“Whenever You Fast”
O God, give us enough grace that we will want to practice basic spiritual disciplines such as fasting and that we will exercise the discipline to do so.
But when we do practice spiritual disciplines such as fasting help us not to be hypocrites; help us neither to pretend to be other than we in fact are nor to use the disciplines as a way to demonstrate to others how “holy” we are.
Rescue us from a shallowness that would believe that the pats on the back or the pitying glances or the jealous looks that we would get from others as a result of our “suffering for Jesus” actually mean anything at all.
“And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.” (Matthew 6:16)