The Practice of Fasting

Matthew 6:16-18

Today much is misunderstood about fasting. One common assumption is that it’s related to dieting and health. And there are those who hope their self-denial will impress God or certain people. But neither of these is the purpose of the practice, according to Scripture.

Biblical fasting is a spiritual work in which we temporarily eliminate distractions so we can give undivided attention to our heavenly Father through prayer. As we abstain, other things begin to lose their sense of importance, and we gain a heightened awareness of God’s presence and His priorities for our lives.

Fasting can be carried out in several ways: going without food, eliminating activities, or forgoing sleep in order to seek the Lord. The intent is always to pray without disturbances so we can focus fully on the Lord.

Have you avoided fasting because it appears too hard or confusing? Think instead about the joy you will experience from having deeper communion with your loving heavenly Father, and then step out in faith. Giving the Lord your undivided attention for a period of time can deepen your relationship with Him.

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