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A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

Something about fasting causes humility to mark our walks with God and our experience before Him. We rediscover that we are created ones, subject to a Creator, and we are sinful beings prone to complain. Though we may posture and protest, our need for sustenance and grace is inescapable when we fast. Our physical needs make manifest our utter dependence in every way on the only One who satisfies our every need. This precious truth should compel us to turn to our faithful God and submit ourselves to His call to walk in holiness.

One of the most beautiful examples of humility and God’s steadfast love is the story of the prophet Hosea.  He is called to incredible, radical obedience to demonstrate the lengths to which God is patient towards His people. Hosea is told to marry a prostitute, fight for her, though she is unfaithful, and love her again. Through this story, Israel is called to return to her faithful husband, the LORD God. Hosea 6:1 says, “Come, let us return to the LORD; for He has torn us, that He may heal us; He has struck us down, and He will bind us up.” The Holy God of Israel must judge sin, and He is also the God of steadfast love who desires His people to come to Him. Hosea 14 begins with a call for Israel to return to God. God says what will happen as a result of their turning to Him. Hosea 14:4 says, “I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them.” What a beautiful restoration; what a gracious God.

God’s mercy toward us draws us in humility to confession of sin and repentance before Him. As we begin this year, let us return to our God. Let us kneel in submission and repentance to Him. He desires to bind us up. His kindness leads us to change our minds and desire to walk in holiness. Repentance apart from the loving kindness of God is just painful, but in light of His desire to heal us, the awful realities of sin are soothed by the gracious promises of our God. Rest in these promises and turn to the One who loves freely.

Rachel Suarez
Ministry Fellow at Princeton