Do you pray?
Do you ever fast and pray?
My mom used to talk about fasting and praying when I was growing up. She always made it sound like such a powerful combination. As an adult I have discovered that she was right!
In Matthew 6:16, Jesus says, "When you fast ..." He didn't say IF you fast, but rather WHEN you fast. I believe that means that He expects us to do this regularly as part of our Christian walk.
I have had many specific answers to prayer when I've added fasting to the mix. It's as if God knows that I really mean business when I'm willing to give up food!
Here are two examples of how specifically God answered a couple of my prayers when I fasted:
When my oldest daughter was a toddler, she would suffer regularly from bladder infections. Naturally, her pediatrician was concerned, as was I. The fear was that urine was splashing back onto her kidneys, which could result in the development of scar tissue, and that could lead to problems later in life. In order to find out if this was happening, and if surgery would be needed, she was going to have to endure a very invasive test. Needless to say, I didn't want her to have to go through such a test, so I began to pray. I called my mom, who mentioned some outside factors that she'd heard could contribute to bladder infections, like bubble baths. Well, I did let Amanda take bubble baths, but how was I to know if she had a serious internal issue causing these bladder infections, or if it was strictly caused by sitting in a tub of highly concentrated soap? It would seem that the only way to know for sure would be for her to have the invasive test, which I didn't want her to have unless it was absolutely necessary.
I decided to fast the next morning until lunch time, and my prayer while I fasted was that my mentor Shirley would call me by 11:30 a.m., would ask me about Amanda, and would say to me that bubble baths can cause bladder infections. If all of that took place by 11:30 a.m., I would know for sure what was causing the infections, and would be able to tell the pediatrician with confidence that we would not be going forward with the invasive test. That may sound crazy, but when you have a serious decision to make, especially one that involves your child, you're willing to pray for crazy!
Well, Shirley did call by 11:30 a.m., she did ask about Amanda, and she did say that bubble baths (and colored toilet paper) have been known to cause bladder infections. I was so grateful to the Lord for answering my super duper specific prayer request!! And honestly, if Shirley hadn't called, I would have had a peace knowing that the invasive test was necessary, and that God would carry us through the medical road we needed to walk.
Interestingly enough, when I told the pediatrician that I would not be authorizing the test on Amanda, he said, "Okay, then I'd at least like to order an ultrasound, which will show us how her kidneys are doing." WHAT?!?!? A non-invasive ultrasound was an option all along??? Perhaps the other test would be more detailed, but STILL. So we had the ultrasound, and it showed two perfectly healthy, unscarred kidneys. Praise the Lord!
A few years ago, during open enrollment for insurance, I couldn't decide if I should continue paying for AFLAC supplemental insurance. I'd had it for a couple of years, without needing to tap into it, and didn't want to pay for something I wasn't going to use. I don't know why this decision was stressing me out, but it was, so I decided to fast and pray one morning before joining a friend for lunch. My prayer was this: If I was supposed to keep AFLAC, my friend would say the word cancer before lunch was over.
She picked me up, and before she even backed out of my driveway, she said, "Guess who has cancer?" True story.
I continued my AFLAC coverage, and was able to turn in many claims for reimbursement that next year. Thank you, Lord!
So now for the most recent answer to fasting and prayer, and the reason I began this post in the first place.
Amanda is a sophomore in high school and a base on her cheer team. Her body has taken some abuse while participating in this sport, but she absolutely LOVES it (the sport, not the abuse.) About 5 weeks ago her low back started hurting, and her coaches told her she should see a chiropractor.
There's a parent at our school, Dr. Joe Martin, who owns a gym that's connected to his chiropractic office. I've never been to a chiropractor, but know that my mom avoided carpal tunnel surgery because of chiropractic treatment. My husband, on the other hand, had a less than positive experience at a chiropractor. So I took her to her doctor first, who prescribed muscle relaxers and a week without participating in cheer. When that didn't help, she ordered an x-ray, with the thought that physical therapy would be the next step, depending on what the x-ray revealed.
Okay, here's the deal. I wanted relief for my daughter more than anything, but I didn't want to throw money down a path that wasn't going to ultimately help her. How is one to know what road to take in a situation like this? Well, if you're ME, you fast and pray. It was after fasting and praying last Monday morning, that this thought came to me: Pray for someone to say Doc Martin's name to you before you leave work tomorrow afternoon. If that happened, I would know to take her to him for chiropractic treatment. So, that's how I prayed.
It was 2:00 on Tuesday afternoon, and I was going to leave at 3:30 to take Amanda to get the x-ray, if Doc Martin's name was not spoken to me. That's when her coach, Hope, stopped by my office and expressed her concern for Amanda. I agreed that something needed to be done. She started telling me about one of the other coaches, and how she has a chiropractor who only charges the age of the child getting the adjustment. I listened, and when she paused I asked her, "So is that all?" And she said, "No. I think she needs to see Doc Martin."
DING! DING! DING! DING! Winner, winner, chicken dinner!!!
I started to cry as I told her how she had just been a huge answer to prayer. Then she started crying because she had been feeling like her prayers for this cheer team were somehow not making a difference. Now she knew better. How cool is that? God blessed us both!
After work I texted our Superintendent, whose family had been treated in the past by Dr. Joe Martin, and asked how I could get Amanda an appointment. He just happened to BE at Doc's, and told me to bring her right then!! WHAT IN THE WORLD?!?!? So I drove Amanda over there, and after one adjustment, she felt SO MUCH BETTER!!! The pain was almost completely gone! No more muscle relaxers or x-ray needed!! We went back a few days later for one more adjustment, and now she is pain free!! THANK YOU, JESUS!! And THANK YOU, DR. JOE MARTIN!!
If you have a need that's weighing heavy on you, why not fast and pray about it?
And if you live in the the Fresno/Clovis, California area, and are in need of an excellent chiropractor, click here for Dr. Joe's website.