Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, March 9, 2017
A Fast from Criticism, from Mrs. Marshall
The spiritual discipline of the day is fasting. Catherine Marshall was the person chosen to describe her fast from criticism. Articulate, truthful, even humorous at times, Mrs. Marshall wrote an honest account of her fast. (I would love to have God give me such clear instruction, as God gave to her!)
She set out to not criticize anyone for anything, for a whole day. Such an enlightening experience for her, to be sure. As the day continued, ideas began to flow more and more clearly. Mrs. Marshall found that her criticism stifled “my own creativity—in prayer, in relationships, perhaps even in writing—ideas that God wanted to give me.” 
One of the things God wished to show Catherine Marshall was: “A critical spirit focuses us on ourselves and makes us unhappy. We lose perspective and humor.” 
This perspective is so penetrating. As Mrs. Marshall readily says, being critical is the chief problem in so many marriages, workplaces, and in families (especially with teenagers). This struck home with me, in my experience.
Gracious God, please forgive me for my critical, judgmental attitude and words. Help me to try to empathize with others, especially if they are very different from me. Thank You for loving me as much as you love those “different people.” Help me praise You all day long. In Jesus’ precious name, amen.
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), 58.
 Ibid, 59.