The Question about Fasting
Reflection on the Gospel of the Saturday
Fasting is fashionable word used by many people in today’s world. Many keep fasting for several health benefits like weight loss, improved blood sugar control and decreased inflammation hardly few people keep fasting to seek God through petition, discernment, or lament. Abstaining from food and drink is only half the equation, a spiritual fast is intimately linked to the spiritual disciplines of prayer and Scripture reading. Without combining these spiritual practices, fasting is just a diet.
In the bible for various reason people or community fasted
- To strengthen in prayer (Ezra 8:23)
- To seek God’s guidance (Judges 20:26)
- To express grief (1 Samuel 31:13)
- To seek deliverance or protection (2 Chronicles 20:3 – 4)
- To express repentance and a return to God (1 Samuel 7:6)
- To humble oneself before God (1 Kings 21:27 – 29)
- To express concern for the work of God (Nehemiah 1:3 – 4)
- To minister to the needs of others (Isaiah 58:3 – 7)
- To overcome temptation and dedicate yourself to God (Matthew 4:1 – 11)
- To express love and worship for God (Luke 2:37)
In the gospel John’s disciples and Pharisees keep fasting to seek deliverance or protection from their enemies. They seek divine assistance to redeem from their current situation and they wonder why Jesus disciples always engaged in eating and drinking. Jesus disciples approached him and asked this question about fasting Jesus beautifully explained in the imagery of wedding guest. When we are celebrating wedding feast then there is full of joy in the feast, similarly when Jesus is with them then there is only happiness existing in their life, so no need to keep fast for anything. The hallmark of Christian life is joy and happiness in all the situation.
Jesus called us to live a happy life, simultaneously he taught us to keep fasting and prayer continuously to receive the power from above (holy spirit) and provide deliverance to the people possessed by demons. (Mark 9:29) Fasting and prayer is a strong weapon for any evil attacks and help us to grow in spiritual life. Friends, whenever you are in tough time in your life like sickness, debts, evil attack or in despair situation do fasting prayer definitely you will see the changes in your life. If you are living in sinful life and unable to repent due to human weakness then do fasting prayer your life will be changed and you will become new person in the world. If you are unable to forgive your friends, close relations, or religious people who hurt you then do fasting prayer Lord shall pour out his grace into your hearts to give forgive and free you from the blocking of blessing. To live happy life power of Holy Spirit is required, to receive the spirit keep fasting prayer, Lord shall pour out his spirit upon you and you will lead a happy life and become a blessing for others.
“ Fasting prayer never goes in vain”