Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Woman's Guide to Fasting

I haven't fasted in a long time - and have never fasted for a long time (as in more than a day). I think for about ten years, I had the excuse that I couldn't fast because I was pregnant or nursing. Then I starting feeling like maybe my motives were not right. I think that I, along with many, sometimes have erroneously regarded fasting in Ghandi-fashion, as a hunger-strike of sorts against God - a way to manipulate Him to answer my prayers. Another error it's easy to fall into is legalism - somehow thinking I'm better because I fast. In order to avoid errors, I pretty much decided not to fast at all. But I can't escape the fact that Jesus fasted and he also said "When you fast" in the gospels, not "if you fast."

So when I got the opportunity to review this book, I decided it was time to revisit the idea of fasting.

Lisa Nelson does a great job of discussing the subject - addressing the very issues I felt were problematic in the chapter "Should You Fast?". There is NO legalism in this book. It is written in a very humble way with lots of practical advice for everything from a one-day fast to a forty day fast. The author also deals with aspects of our spiritual lives like dealing with temptation, journaling, etc. My only criticism is that the author didn't address the subject of exercise during fasting. It really seemed like an oversight.

"A Woman's Guide to Fasting" is a quick, easy read, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is considering adding the discipline of fasting to their life.

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