What is spiritual fasting?

There are various reasons people fast – to lose weight, protest injustice, and so on. To go on a spiritual fast is to abstain from something for the purpose of drawing close to God. That something could be necessities like food or drink, or sources of comfort like chocolate or television. The standard biblical practice is to abstain from food and/or drink. 

There are many ways to fast. I’ll suggest one. When I was in Haiti after the earthquake, Haitian political leaders called a three-day fast so people would pray for the ravaged country. With thousands of buildings down and 230,000 people suddenly dead or dying, the country had literally been brought to its knees. The Haitian practice of fasting, at least where we were, was to set aside the hours of 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM to abstain from food and/or drink as much as possible, and devote oneself to prayer. Part of the day was given to time together, worshiping and praying in groups, and part was for time to continue praying and worshiping by ourselves.
I have never had a more powerful experience than fasting, praying, and worshiping with those precious people. I can recommend the Haitian style of fasting. (However, not everyone is physiologically capable of fasting from good, so please exercise care.) I have found that when I fast regularly, God does all sorts of surprising things in my heart. I am more patient with people, I overcome temptation more easily, and I am more in tune with God. Try it once a week for a month and see what happens.


Popular Posts

Two signs that someone is humble

A test of your relationship with God

Justice, political correctness and offending people -- what would Jesus do?

Ten essential Dallas Willard quotes

Mother Teresa's turning point