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Why Should I Fast?

As followers of God’s Word, we need to seek out answers to such questions to help with our discipleship and growth. We learn and receive direction by reading the Word of God. The Bible provides examples for us to apply in our day-to-day living.

In the New Testament, fasting was a part of everyday life:

  • Mark 2:18—John the Baptist led his disciples to fast

  • Matthew 4:2—Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights to begin His ministry

  • Acts 13:2—The church at Antioch fasted when they faced persecution

  • Acts 14:23—Paul fasted to receive direction before appointing elders in the church

  • Acts 27:33—Paul fasted for 14 days during a shipwreck

  • I Corinthians 7:5—Paul taught the Corinthian church to fast

  • Acts 10:30—Cornelius fasted and prayed (even when he didn’t know God)

Fasting Is an Important Christian Discipline

Fasting for the Christian today is an important aspect of our Spiritual walk with God. Fasting is how we humble ourselves before God—it (1) acknowledges His greatness, and (2) it acknowledges our own limitations. At a high level, we can view fasting as the way we discipline our body (our flesh) toward God. Paul explained that he practiced fasting to keep himself in line with God because he didn’t want to chance becoming a castaway               (I Corinthians 9:27). “Castaway” in the Greek means “failing to past the test” or “unapproved.” We don’t want to fail to pass the ultimate “test” in our walk with God.

Fasting Brings Spiritual Focus

When we fast, we take our attention, time, and resources away from elements in our life that we normally would spend time on. Our attention, time, and resources can then focus on our spiritual relationship with God through prayer. When we fast, we kill off (crucify) the flesh. When the flesh dies, our spiritual mind brings everything into focus! We will receive clarity in our lives, revelation in the Word of God, and a desire to draw closer to God in our spiritual walk. Nothing dies in nature without a struggle. Our flesh will fight us when we fast. Paul noted his flesh warred against his mind when he tried to fast (Romans 7:23). We will face the same opposition, but we can overcome!

Fasting Options

There are many different types of fasts that you can participate in:

  • Total Fast: Abstaining from all food and non-water liquids for a period of time.

  • Daniel Fast: Fast without meats, sweets, refined or processed foods.

  • Sunrise to Sunset Fast: abstaining from food and liquids from the time the sun rises and sets.

  • Partial Fast: Abstaining from one meal, a snack, activity, etc.

  • Media Fast: Abstaining from social media, movies, television etc. 

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