During our Week of Prayer, we often talk not just of praying, but of ‘prayer and fasting’.
So, just what is fasting and why do we do it? Fasting is a temporary season of denying some appetites for the purpose of activating others.
1. Fasting is a faith thing.
By faith we deny ourselves, and place the emphasis of our time and focus on prayer, with the expectation that we will draw near to God. We’re not twisting His arm. We’re not hunger striking to manipulate him. We’re simply creating a season in our lives where we purposefully engage with Him.
2. Fasting is goal oriented so be purposeful in it.
You run to get fit, or to lose weight. Exercise has purpose. So has fasting. We do it to get nearer to God. We do it to discipline ourselves.
You can fast food. Or television. Or the internet. But don’t just go without… Make sure you put time for prayer in it’s place. If you find it easier to pray with others, suggest to a few friends that you connect to pray over a couple of lunch times, or before or after work.
There is no spiritual benefit in simply denying yourself food. There might be some in denying yourself television. Or the internet. The real benefit is in swapping the time you spend on preparing and eating food for prayer.
3. Enjoy it!
Don’t make it a grind. Go for a walk and pray. Get together with others and pray. Worship God. Put on your favourite worship songs and enjoy His presence. Cultivate your relationship with God.