I generally average some 6 to 8 articles a year. Right now, I am apparently on a roll, for this is the second article in as many days. I am currently fasting. For the past three days I have eaten either one small meal per day or I have had only a few cashews. I ate some 12 or 15 cashews today, which is all I have eaten today.
I am drinking liquids. Tomorrow, God willing, I intend to go on a full fast, eating nothing until God wants me to stop. I asked God some years ago to make it impossible for me to fast unless He wanted me too, and He has been faithful to do that. There are several specific things that I am fasting and praying about. I learned as a little boy in the Methodist Church we attended that birds of a feather flock together and like attracts like. I mean by that that Christians seek churches where people believe like they do, and also seek churches or congregations where they are encouraged to grow and become as close to God as they desire. I also came to realize that even when members are encouraged to seek a close relationship with God, how close to God each one gets is in the long run totally up to them.
I had a family member who literally wore out the carpet at the foot of her bed, praying for hours at a time for the salvation of those she loved and for other things as well.
I had another family member tell me of spending hours in prayer, day after day, week after week, for the better part of a year, for a friend who was lost and who had a very real problem with alcohol to be saved. He told me how one day, as he was praying for his friend, after about 30 brief minutes in prayer, God assured him that his prayer had been answered. He told me he therefore got to his knees, brushed off his pants and proceeded on his way to work, rejoicing that his prayer had been answered. He said he heard later that that very afternoon his friend ran up to a preacher he saw on the street and begged him to pray with him. His friend told the preacher that he could not rest until he knew he was saved. I learned from him that we are not to stop praying about any specific thing until we have heard from God and know that that specific thing we are asking God for has been granted. When that moment comes, we are to cease praying about that specific thing and go our way rejoicing and thanking God for granting our request.
Both my grandmothers were real pray warriors.
My maternal grandmother told me, among other things, that I would never smoke. How did she know that, I asked her. Because she was praying that I would not, she replied and that she would pray until it was a done deal with God. She also told me that I would never be able to start smoking, for she had asked God to cause me to dislike tobacco so much that I would never be able to smoke a single cigarette. Years later, wishing to prove her wrong, I put a cigarette in my mouth, lit it, took one draw, started coughing and spitting. I hated the taste of the tobacco. I tried on a few more occasions to smoke but never got more than one draw before I was coughing and spitting. I finally gave smoking up as a bad idea and never put another cigarette in my mouth.
At the time, I did not understand how it happened like she said it would, but that was the end of my smoking.
When I say that I grew up in a Methodist Church, I should not forget to add that until I was 9 or 10, I went to the Methodist Church one Sunday and the Baptist Church the next. My grandmother attended both and I went with her. This was possible because at that time neither church in our little town had a full time preacher, so they had church on alternating Sundays. This enabled everyone who wished to go to services every Sunday. I did not even think it strange that my grandmother and one of her sisters sang in the choir at both churches. That was just the way it was. It was a good way to grow up.
The Writings of Jim Brooks