Matthew 6:16-18 NIV

16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

As you begin your fast today, spend some time preparing your heart for what is ahead. Today’s passage from Matthew tells us, fasting is something we do before God, not before others. It enables us to focus on his heart and his spirit. It is an intentional form of sacrifice that clears a path for us to spend more time with him and understand his heart and kingdom desires. It is a personal, private discipline that draws us into intimacy with our Father. It is an act of sacrifice that moves us into the realm of faith. As you commit yourself to this discipline, ask God to meet you in a very real way this month. 

What is it that you are giving up this month as part of your fast? Take some time to reflect on why you have chosen to fast that specific thing. What are you hoping to gain from this time? Set some objectives in your heart, and offer them to him.

Jesus, thank you for the spiritual discipline of fasting. As I commit myself to fast this month, help me to focus in on the things that really matter. Open my heart to yours, and speak to me. Amen.