Fasting is not:

an alien practice. It has the support of both Old and New Testaments, featured in the life and teaching of Jesus (Matthew 4:2; 6:16-18, 'when you fast'), and in the early church (Acts 13:2);

• a mark of spiritual superiority (Luke 18:9-14);

• an attempt to persuade a reluctant God to fulfill our desires. That is more like manip­ulation or magic than prayer. Prayer is about relationship with God and discovering his mind rather than getting our way (Ezra 8:21-23; 2 Chronicles 20:2-4).

Fasting is:

• a means of giving up certain things in order to give more time and spiritual energy to God (I Corinthians 9:24-27);

• a demonstration of our priori­ties. It shows that we love God before other things and that we are serious about out spiritual life. As we put other things aside we draw closer to him (Joel 2:15-17);

• an indication that we are seri­ous about God, his way in the world and what we are praying about (Isaiah 58:5-7);

• not only about giving up food. There may be other things to give up too - hobbies, work, even sex (I Corinthians 7:5);

• often associated with repen­tance, demonstrating sorrow for sin (Joel 2:12.13).

John Grayston


Copy Right: Afghan Christians Web Page 2001

Last Update: Feb 2001