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Fasting: Should we? Can we? Will we?

Posted in Grace, Prayer, Sanctification

We received an excellent submission for the blog from one of our members. We hope that it encourages you!

You might ask, "Should I fast? Nothing is so urgent that such drastic action is necessary in my life right now."

Well maybe so, but isn't there something... anything, that we want to see God do in our lives or in the life of someone else?

"Sure," we say, "but fasting is a big investment, and I'm not sure God will come through; in fact, I have my doubts."

This is when we want to think through what we are asking for: discerning the will of God. The Christian life is full of discerning the will of God and counting the costs. If we are convinced of the will of God, would it be worth abstaining from food for even a day? Can we do it for the glory of God? Jesus said "when" we fast (Matt. 6:16); and some things "only" come by prayer and fasting (Matt. 17:21, Mark 9:29 KJV).

It is not that God has to be coerced into doing something he is reluctant to do. Jacob wrestled with the Lord because he desperately wanted something and he knew the Lord was able to deliver it. He prevailed with God because of his determination and because it pleased God to confer it upon him. God has ordained that there are some things that are so spiritually significant that it will require an extraordinary spiritual investment to materialize.

Since we don't know when God will do such and such, can we fast one day a week and believe God will do what we ask in His time? Will we fast and pray for His leading, an unbelieving or wayward child, for more of the Spirit's power in our lives, an upcoming significant event, or more?

Let us ask God to grant us grace to fast and pray one day at a time and be amazed at what He does. Fasting with another person is also helpful. Let us do this together as God leads each of us to pursue His purposes which are always grander and more magnificent than we can imagine!

"Prayer is the one hand with which we grasp the invisible; fasting, the other, with which we let loose and cast away the visible. In nothing is man more closely connected with the world of sense than in his need of food, and his enjoyment of it. It was the fruit, good for food, with which man was tempted and fell in Paradise. It was with bread to be made of stones that Jesus, when an hungered, was tempted in the wilderness, and in fasting that He triumphed." Andrew Murray

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