Matthew 6:16-18 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Our Father in Heaven, Jesus taught us that spiritual disciplines are essential to growth in discipleship. In modern Christianity we tend to think of fasting as an ancient rite done by those in biblical times and which has no relevance to us today. In our minds we can see Jesus fasting for forty days in the wilderness as he prepared for his public ministry. This allowed him to be intense in his thoughts as he began the journey to the cross.
We confess that we need to be more intense with passion in our spiritual walk. We need to employ the secret times of prayer and devotion. May our faith become so strong that we do not need to parade it before others to affirm it to ourselves.
Grant that your church which gathers for public worship also will know the benefits of the meeting you in secret.