The book of Acts records believers fasting before they made important decisions (Acts 13:2; 14:23).
Fasting and prayer are often linked together (Luke 2:37; 5:33).
Too often, the focus of fasting is on the lack of food. Instead, the purpose of fasting should be to take your eyes off the things of this world to focus completely on God. 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.
Although fasting in Scripture is almost always a fasting from food, there are other ways to fast. Anything given up temporarily in order to focus all our attention on God can be considered a fast (1 Corinthians 7:1-5).
- Fasting should be limited to a set time, especially when fasting from food.
- Extended periods of time without eating can be harmful to the body.
- Fasting is not intended to punish the flesh, but to redirect attention to God.
- Fasting should not be considered a “dieting method” either.
By taking our eyes off the things of this world, we can more successfully turn our attention to Christ.
- Fasting is not a way to get God to do what we want.
- Fasting changes us, not God.
- Fasting is not a way to appear more spiritual than others.
- Fasting is to be done in a spirit of humility and a joyful attitude.