Why Should I Fast?
Simply put, fasting does not change God, it changes you and your situations. Fasting is one of the most powerful tools Christians have at their disposal. Jesus did not tell us that we had to fast, but He expects that we will, based upon Matthew 6:16 “When you fast…”. Fasting simply brings the spirit man into ascendance over the flesh. It also limits the influence of the physical appetites so that you can more effectively hear from and respond to the Holy Spirit. This happens because when you fast your focus is more on prayer and seeking God’s will, which causes you to grow in your knowledge and intimacy with God. Fasting is a powerful weapon that helps bring transformation, revelation, deliverance, and breakthroughs.
Write down clear fasting goals. Be specific about what you are expecting from God during the fast, whether it be healing, direction, restoration in marriage, family, finances, etc. If it matters to you, it matters to God. If you make fasting about the why, it will be easier to hear from God about the what. He will lead you.
Scriptures on Fasting
Here are some Biblical examples of how fasting was a vital component in assisting the people of God
Isaiah 58: 6–8 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh? Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry and He will say, “Here I Am”.
For seeking God for a nation:
II Chronicles 7:14 “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Daniel 9:3-4 “Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplication, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments…”
Daniel 10:3 “I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.”
Joel 2:12-13 “Now, therefore”, says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping and with mourning.” So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of a great kindness; and He relents from doing harm.”
For protection and wisdom:
Esther 4:16 “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me: neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”
Acts 13: 2-4 “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barbabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” “Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.”
For consecration to God’s will and service:
Acts 14:23 “So when they appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.”