A SHORT INTRO TO FASTING
WHAT IS FASTING?
Abstaining from something, usually food, for spiritual purposes.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT FASTING?
Biblical examples: Moses (Exodus 34:28; Deut. 9:9,18), David (2 Samuel 12:16), Elijah (1 Kings 19:8), Nehemiah (Nehemiah 1:4); Esther (Esther 4:16), Daniel (Daniel 1:12), Anna (Luke 2:37), Paul (Acts 14:23), Jesus (Matthew 4:1-2), the early church (13:2).
- Jesus placed fasting on the same level as financial giving and prayer (Matthew 6:1-18).
- Jesus said that there is a time for fasting (Matthew 9:15).
- Paul says we should give ourselves at times to prayer and fasting (1 Corinthians 7:5).
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF FASTING?
The primary purpose of fasting is to focus on God and to center our attention on Him. In doing so, we glorify God (Zechariah 7:5).
Outer fasting is to lead to inner prayer, worship, and devotion. We “fast on food so we can feast on God.”
Fasting is not for personal glory or any other selfish motives (Matthew 6:16-18).
Secondary purposes of fasting:
- Reveal non-essential things that control us and take precedence in our lives (1 Corinthians 6:12)
- Increase the effectiveness of prayer (2 Samuel 12:16)
- Church, community and national repentance and revival (Jonah 3:5-10)
- God’s special favor with those in authority (Nehemiah 1:4-11; Esther 4:16)
- Bring guidance from God in decisions (Acts 14:23)
- Understanding of God’s Word and revelation (Daniel 9:3)
- Help our physical wellbeing (Daniel 1:12)
- Bring deliverance for those who are in bondage (Mark 9:29 KJV)
- A powerful weapon in spiritual warfare (Mark 9:29 KJV)
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF FASTING?
- Absolute fast: No food or water for a period of time (Exodus 34:28; Esther 4:16)
- Food fast: Only water, but no food or other drink (Nehemiah 1:4)
- Partial fast: Abstaining from only certain foods, such as sweets, meat, solid food, coffee, etc. (Daniel 1:12)
- Other: Fasting from certain types of entertainment , social media, smartphones, internet, television, shopping, etc.