Fasting: Biblical and Practical Examples
Fasting in Scripture is, almost always, abstaining from food for an extended period of time.
Old Testament Fasting The Jews were commanded to fast in Old Testament one day out of the year, Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23) - usually associated with repentance. David over his sick child (2 Samuel 12:16) Esther encourages the Jews to (Esther 4:16) Jesus Fasted
Matthew 4:1-4 (man shall not live by bread alone) Matthew 6:16-18 (taught his disciples)
Prayer and Fasting Associated
Nehemiah 1:4 "So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.” Acts 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Acts 14:23 So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed. Fasting is a way to demonstrate to God, and to ourselves, that we are serious about our relationship with Him. Fasting helps us gain a new perspective and a renewed reliance upon God. Types of Fast:
· Regular Fast - 2 Chronicles 20; regular fast is done by abstaining from all food, both solid and liquid, except for water; Jesus did this in Matthew 4.
· Partial Fast - Daniel 10; spent 3 weeks fasting from certain foods.
· Absolute/Total Fast - Esther 4; when she found the plans for the Jews to be killed in Persia, she and the other Jews fasted from food and water for 3 days, before entering the kings court to ask for mercy. Moses did this for 40 days on Mt. Sani, which was a miracle (Deut. 9:9); Elijah also when he fled for his life in wilderness (1 Kings 19)