When you practice some appetite-denying discipline to better concentrate on God, don’t make a production out of it. It might turn you into a small-time celebrity but it won’t make you a saint. If you ‘go into training’ inwardly, act normal outwardly. Shampoo and comb your hair, brush your teeth, wash your face. God doesn’t require attention-getting devices. He won’t overlook what you are doing; he’ll reward you well.
God, as we prepare to begin 21 days of prayer and fasting we ask that you would help our hearts to be in the right place. Help us to truly have hearts that want to better concentrate on You. Help us to leave behind ideas of making ourselves look like “good Christians” in the eyes of the people around us, but instead to request an audience with only You…to meet with You face to face – to hear Your voice – and to seek Your will. Help us to work on that “inward training” so that we might look more like You on the outside. Lord, we offer ourselves to You to shape and mold us in this process of surrendering our physical appetites in search of a greater spiritual appetite. Amen.