Fasting, a complement to prayer

Remember the father of the epileptic boy who approached Jesus? (see Matthew 17:14–21). The father told Jesus his son was so very sick and that the disciples had failed to heal him. In hearing this news, Jesus said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.” And he immediately healed the boy. Later, the disciples privately inquired of him: How come we couldn’t heal the boy? Jesus responded, “Because of your unbelief: ... this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”

The thought of “fasting” stands out to me. No doubt we pray a lot, but do we “fast”? To me, the word fast in this sense means to courageously and persistently deny and reject what the material senses tell us. Often, we must fast from a heavy sense of a problem. If we think we have a problem to be “fixed,” this can trip us up. In our prayer, we can insist God, Spirit, harmony is All, and therefore spiritual sense is supreme. We want to affirm in our prayer that our God-given wholeness is intact, while we fast, or refrain from, the lies of deceitful mortal sense that claim there is something abnormal or wrong in God’s creation.

Does our loving Father create and inflict problems on His children? No! God is Love, and all that can proceed from the great and only loving Cause is wholeness, health, stability, and peace. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures on page 229, “It is the transgression of a belief of mortal mind, not of a law of matter nor of divine Mind, which causes the belief of sickness. The remedy is Truth, not matter,—the truth that disease is unreal.” To fast is to do our very best to put more confidence in the scale of divine Spirit than in the human sense of matter and fleshly conditions, so that we see that Spirit outweighs all else. In reality, there is nothing apart from Spirit and its expression.

Repeating and defeating
April 1, 2013

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