Fasting=voluntary withdrawing from food/drik or other fleshly appetites for a specified period of time.
Fasting has to include prayer.
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter--
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard." Isaiah 58:6-8
3 kinds of fasting:
1. Normal food fast.
"Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry." Matthew 4:1-2
“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." Matthew 6:16
2. Partial Fast -- omit certain foods.
Daniel, Elijah and John Wesley are examples of people who did this.
3. Absolute Fast -- nothing.
"Moses was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments." Exodus 34:28
This was a miracle Moses survived without water that long. Don't do this!
Why Fast? (see Isaiah 58:6-8 which is quoted above)
1. Free from addictions (Yoke)
Solve problems (injustice)
You take that time and money that you would on those meals and spend it with God.
2. Help provide for others (again, see the Isaiah passage)
3. Healing, testimony protection glory of the LORD.
"Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:19-21
Benefits of Fasting
Focus and more time for prayer.
Intent -- more attentive to God.
Demonstration of seriousness..
What Fasting is NOT:
It isn't a bargaining tool with God. It is not meant as manipulation; fasting is for ourr benefit, not His.
Not to immpress others.
Not for pride reasons.
Shouldn't get legalistic.
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." galatians 5:1
"When you fast" Jesus expected we would fast. Should be part of our prayer life.