What is fasting?
1. What is the main objective in fasting?
Comment: The primary purpose in fasting is to draw near to God in order to gain His mind and perspective and what we need to do to please Him. Additionally it is to gain the strength and help to change our ways. In this passage God points out the difference between fasting for the wrongreasons… and the right reason.
2. Is there more to fasting (for spiritual strength) than just doing without food and water?
What was Daniel’s purpose in his fast?
3. Should fasting be done privately?
Matthew 6:16-18: “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, So that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
4. What should you fast about?
Daniel 6:18-19—Now the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; and no musicians were brought before him. Also his sleep went from him. Then the king arose very early in the morning and went in haste to the den of lions.
Comment: It is important that we pray for others, even our enemies. But in order to be close enough to God to better understand His will and petition Him on behalf of others, fasting is the tool to help us do that
About important decisions
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!”
5. How Long Should You Fast?
The fast God prescribes for all of us annually on the Day of Atonement is a 24-hour fast—from sunset to sunset. Apart from Atonement, there is no prescribed time to begin or end a fast. However, the basic, typical fast means going without normal meals for at least a day.