Why Do We Fast
Why do we fast and here are some Positive results – Biblical examples
A nation is saved from extermination – Esther 4 (especially verse 16)
The city of Nineveh is spared God’s judgment – Jonah 2 and 3 (especially 3:7-8)
Evil spirits were cast out – Matt. 17:14-21
The will of God is revealed – Acts 13:1-4
Leaders are appointed by means fasting and prayer – Acts 14:23
Why do we fast?
To inquire about God’s will pertaining to a situation – Judges 20:26-28
Spiritual preparedness to overcome temptation – Matthew 4:2 and 3
Humility before God – Psalm 69:10
When in danger, for protection and deliverance – 2 Chron. 20:3, Ezra 8:21-23
Fasting is a type of worship – Luke 2:37, Acts 13:2 and 3
Because we are concerned about the work of God – Nehemiah 1:4
Fasting manifests our commitment to God to the exclusion of all
Fasting crucifies the appetites in order that all available time can be given to prayer
When do we fast?
When the Spirit of God leads us – Luke 4:1-2
When I, as the individual have the need – Matt. 6:16-18
When the church as a whole is called to fast and pray – Joel 1:14 and 2:15 and 16
Fasting is not…
A diet or hunger strike – it is a very specific spiritual practice with profound spiritual implications!
An opportunity to brag about your spirituality – when you fast, the Bible teaches us to do so privately and as unobtrusively as possible. Matthew 6:16-18
Read Isaiah 58 where God Himself explains what He considers to be true fasting. Matthew 6:1-8, 14-21 is also important.
FASTING and PRAYER ALWAYS go together!
Blessings of Fasting
Fasting brings fresh revelation of God’s will – Dan. 9:2, 3, 20-22, 10:1-3; Acts 27:21-24, 10:9-11
Fasting humbles us – Psalm 69:10
Fasting can be part of spiritual warfare, and according to Isaiah 58:6 free the oppressed
Fasting may avert God’s judgment – Jonah 3:5, 9-10
Fasting helps you to show your body who is boss – 1 Cor. 9:27, 6:13-20
Various methods of biblical fasting
Normal fasting – abstaining from all food (i.e. solid and liquid foods) – but NOT from water – Matt. 4:2
Total fasting – no eating or drinking at all – Acts 9:9 (maximum period: 3 days!)
Partial fasting – “Delicious food, I have not eaten meat or wine entered my mouth come…” – Daniel 10:3 (Some Christians call this a fruit and /or vegetables fast or a Daniel fast.
NOTE: Your motives and attitude in the fast, not the particular food you consume or don’t consume, is important. Whether you’re just on carrots or juice is not important to God.