Fasting, by definition, is going without food and/or drink for a period of time. Typically, fasting is done for religious reasons and involves a person refraining from both food and drink (Esther 4:16). However, there are variations that may be done for health reasons (a juice fast, for example, where one would refrain from eating and only drink juice for a period of time).
In Matthew 6: 5-18, Jesus connected fasting and prayer when teaching his disciples how to pray. Therefore, our prayer life should also include times of fasting, but fasting for the right reason.
Fasting isn’t a hunger strike. Fasting, at its core, represents the most important choice we’ll ever make. As we fast, we set aside the physical, choosing rather the spiritual—we set aside our will, choosing as our food the will of God.
Why should we fast? There are many reasons to fast and many spiritual benefits of fasting. We see from the biblical examples that fasting should be used as a means to humble ourselves before God and seek His forgiveness, comfort, help, guidance, strength, and His will. Fasting allows us to draw closer to God. Fasting and prayer help us humbly access the awesome power of God.
Furthermore, James 5:16 reminds us that “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”.
Fasting for Your Family
Now more than ever our families need God’s comfort, help, strength and guidance. Therefore, I’m challenging men from every church, community and continent to set aside one day or at least one meal each week to fast and pray for your family. Be mindful that, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12-13 (NIV)
The battle for our families is real and can only be won on bended knees. More than ever, our actions truly speak louder than our words.
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