation and also sights of attraction. Sometimes, I wish that the same amount of effort put into planning one’s travel could also be done for one’s spiritual life.

The first reading shares with us how God the Holy Spirit commanded that Barnabas and Saul be set aside for the work which God has called them to do. To be able to hear God the Holy Spirit call upon an individual requires the person to be spiritually disposed towards hearing God call them. This disposition is formed on a daily basis through prayer and fasting. These two actions seek to work on both the spiritual and material domains respectively.

Prayer allows us to enter into deep communication with God, and for us to discover the plans that God has for us. It also allows us to share with God the frustrations we have had in our lives. Fasting allows us to mortify our senses — by depriving ourselves of food, we begin to reduce the reliance on material things and instead, focus our attention on the spiritual. Fasting provides us with an opportunity to heighten our senses and allows us to become more docile to the message which God has for us.

Prayer and fasting does not have a limit. To relish and enjoy the moment we have with God means we give our complete and total self. This means that by surrendering our physical wants, we exchange them for the reward of eternal life. Do consider, since we are in the middle of the week, to set aside time to reflect on how we can deepen our prayer life for Jesus to enter into our lives.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Nicholas Chia)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we pray for fortitude to deal with the challenges which life brings us.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all our friends who accept us as we are.

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