Tonight I begin my first ‘fast’. I’ve only been asked to fast once before but I didn’t understand the reasons behind it. The idea of going without food for 24 hours seemed silly and counter-productive. “I can pray without going hungry” I thought, but I realize I was justifying my selfish desire (to keep eating) and not trusting that God had put wise, godly men into leadership roles at my church. I was recently invited to fast again and this time I decided to participate. What’s different? Mostly, God continues to reveal my own sin to me and challenges me to overcome that sin. Also, I have a better understanding of why we fast.
Should a Christian Fast? by David A. Stands is a quick read that covers the topic well, but for a more indepth read I would suggest A Hunger for God by John Piper
Well, if God does not reward fasting because we create it and offer it to him to get a recompense, why does he reward it? If, in fact, God himself is the Creator and Sustainer of fasting, why is it that he has appointed this act as an occasion of his reward? The answer is that God is committed to rewarding those acts of the human heart that signify human helplessness and hope in God. Over and over again in Scripture God promises to come to the aid of those who stop depending on themselves and seek God as their treasure and help.
It’s a one day fast and as I said begins tonight (sundown) and ends tomorrow night (sundown). The goal is to spend that time (time not eating) praying for my own personal growth and the health and growth of the church. But taking my word for it should not be sufficient. You should look to the scriptures for guidence on this issue and pray as to whether or not you should fast in the first place.
One thought on “Prayer and Fasting”
Since August of last year, I have been fasting once a week as part of regular spiritual discipline. I can honestly say that it has been an extraordinary thing and I am so glad I have been doing it. I trust you will find it as productive as well!
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