Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, March 9, 2017
Cardinal Newman Describes a Fast
Originally an Anglican priest, Cardinal Newman found comfort in many spiritual disciplines—including fasting. As Richard Foster writes in his definition, Newman is intimately engaged with scripture. It shows, too.
I was struck by the following excerpt from his writing: “Even now, Angels are especially sent to those who thus seek God. Not Daniel only, but Elijah too, was, during his fast, strengthened by an Angel; an Angel appeared to Cornelius, while he was fasting, and in prayer.”  I can’t fast like I used to, years ago. (Sorry about that, Lord.) But—was God watching over me when I fasted? What a point to ponder.
Jesus seems to imply that prayer is somehow augmented by fasting, too. When someone prays AND fasts, is there an additional layer of strength and blessing granted to the one who does both of these things? Fasts and prays? It certainly seems so. I am intrigued to think of the Devil getting scared of people who fast! Amazing thought.
Gracious God, thank You for giving us the discipline of fasting, as well as the scriptures that talk about fasting. What an idea, that someone can fast from different things, not only from food. Show me how to fast like this, Lord. Grant us faithfulness and grace in order to fast.
Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.
 Spiritual Classics, edited by Richard J. Foster and Emilie Griffin. (San Francisco, California: HarperSanFrancisco, 2000), 63.