Daily Reflections

Fasting for Revival

October 28, 2022 Erin Davis

[Ezra] did not eat food or drink water, because he was mourning over the unfaithfulness of the exiles. —Ezra 10:6

The Israelites in Ezra’s day were guilty of violating God’s command not to marry people from neighboring nations who worshiped other gods. They disobeyed and turned from God’s perfect law as a result. While Ezra hadn’t personally committed this sin, he was devastated by the sins of his countrymen. He responded with a visceral grief that led to fasting.

Add this to the growing list of reasons Scripture invites us to fast—we fast in grief for the sins of others. This kind of fast is both an expression of the depth of our sorrow over sin and a means to cry out to God for true and widespread revival.

Can fasting for the sins of those still running from God in rebellion really make a difference? Ask the priests in the book of Ezra. God used Ezra’s grief and his fasting to change their hearts (10:19). Where they once made room for other false gods, they now turned their hearts back to the one true God. What fruit from fasting!

Make it Personal

Ask God to show you good ways you can take action to respond rightly to other people’s sins.