Prayer and Fasting
Prayer and Fasting
Christian Fasting - What is it?
Biblically, fasting is abstaining from something of the flesh in order to glorify God, enhance our spirit, and go deeper in our prayer life. Ordinary fasting means to abstain from food, but the same determination will also lead us to abstain from other things as well, such as busy-ness, gossiping, TV watching, or whatever might dominate your usual day. Fasting is a voluntary disuse of anything, which may be innocent in itself, with a view to spiritual culture.
Christian Fasting - Focus Deeper on God
Although fasting in Scripture is almost always a fasting from food, there are other ways to fast. Anything you can temporarily give up in order to better focus on God can be considered a fast. Fasting should be limited to a set time, especially when the fasting is from food. Extended periods of time without eating are harmful to the body. Fasting is not intended to punish our flesh, but to focus on God.
Fasting from food should not be considered a "dieting method" either. We shouldn't fast to lose weight, but rather to gain deeper fellowship with God. Yes, anyone can fast. Some may not be able to fast from food (diabetics, for example), but everyone can temporarily give up something in order to focus on God. Even unplugging the television for a period of time can be an effective fast.
Fasting is not required in Scripture, but it's highly recommended and referred to in numerous places and by Jesus himself. The primary Biblical reason to fast is to develop a closer walk with God. By taking our eyes off the things of this world, we can focus better on Christ.
It requires faith to pray an ordinary prayer, for "...without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him." (Heb. 11:6). But it requires even more faith to fast and pray.
Fasting reveals a greater desire, a greater determination and greater faith, and God observes this when He sees one of His children fasting and praying. He sees that His child has forsaken all pleasures, including one of the chiefest pleasures of life, the pleasure of eating.
Christian Fasting - A Lifestyle of Servant Living
Christian fasting is more than denying ourselves food or something else of the flesh - it's a sacrificial lifestyle before God. In Isaiah 58 we learn what a "true fast" is. It's not just a one-time act of humility and denial before God. As Isaiah tells us, fasting encourages humility, loosens the chains of injustice, unties the chords of the yoke, frees the oppressed, feeds the hungry, provides for the poor, and clothes the naked. This concept of fasting isn't a one day thing - it's a lifestyle of servant living for God and others.
BE inspired by christ
:Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
English Standard Version (ESV)
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