The following blog was written by Keela Smith. Keela is wife to Andrew (Marathon Campus Pastor) and mom to Isaiah (16 months old). She has just started a new job as Onward's Ministry Assistant. Keela also helped plant the Marathon Campus and has a huge heart for our church.
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I feel like I have been anticipating this season for months. Planning and waiting, reading about Fast Forward and Awaken Nashville, thinking about how I could be engaged and a part of what God is doing in our churches and across our city.
I’d been brainstorming my own “plan” for fasting and praying each day, discussing with Andrew what this will look like in our own home, talking to friends about what they would be fasting from, and what everyone’s experiences with fasting had been like in the past. So many conversations about what we might fast from and how we might be impacted by the 30 days ahead.
Then I realized (well, either I realized it or someone said it and it really stuck with me. I can credit this blog to them, if that’s the case), I had been extremely focused on what I was fasting from and not very focused on what I was fasting for.
I had made a plan for each day and prayed for God to bless this fasting season for our church and city (both good things), but it seemed like every conversation was based on just that… what we were fasting from, our plans, our goals for the fast and how it would affect us. I wanted my heart (and the hearts of the community around us) to think and pray about what we were fasting for! Because when we start with that question, it changes the whole conversation.
I started making a list of the things I was dedicated to praying for this month (my list of 15 people, a revival across our city, physical healing for specific individuals, spiritual renewal/forgiveness, and discernment in a certain area) and when I looked at those things, it made my heart feel true JOY about fasting. It made me less focused on how this might affect me as an individual, and more focused on the movement of God and His Spirit among our city and in each of the things I wanted to bring before Him. I could be wrong here, but I think that was a good shift. We processed this concept with our house church, and I truly think the whole conversation shifted for all of us!
No matter what you are fasting from, I encourage you to focus on what you are fasting for. Revival? Healing? Renewal? Discernment? God has something in store for each of us, I have no doubt, and I am committed to praying alongside each of you in this season!!