Clear your mind. Listen.
Allow God’s presence to fill your heart.

Be still. Listen.
Prepare to hear God speak to you.

Clear your mind. Be still. Listen.
Get ready to encounter God.

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“And when you fast, don’t put on a sad face like the hypocrites. They distort their faces so people will know they are fasting. I assure you that they have their reward. When you fast, brush your hair and wash your face. Then you won’t look like you are fasting to people, but only to your Father who is present in that secret place. Your Father who sees in secret will reward you."

Matthew 6:16-18

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I once had a youth student who chose to give up chocolate during the time of Lent. He was determined to follow through with this and show his peers he could be faithful. About half-way through Lent, he came to me and said, “I ate chocolate last Sunday. What will happen to me?” It took everything within me not to laugh, and I simply said, “It’s okay. Sundays don’t count.”

Fasting isn’t something that we have to do during Lent, the 40 days before Easter, and fasting isn’t always about giving up food. To me fasting is about letting go of the things that take more time than or even replace God in my life. Jesus isn’t telling us to fast to make ourselves better, but to fast in order to clear our hearts of the things that take priority over God. It’s about examining our hearts, not to set us apart from others, but to help us think about our relationship with Christ.

So if you decide to “fast for Lent,” do it for yourself — for yourself to get closer to God.

Michelle Phillips

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Redeeming God, help me examine my heart. Help me to make choices that cause me to spend more time with you. Amen.

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In this world, where bigger is said to be better, remember to be humble, pray often, and love one another.

Love and live this day with joy, peace, and the comfort of knowing that Jesus loves you.

Michelle Phillips

Michelle lives in Kansas with her husband, Eddie, and twin boys, Will and Shawn. She is currently serving as the Associate Director of Youth Ministries at Village Presbyterian Church. She loves quoting movies, playing sports, being a work crew pro, and accompanying young people on their faith journey.

Walking Toward Morning: I Hear Thy Welcome Voice

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