Biblical Fasting

The Importance of Biblical Fasting

What is Biblical Fasting

Biblical Fasting is eliminating something, usually food, and replacing it with time spent with God. It is about getting to know Him and humbling yourself before Him. Which means to reduce our status and become modest- knowing His grandeur and importance. It’s about putting God first. Just as the first commandment tells us to (Matthew 22:38). It’s about seeking and looking for God. Turning our hearts and minds directly to Him and dedicating ourselves to Him.

For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them. ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’

Isaiah 58:2-3, NIV

 

Why Practice Biblical Fasting

There are many reasons why we should be practising true Biblical fasting. Thoughout the Bible, there are plenty of examples of people who fasted, including Jesus! And we know that we need to be following His example! Jesus was in the desert fasting for 40 days! (Matthew 4:1-11)

Biblical fasting

I’m not saying we need to fast for 40 days! This is just an example.

(But specifically, if we are talking about lent, it begins on shrove Tuesday (pancake day!) and ends after 40 days (Easter!) which commemorates Jesus’s time in the desert.)

My point is, even Jesus needed to take a ‘time out’ and spend quality time with His father, and so do we. I’ve mentioned before that faith is about having a relationship.

(Relevant Reading: Developing an Indestructible Faith)

One of the most important aspects of relationship is time, so fasting is about that time. This is important as it helps us to build this relationship with God; the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

There are specific times and occasions where fasting is useful too:

  • To receive God’s law (Exodus 34:28)
  • To show sorrow & remorse for for sin (1 Kings 21:27)
  • To demonstrate humility (Psalm 35:13)
  • To pray in times of need (2 Chronicles 20:3)
  • For deep and personal prayer (1 Samuel 12:16-21)

When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.

Nehemiah 1:4, NIV

So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.

Daniel 9:3-4, NIV

Biblical Fasting

How do we Fast Biblically?

Okay, so let’s begin how we don’t do it.

We are not to:

  • Make ourselves look as though we are fasting
  • Tell everyone! It’s between you and God
  • With a negative attitude

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

So that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Matthew 6:16 & 18

 

Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high

Isaiah 58:4

There are ways in how we can and should do it:

  • Fully seek God and His will (Through prayer & reading His word)
  • Thanksgiving & Praise (Worship)
  • Giving God your whole heart &  self
  • Pray- over & over!

For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God.

Isaiah 58:2

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

Psalm 100:4

“Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

Joel 2:12

So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.

Daniel 9:3

Now, the Bible talks about fasting from food. Fasting is ultimately denying ourselves. This could also be denying ourselves from something that may be taking up a lot of our time and/or preventing us from seeing or being with God. For instance; social media, television, games, habits

Lent, is a good time to do this. It is a known period of 40 days of fasting. But, if you haven’t done it before then practise or ease yourself in. But, the best bet is for you pray and ask God for His guidance for how you should go about fasting and He will show you. Your prayer could go something like this:

Biblical fasting

Do you have something you would like to or could give up for a period of time, to specifically spend it with God?

Feel free to put your responses or experiences of fasting in the comments below ⬇️

Please feel free to comment, request prayer or ask anything...

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