Maggi has us read
Isaiah 58:6-12. The reading makes clear that fasting alone isn’t enough – in both senses of “alone”:
– Just abstaining from food or drink isn’t enough. We should think about alms as well, and praying. 40acts has a range of activities to inspire; last year I found Christian Aid’s Count Your Blessings helpful and am giving it ago this year – there’s a range of situations over the days to think and pray about, coupled with either a call for action or giving – and there’s an app to remind me.
– Maggi’s point which struck me most was slightly different. Doing it without God is maybe good for our physical health, but not our spiritual health. The time spent not doing whatever we were doing needs to be turned to God: this could be time aside to pray, or a quick prayer whenever those chocolate pangs strike.
Today’s BigRead14 Barefoot Prayer poem, Breath of God, has us calling on God to breathe on us and be with us throughout our day. Perhaps this fits with Maggi’s point about not fasting alone without God? That time to prayer as part of fasting allows God to breathe on us. And who knows? It might just stick once Lent is done.