Why Fast? 3 Powerful Reasons

Here is #28 of 31 Questions in 31 Days! To learn more about this 31 Day series, just search "31 Questions" in the search bar above or click here!

Q #28:  I've heard you talk about fasting as an important spiritual discipline in the life of a believer.  I've never done it.  Why should I do it?

A:  This is a timely question, as the church I have the privilege to serve will be going on a 21 day fasting journey beginning on February 15.  

For me, there are three compelling reasons to fast:
  1. Fasting is biblical.  Throughout the Bible, fasting is one of the major steps people take in trying to grow closer to God.  This 21-day period of fasting is just such a step. Along with Daniel, Jesus, and others, we're going to break our regular patterns and habits in an effort to hear from God and experience him.  
  2. Fasting is spiritually effective.  In the gospels we find a story where the disciples were trying to cast out a demon and couldn't.  Jesus told them, "But this kind does not go out, except by prayer and fasting" (Matthew 17:21, NASB)  Fasting is understood in the Bible as a way of adding urgency, intensity and 3-dimensional clarity to prayer. We're encouraging our congregation to take just such a bolder, louder step in seeking God to speak and to answer us.
  3. Fasting brings us into focus.  Fasting is one step you can take that will help you become clear and focus better on God.  Physical hunger or breaking a long-held and powerful habit has a way of helping us see more clearly how we have grown distant from God.  Fasting has the wonderful capacity of cleansing us of distraction and pointing us regularly to prayer.  When I am hungry or distracted by a gnawing desire to do what I would normally be doing, I find that I am driven to more intense, bold prayers.

This coming Sunday at First Assembly Community Ministries, we will be changing the regular format for our service to accommodate questions from the congregation!  I can't wait.  Join us there on Sunday, February 1 for a morning of discovery on what we call Q Sunday for two unique services 9 and 11 AM.

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