Are You Fasting…At All?

Lent tends to be a time people fast but are you aware scripture encourages fasting throughout our life?

This is slightly inspired by my prayer series which started with Are You Praying… At All?

Are you fasting at all, and if you are, for what reasons do you fast, how do you spend that time fasting? 

At the beginning of this year, I knew I wanted to work on drawing closer to Christ. I was aware that though I was working on prayer and between 2017-2018 I learned what it meant to meditate on scripture, I had never really fasted, aside from one time when I was younger.

When I started to learn about fasting, I discovered a truth I had never really thought about before.

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Fasting is needed

The article I originally read actually claimed fasting was required, but since that’s a very legalistic/touchy word, I want to explain why they said that, and why to a point, makes total sense 🙂

(NIV) Matthew 6:16- “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.”

The key here is not if you fast…but when you fast. Christ never said “if you fast” do these things. He told us when you fast in the same way He showed us what to do when we pray. 

Lo and behold, fasting and prayer are linked.

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The disciples could not pray away a particular demon and when they asked Christ He answered them (NIV) Matthew 17:21, “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

Daniel, who was known for his vivid visions of the end of times, fasted and prayed. This is when Daniel understood that Jerusalem’s captivity from scripture would last seventy years.

(NIV) Daniel 9:03, “So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with Him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.”

Although fasting has wonderful benefits for the overall body, especially when fasting from food, fasting is needed even more for our spirit. Fasting is a special and intimate moment we can share with the Lord when we make it about Him.

Fasting is a reminder of denying self.

(NLT) Titus 2:12-13, “For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God.”

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  • Fasting needs to be focused on God more than ourselves

When we fast for the Lord make sure it is because we are fasting for Him more than ourselves.

  • Fasting should be a time we draw to closer to Him

Something to make sure we are doing during our fast is to read scripture, worship, pray, listen to sermons, anything to draw us close to God and be aware of why we are fasting in the first place. What we give up to the Lord in fasting we need to fill in time with Him.

  • Have a reason for fasting to the Lord

Be it a specific prayer request or simply to work on listening and seeking Him more. Fasting always gives us an opportunity to really focus on something we desire from the Lord.

Daniel fasted and prayed because he knew something difficult was happening. Christ encouraged prayer with fasting against difficult spirits and demons. Fasting is a way to be equipped with the Lord’s strength. Christ fasted for 40 days before He was tempted, and He had the strength to not fall into temptation because His focus was on God, not Himself. Physical strength means nothing when it comes to spiritual strength in Christ. One has a limit, the other does not.

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  • Fasting does not have to only be food (and shouldn’t be limited to food only)

The idea of fasting is giving up something we do daily. Eating is very essential. But in being aware of what it means to deny the self, we can fast from other things especially if food is not something that can be fasted from.

I encourage you to choose something YOU DO ALMOST EVERY DAY! Fasting from one food item, or something we occasionally do, isn’t really going to push us as much as say not watching YouTube, or television, reading a book (if we read daily), listening to music, taking away an hour of sleep for prayer, not going on social media for a period of time, not playing games, not going on websites we visit daily, etc.

You know yourself best. Take away what you do daily and use that time for the Lord instead. Put Him first. Show Him you are coming to Him for specific reasons and seek Him desperately. Love Him more than self.

And when you fast, keep it intimate between you and Him when possible, don’t let others be aware if they do not need to know.

Fasting draws us closer to God. It reminds us that we have weaknesses in our flesh, and He is the only One who helps us overcome anything. 

I hope to write some other posts on fasting or things to fast for (like specific prayer requests) but if you are interested in learning more about how to fast or you would like to learn about physical benefits I highly recommend you turn to fellow blogger, Meredith. She wrote two posts that definitely help with understanding fasting and ways you could fast from food, in particular.

Fasting For Physical Health & Spiritual Benefits by My Way Home Life

The Privilege Of Fasting by My Way Home Life


Comment Below:
What do you think of fasting?

Monthly Scripture –(NKJ) Proverbs 18:13, “He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.”

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17 thoughts on “Are You Fasting…At All?

    1. ❤ God is good! Something I've worked on is for a set period of a couple of hours. So I will miss a meal (about a four hour period) and in that time focus on God and drawing closer to Him. If not food, other things can apply 🙂

      Like

  1. Excellent post, T.R.! “When we fast” not “if”! Great examples in Christ and Daniel! Great bullet points!
    I used to fast more but have gotten very lax for a long time. Thanks for the reminder to get back with it. It really does bring about amazing results!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have never fasted but twice this month it has come up in my spirit. Once in response to some evil activity in my neighbor’s apartment. I hear growling voices and when I pray they immediately stop. But I asked God why it keeps happening. And I heard the scripture and needing prayer and fasting. Then a week ago, The thought came to me that I need to fast from sleeping. I regularly take VERY long naps. It is not unusual for me to sleep 12+ hours in 24. I am going to be open minded and focus on this in prayer and begin the fasting today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The first time I fasted was about for four hours from food. It does not have to be a day if fasting from food. But if there are other activities you regularly take part of you can fast from those, too. I relate to the sleeping one. It definitely seems you need to seek spiritual protection from Christ and for the apartment building. Fasting is making petitions on behalf not only for ourselves, but others, like Daniel did. When you fast have a reason for fasting be it your neighbor, something you’re going through, or a combination of things. Surround yourself with scripture, prayer, praise, and focus on Him and His truth. God be with you!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Excellent post sis. I love how you said “when we fast” and not “if”. I personally think though that biblical fasting is abstinence from food. And I am not saying we can’t deny ourselves and that is the only one God accepts. I used to believe we can fast in other ways but after searching for this in the bible and not finding it, I have to go with what the bible describes as fasting. Again, this isn’t to say God will not honour other ways we deny ourselves of earthly pleasures for His sake❤️.
    Thanks for reminding us of this great spiritual discipline❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree with your words. I think if we can abstain from food we should do that primarily and then consider giving up some other things in addition. But I know for some who struggle with eating disorders or health reasons cannot really give up food, which is why I encourage other things. The only thing I can think of is related to Biblical times is that our entetainement was no where then like it is now. We have many things in the modern world we partake of that people back then didn’t because it wasn’t an option. But I so agree with you, food definitely holds a lot of power and you’re right, God will be glorified through fasting regardless ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. ❤ ❤ I love how it allows me to alternate between food when a particular day from fasting from food doesn't work out. But I'm even more grateful to work on giving up multiple things when fasting to deeply draw close to God and to petition on things I'm dealing with and things others are dealing with. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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