Question: WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF FASTING?
Study References: Isaiah 56:3-7, Joel 1:14, Mark 9:29
The book of Acts records believers fasting before they made important decisions (Acts 13:2; 14:23). Fasting and prayer are often linked together (Luke 2:37; 5:33). Too often, the focus of fasting is on the lack of food. Instead, the purpose of fasting should be to take your eyes off the things of this world to focus completely on God. Fasting is a way to demonstrate to God, and to ourselves, that we are serious about our relationship with Him. Fasting helps us gain a new perspective and a renewed reliance upon God.
Fasting is a spiritual discipline. Fasting should not be used to lose weight and make you feel great. If you are fasting and not praying you are not contributing anything to your spiritual life. There is power in fasting and praying and it should not be used for selfish desires. Bad motives and selfishness is probably why many are left with unanswered prayers according to James 4:3. Fasting and praying is not about getting what you want from God. There are many benefits to fasting and physical benefits are included as well but first God is concerned about the spirit man, your spirit. Fasting and praying for a certain amount of time involves total commitment and submission to be obedient to God and God only. It’s not easy but it’s essential.
There are many different ways to fast and pray. Some people fast as Jesus did for 40 days and 40 nights, some fast for three days, some for a week, month, etc. Does the amount of time make a difference? Of course it does! Fasting and prayer involves breakthrough, breakthrough involves consistency, and consistency involves time. So the more time you devote to fasting and praying the more you’re breaking through strongholds, desires of sin, temptation, etc; so consider this when you devote to fasting and praying. You can fast and pray throughout the year, it’s not a one time event. Moreover, some do a juice fast, or the Daniel fast, or eat certain things and not or drink only water, whichever way you decide to do it, remember to do it safely and consider your health condition. There is a reason why Jesus and Moses fasted and prayed for exactly 40 days and 40 nights. As well as many others in the bible fasted for a certain amount of time. God has a purpose for everything. So while you may feel you’re denying too much for yourself the benefits to fasting and praying is endless and everlasting.