Fasting doesn’t earn us points with God so why do Christians fast? The briefest answer for me is hunger! Don’t we all want more of God? I hunger to know and experience more of God. I want, actually I long for more of His presence for my wife, children, grandchildren, the wonderful congregation I serve, and the community I live in. Really great blessings like companionship, good food, friendship, health, and finances have the potential to dull my hunger for God.
When I am away from beautiful wife for a day I miss her touch, laughter, our conversations, and I find myself longing to get back to her. A few days away and that hunger for her increases. Our temporary geographical distance reminds me never take her for granted.
Fasting prepares me for prayer. Is it possible that your prayers have become routine and lifeless. Surely, we have all had those moments when we pray out of responsibility but we long to experience God’s presence. Fasting from food, pleasures like good coffee, chocolate or reading increases my awareness of God’s presence.
We can fast and pray for those who are sick, to humble ourselves before the Lord, as a community of faith to express our dependence upon future protection and provision like Ezra and the people of Israel did, and to follow in the footsteps of Jesus who fasted.
Fasting definitely will increase your self control. Read and ponder this quote by John Chrysostom. Then enjoy the song by Jesus Culture.
The honor of fasting consists not in abstinence from food, but in withdrawing from sinful practices; since he who limits his fasting only to an abstinence from meats, is one who especially disparages it. Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works! Is it said by what kind of works? If you see a poor man, take pity on him! If you see an enemy, be reconciled to him! If you see a friend gaining honor, do not envy him! If you see a handsome woman, pass her by! For do not let only the mouth fast, but also the eye, and the ear, and the feet, and the hands, and all the members of our bodies.