Daily Reflections

What Is Fasting?

January 16, 2022 Erin Davis

We fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty. —Ezra 8:23

Fasting is the spiritual discipline of denying ourselves something (typically food) to feast on the things of God. But if you’re fasting without prayer, then it isn’t fasting; it’s a diet. The only reason to fast is to make space to seek the Lord with greater urgency. That might look like praying when you would normally be eating. Or every time your stomach rumbles, you could say, “Lord, help me hunger for righteousness like my body is hungry for food right now.”

Some time ago, I chose to fast every Friday for a year for my sons’ salvation. During that time, my two oldest boys gave their hearts to the Lord. While I didn’t cause their salvation (only Jesus does that work!), I got to participate in it by praying for them.

Fasting is about positioning our own hearts, not twisting the arm of God. It’s not a transaction where we fast and God gives us what we want. ItisagiftHegivestous,notagiftwegivetoHim.

Make it Personal

How could choosing to deny yourself food for a time help you to focus on the Lord and urgently seek Him?