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A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

Fasting often produces contemplation. When we fast for a period of time, we relinquish our body's need for food and seek to embrace our greater need to rest and find satisfaction in the presence of God. While we fast, we are humbled as our body aches with hunger. One way we satisfy that hunger is through repentance.

Repentance is both the acknowledging and turning away from sin. This requires us to reach deep down into our heart of hearts and uproot any destructive remains of sin, confess them, and rely on God to dispose of the roots no matter how long they are. This can be frightening, embarrassing, and threaten our own self-centeredness. One thing we need to be encouraged by is that God desires our repentance. In fact, the God of the Bible is a relenting God, who desires for His people to repent and turn to Him. We ought to remember the sweet sounds of Exodus 34:6-7 that speaks of God as "gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love." There is no sin that cannot be forgiven. Genuine repentance shatters the lies of the enemy and brings us into a closer relationship with our God.

When we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins (1 John 1:9). Although this demands transparency, it does not leave us vulnerable for humiliation, but vulnerable for forgiveness. There is a condition to God's love and forgiveness, and that condition is repentance. God's desire for genuine repentance is seen all throughout Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. It is such a glorious truth that David sings praises of it in the Psalms, and it is announced in the gospels as the heralded message of the new kingdom: "repent and believe the gospel."

As we continue in this fast, let us be convinced and convicted of our need for repentance. Let us remember that God is a relenting God that longs to hear His children turn from their sin and cling to Him. Let us do all of this by the power of the Spirit for the glory of our God.

Zachary Albanese
Ministry Fellow at Dartmouth