Jesus didn’t tell His disciples to fast, or not to fast, or how long to fast, but it’s clear that He knew that they would fast (Matt. 6:16-17). Its something the Hebrews did when they afflicted their souls (fasted) in the wilderness (Lev. 16:29-31; 23:27-32).
WHAT SHOULD A PERSON CONSIDER BEFORE THEY FAST
For those who are thinking about going without food, fasting depends upon their health, how long they want to fast, what they want to give up, etc. Some people such as diabetics, pregnant women, nursing moms, etc. may not ought to give up food. A short fast, or a partial fast might be okay, but a total fast for an extended period of time might not be. It is a good idea to consult a doctor before deciding to fast for a very long time.
CAN PEOPLE FAST FOR THE WRONG REASON
Yes! Jesus taught that some people fast for the wrong reasons (Matt. 6:16). Some want to draw attention to themselves, thought to be holy, etc. True fasting involves humility, self contrition and communion with our Lord not image polishing or a pat on the back.
HOW LONG SHOULD A PERSON FAST
In the wilderness, the Hebrews fasted once a year on the Great Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:29-31). During the days of Samuel, the people had strayed from God. Those who wanted to turn back fasted one day and a revival broke out (I Sam. 7:6). When Nathan exposed David’s sin with Bathsheba, David fasted seven days (II Sam. 12:15-20). Daniel fasted for three weeks when he received his final vision (Dan. 10:3). In the story Jesus told about the Pharisee and the tax collector praying at the Temple, the Pharisee fasted twice a week (Luke 18:10-14). When Jesus went into the wilderness, He fasted for 40 days and 40 nights (Matt. 4:2). One day, seven days, three weeks, twice a week, and forty days shows that the length of a fast can vary.
WHY SHOULD A PERSON FAST
The Bible gives many reasons why a person should fast. Fasting equips God’s people during times of temptation and struggle with Satan (Isa. 58:6). Daniel fasted for an answer to prayer (Dan. 9:3). Paul and Barnabus fasted and prayed for God’s guidance (Acts 14:23). Ezra fasted over Israel’s sin (Ezra 10:6). King Jehoshaphat fasted because he wanted God to deliver Israel from her enemies (II Chron. 20:3-4). Jesus taught that it takes fasting and prayer to drive out some demons (Matt. 17:20). Fasting shows God that we are serious. It’s a way of telling God that something is more important than food.
WHAT SHOULD WE FAST
Most people think of fasting as denying themselves something (Usually food, cokes, candy, TV, etc.). But God would rather that we give up our sins than cokes or candy (Isa. 58:5-14). Everyone can give up their sins. Then, and only then, is fasting worthwhile.
Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck