Let’s be honest, fasting is not the most exciting part of following Jesus. At least not when you are as passionate about food as I am. I love to eat, I love a snack, I love a meal, I love eating with the family, friends, and on my own.
So the thought of skipping a meal doesn’t often sound like the most attractive thing. And skipping a meal to pray? Well, surely I can just pray whilst I’m eating?
All too often this is a forgotten discipline in our walk with the Lord. Scripture does not command Christians to fast. God does not require or demand it of Christians. At the same time, the Bible talks about fasting as something that is good, profitable, and beneficial.
In the book of Acts we find that the early Christians were choosing to fast before making important decisions. (Acts 14:23, 13:2)
Too often when we fast, we focus more on the meal that we are going to be missing rather than on the actual reason it is good to fast. 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.
It helps us to take our eyes off the things of this world and to focus completely on God.
Perhaps you have a big decision to make and you feel unsure on what God is saying to you? Or perhaps for a while you have felt distant from God? Perhaps the answer is to take some time to take your eye off the things going on around you and to use that time to focus completely on Him.
Here are seven biblical benefits of fasting.
Fasting helps us concentrate attention on issues that require prayer.
Fasting enables us to rearrange our priorities in order to focus on things that really matter.
Fasting encourages us to examine our lives and inspect our motives.
Fasting assists us when we’re seeking the Lord’s will.
Fasting strengthens our self-control and discipline.
Fasting brings us back to basics and simplifies our lives.
Fasting equips us to recover from grief and endure sorrow.