Thoughts on Fasting

Pastor Dan Davis
     There is overwhelming example and exhortation in the Bible in regards to fasting and prayer. Jesus modeled it, instructed His disciples in it and the New Testament letters speak of the early church practicing it. When we consider the frequent mention we can’t help but wonder why fasting and prayer is not more commonly practiced.
     As I send this out I am aware that some have never fasted and to think about missing a meal or two, let alone go a day or two without food, strikes near panic.
     First Jesus would not ask us to do something that was not possible to do nor would He ask us to do something that was pointless. Fasting and prayer belong together for you cannot benefit spiritually when you fast physically unless you are in prayer. You see, fasting is done by many different people for many different reasons; athletes fast to purge their bodies so they can perform better. Religious people, cults and other groups, fast to awaken or get the attention of their gods. But a Godly response to His chosen fast (Isaiah 58) is the fast that puts Him first and seeks His will.
Biblical fasting is done for many reasons such as to:
  • Obey God (Isaiah 58:6)
  • Deny the flesh (Daniel 9:3)
  • Strengthen the spiritual man (Matthew 4:2)
  • Honor God; without drawing attention from men. (Matthew 6:16)
  • Open our eyes and heart to what God desires to do and is doing. (Acts 13:2,3)
     Fasting is not a way to redirect the hand of God, rather it is a discipline that helps us to see the heart of God. Fasting helps to awaken us so we can hear what God is saying and in a very intriguing way it invokes the power of God in a given situation or need. (Mark 9:29)
     A fast may be done in various ways; Daniel was led by the Spirit to abstain from the Babylonian delicacies (Daniel 1:8), Jesus fasted from food, and the early church regularly fasted and prayed for God’s strength and direction.
     In summary I am asking that as followers of Jesus Christ we join together this week in fasting and prayer. How long you fast or what you fast from is between you and God (read Isaiah 58) but I encourage you to sit before Him and allow Him to lead in this time. He will lead you in prayer, reveal His love and guide you into all truth when you put Him first.
     “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,15from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,16that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height- 19to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19