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Do we Fast and Pray

In general fasting is primarily an act of willing abstinence or reduction from certain or all food, drink or both for a period of time. Fasting from anything physical for the sake of our souls is a worthy discipline. You might consider fasting from your mobile phone for an hour or a day, or taking a break from television & internet for an hour or a day.

A spiritual fast involves abstaining from food while focusing on prayer. This can mean refraining from snacks between meals, skipping one or two meals a day, abstaining from certain foods only or a total fast from all types of foods, for an entire day or longer as allowed by a doctor.

In the Old Testament, God commanded Israel to observe several set times of fasting. In the New Testament for believers in Christ, fasting is not required explicitly, but many practiced prayer and fasting regularly. Jesus himself affirmed in Luke 5:35 that after he would leave the world, fasting would be appropriate for his followers.

Acceptable fast:
The acceptable fast is discussed in the book of Isaiah 58:6-7. In this chapter, the nation of Israel is rebuked for their fasting; they are given this exhortation –
”Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter —
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”
This passage indicates that the fast acceptable before God is not merely abstinence from food or water. But a decision to fully obey God’s commands to care for the poor and oppressed. Also refer Zechariah 7:5-10.

Why should we fast?

  • Jesus our Role Model– Mathew 4:1-11.
  • Cornelius fasted to find God’s will – Acts 13:1-5.
  • Paul fasted for his spiritual life – Acts 9:9.
  • Ahab fasted & humbled himself before God -1st King 21:27-29.
  • Esther fasted for and on behalf of her people – Esther 4:13-16.
  • Nehemiah fasted for the broken walls of Jerusalem – Nehemiah 1:4

Conclusion: E.M. Bounds said, “There is no death for prayer. Because of death the praying lips will shut down, the heart beats will stop. But the prayers we made will be there in the presence of God ever and forever”.
We must fast for our own spiritual lives, to find God’s will, to remain holy in the lustful world, and also for the salvation of those around us.

K. Vamsi Praveen Chand, works as National property cell staff I/C in UESI. He lives with his wife Supriya in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

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