Fasting is a spiritual discipline taught in the bible. Fasting from “something” means you voluntarily choose to reduce or eliminate an item that you desire because you “desire” God more. One of the greatest obstacles in our relationship with God is our tendency to have a stronger appetite for things other than God.
Jesus expects his followers to fast, and said that God rewards those who fast. (Matthew 6:16-18)
Fasting is NOT “earning” an answer to prayer - it is simply preparing us for God’s answer.
Fasting reveals our tendency to rely on things other than God first. Food is Scripture’s major example. Food is necessary for life, but when we never go without food, we never learn to what extent food can become an idol for us. When Jesus was tempted during his fast, he said “Humans do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). The fruit of God’s spirit is “love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-24).
As you contemplate to participate in our fast - think about this statement - Many of us in Western Culture use food and drink as an idol. We tend to consume food and drink as a “feast” rather than as a need to become the best version of us through God. God’s grace is like a feast - but if we sit at the table to just benefit and consume, we are missing an important element to our spiritual journey.
Fasting, like prayer, is assumed for followers of God in Scripture (eg, Matthew 6:16-18). Fasting so aligns the self with God that it tends to produce great outpourings of God’s Spirit, because the self and/or community is cleansed of its’ dependency on other things, making more room for God to enter and work.
There are numerous testimonies on the power of fasting in Scripture, Church, history and today.
Fasting is not necessarily about food. Check out some of the many ways you can fast, the scriptures behind fasting and some advice as you begin.
Fear of fasting is unfounded for the overwhelming majority of us. There can actually be some health benefits to fasting. Fasting is a God-given remedy.
There are many articles about fasting, particularly of food. Here are some links we found helpful and can recommend where you can learn more.