“Let fasting be done unto the Lord with our eye singly fixed on Him. Let our intention herein be this, and this alone, to glorify our Father which is in heaven” – John Wesley
1. God expects us to fast.
Matthew 6: 16-17 16 “And whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance in order to be seen fasting by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face.”
Jesus said, “When you fast”, not if you fast. This means that fasting, like prayer, is not an option. Fasting is something that is part of the Christian life.
2. Jesus fasted.
Matthew 4:2 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.
Before He began His ministry, Jesus fasted for forty days. He knew He was going to need spiritual strength to fulfill His purposes. Fasting may make us feel physically weak, but we will become spiritually stronger and more prepared to do God’s work.
3. The early church fasted.
Acts 13:3 Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
The church fasted for Paul and Barnabas whom the Holy Spirit had set apart for His use. Later, Paul and Barnabas appointed leaders in various churches and then fasted and prayed before commending these leaders to the Lord.
4. Fasting demonstrates humility before God.
Psalm 35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer kept returning to my bosom.
Humility allows us to experience the grace of God, who delights in answering the prayers of His children. When we humble ourselves in prayer and turn from our wicked ways, God promises to hear us and answer us according to His perfect will.
5. Fasting makes us sensitive to the leading and power of the Holy Spirit.
Luke 4:1-2 1″And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led about by the Spirit in the wilderness 2for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days; and when they had ended, He became hungry.”
We are prone to forget our priorities. Fasting is a visible reminder to us that God takes precedence over all our needs. Fasting lifts up the matter at hand to God who is able to bring about awesome works that bring Him great glory.
6. Fasting brings about personal and national spiritual revival.
2 Chronicles 7:14 if My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Daniel 9:3 So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.
Fasting prompts revival to an individual and to a country. It brings forth a stirring that will heal and change us and prepare us for greater things in God’s kingdom.
7. Fasting is good for our health.
Fasting improves our physical condition. Many impurities in the body are burned up when the body is denied food, thus, clearing the mind, cleansing and healing the body. Many bible teachers say that a three-day fast is especially beneficial for spiritual cleansing and also for breaking addictive habits.
(What Does the Bible Say About Fasting?, Christ Unlimited Ministries, http://www.bible.com)
♥ Lord, I ask for the strength to endure this act of worship, for You. ♥