More about prayer & fasting

Prayer and fasting is typically the choice to voluntarily go without food for a period of time in order to focus on communication and fellowship with God. Although you can pray without fasting and/or fast without praying, these two activities combined are commended in the scriptures and many people who dedicate their time of prayer and fasting to God's glory find it to be an effective and fulfilling experience.

Praying and fasting are not to be viewed as a way to manipulate God into doing what you desire, rather it is an acknowledged reliance on God for strength, provision, emotional connection and wisdom.

There is no explicit command in the Bible to pray and fast, but it is referenced as worthwhile spiritual discipline.

 

Often, the focus of prayer and fasting can become more about abstaining from food than the intended purpose of reorienting our view from the things of this world to a focus on God and His glory.

Before fasting it is good to choose a healthy time frame and limit it to that.  Since not eating for extended periods can be damaging to the body or cause physical discomfort, some people begin with a few hours or 1/2 a day or just one day.   Remember, this type of fasting joined with prayer is not for the purpose of "dieting" or losing weight but to gain a deeper fellowship with God.  If you have any health or dietary issues you should consult with a physician.

By taking our eyes off the things of this world through prayer and biblical fasting, we can focus better on Christ. Matthew 6:16-18 gives a wonderful directive look into how our heart should  approach prayer and fasting: 

16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

copyright 2019 West Church