fasting & prayer

Matthew 6:16-18
(Jesus said)“And whenever you fast do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance in order to be seen fasting by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face so that you may not be seen fasting by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”

This passage doesn’t say if you fast. It says when you fast. In today’s world, few people fast. Some give up something for Lent and then make a public announcement about it.

The Greek definition here for “fasting” is “to abstain as a religious exercise from food and drink: either entirely, if the fast lasted but a single day, or from customary and choice nourishment, if it continued several days.”

We might do well to fast a certain food or meal for a certain period, being careful to follow today’s instruction from the scripture. Especially if we’ve prayed for wisdom or an answer to a prayer and haven’t seen any result. Fasting doesn’t force God’s hand, but I’ve found my spiritual ears hear better when my stomach is empty. Fasting is an act of obedience to God’s admonition to fast.

Father God, lead me in Your instruction
so I may gain Your insight and inspiration.

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2 thoughts on “Fasting

  1. Good one. Only problem I ever had with not telling someone I was fasting: her feelings were hurt when I refused one of her homemade cookies. She was known as a gourmet cook and baker. Her cookies were famous. I finally had to tell her after I finished the fast. She probably would have forgiven me — eventually. But her smile was a little brighter when I explained a few weeks later.

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