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The Spirituality of Fasting, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III
11- Through fasting, God intervenes
We can cite some examples including: Nehemiah, Ezra, Daniel, Queen Esther interceding for her people, the Church in the fourth century in the depths of Ariusís heresy and on many other through the generations, people fasted and God intervened.
The Fraction prayer of Lent, concentrates on the importance of fasting as an established creed in the conscience of the Church, knowing that through faith and fasting problems are solved.
The unwise man has confidence in his power and intelligence but he who is aware of his weakness appeals to God through fasting when in trouble.
Through his fast, he humbles himself before God and seeks His mercy, saying: ďArise O Lord GodĒ. The Lord answers him through the words in the Psalm: "For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, Now I will arise," says the Lord; "I will set him in the safety for which he yearns." (Ps 12:5).
Fasting is a time to let God know of our every problem. It is a period for the contrite heart to lament and for God to hear.
It is a time when people come close to God. A time when God comes close, listens to their yearning and lamentations and acts, and we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other pages. As long as people are preoccupied with their desires, lusts of the body and materialistic things, they feel that God stands far away from them. However, it is not He who detaches Himself from us but we, who push Him away rejecting Him and refusing to approach Him.
On the other hand, during a fast intermingled with prayer, man draws near to God and says to Him: Lend a hand to Your worshipper.
It is the heart crying to God that He may intervene in his life.
This may take place at any time, but it becomes more profound, more sincere and more powerful during the period of fasting.
Through true fasting man can soften God's heart.
He, who realises the benefits of fasting and its effectiveness in his life as well as in his relationship with God, rejoices over it.
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