Christmas Scripture Reading – Day 18 + The Prayer of St. Francis

18 Dec

I’ve been at a loss for words the past few days. Sadly, massive loss of life is nothing new to us, yet it is shocking every time it happens. The most difficult part of this to accept is the small children who were so violently taken from this life. It’s difficult to process it with my heart or my mind. The Pioneer Woman tweeted this prayer over the weekend and I thought it was so perfect I wanted to share it with you here.  It’s the prayer of St. Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Good words for us to remember right now, and always.

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Today is Day 18 of our 25-Day Christmas Scripture Reading Plan. Click on any of the links, below, to be taken to those passages at BibleGateway.com.

Today’s reading focuses on fasting, which is contrary to much of what we do at this time of year, right? Around our office, December – and this week in particular – is full of nothing but food. More food than you can imagine. When we think of fasting, we always think of giving up food, but fasting can be from anything that consumes us and distracts us from the practice of worshiping God.

The Bible actually encourages times of fasting, as long as they are done so that our focus can be directed toward God and help others while we do it. If the fasting does nothing but make us grumpy because of what we are giving up for a short time, it’s not worth doing it – the purpose has been lost. If we fast, we need to do so with a pure heart, seeking to grow closer to God during the process.

What do you think of fasting? Have you ever fasted from anything?

Rachel

One Response to “Christmas Scripture Reading – Day 18 + The Prayer of St. Francis”

  1. Nancy Arrighi December 18, 2012 at 8:27 am #

    I have fasted and have seen wonderful results from it. I have done different kinds of fasting where I have sustained from all food and drink other than water. I have done the Daniel fast where you can only have fruits and vegetables. And, I have done the type of fast where I gave something up (sweets, etc…). I have seen God work during and after fasting. However, be aware that Satan loves it when we fast because we become weak. He will also show up and do everything he can to pull your attention away from God while you fast (i.e. headaches, weakness, pure hunger, etc…). You must be strong and pray through it.

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