Principles concerning fasting, its function, and its spiritual benefit.
1. Principle One, fasting should be considered a practice of “prayer” oriented fellowship, that goes beyond abstaining from food within the context of a person’s religious practices. The fasting-prayer should be oriented around time devoted to prayer/fellowship with the Father and dedication to His spiritual resources.
2. Principle Two, consider the attitude of humility it fashions in the heart of the petitioner. Prayer is not designed to allow for “our” plans to be displayed as God’s answer to our concerns. Humility, a primary distinctive of fasting, is a wonderful way to remove our bias; our way in which we believe the Father should respond. With our perspective set aside and our humility taking preference in discounting our presumed solutions for God to follow, all glory by intent should go Him and not us due to our fasting. The entire process becomes honor to God’s and His plans, not ours.
3.. Principal Three, the Bible does not seem to specifically give guidance for fasting, it seems to firmly show us the importance of fasting by recorded examples. Moses fasted 40 days on Sinai in receiving the Law. Jehoshaphat declared a fast for Judea as they awaited direction from the Lord as to how they should fight an upcoming battle. Ezra fasted as he prepared to begin the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem during Judah’s and Israel’s captivity. Daniel fasted 21 days seeking God’s prophetic future for Israel. Others fasted without recording the number of days, but none-the-less emphasized the dedication to fasting by example. Many of the Old Testament prophets fasted in looking for answers to questions they had concerning Israel‘s spiritual wellbeing. Paul, in the New Testament, expressed the need for fasting, but did not verbalize a number of days, but encourage us to enter into a fast, often
4. Principle Four, by today’s criterion of fasting, they can be described as total abstinence according preferences from food to short periods of time that are conducive to mental or spiritual satisfaction of individuals. Other non-food options can be chosen of our preference; television, any non spiritual or social activity, etc. Be sure time normally devoted to these alternative activities is replaced with dedicated prayer time with the Father during the fasting period. For those with medical conditions, caution should be exercised. Water should always be taken to keep the body hydrated.
Fasting is an act of worship that should be identified as a part of our walk with Lord. It serves as a means of purifying our bodies, cleansing the spiritual facet of our lives, and activates our prayer dedication with the Father. In view of prayers already offered, it can free us from the anxiety of unanswered prayers, and surround us with the peace of God that affirms He is in control and is waiting for us to express our dedication regarding our level of trust in Him.
– James Solomon