Today’s Reading: Job 34-35; Acts 15:1-21
Today’s Thoughts: Is Fasting Necessary?
But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting. Matthew 17:21
Is fasting necessary? And what does prayer with fasting do that prayer alone can’t seem to accomplish? I don’t know about you, but fasting is difficult for me. My flesh does not like anything being withheld from it. If my flesh could talk, it would make comments to my spirit like, “You don’t really love me. Why are you holding out on me? This fasting thing just hurts, there isn’t anything really to it.”
Well, fasting without prayer could be called, “hungry.” But prayer with fasting is called feasting in a spiritual sense. When we choose to make a conscious effort to put aside our needs of the flesh to concentrate instead on the spiritual issues that are nagging our hearts, God moves. Sometimes He moves the person who is fasting, changing their desires, stilling their storms and flattening their prideful attitudes. And sometimes, He moves in the circumstances and moves mountains. Other times, He is able to work in others because of our ability to intercede while fasting.
Fasting with prayer is important because it causes us to focus while reminding us to pray. Every time we want to pick up something to eat, we pray instead. Fasting does not have to be food related though. We could fast from television, the radio, jewelry or even lipstick. We can fast from anything that we are in the habit of doing, causing us to crucify the flesh and to concentrate on something in a spiritual realm.
As for me, I need to almost fast before I really fast. Crucifying the flesh isn’t easy and unless I am spiritually led into a fast, there are too many reasons to break it. But God is so willing to reward us when we fast that the pain of denial is nothing compared to His blessings in abundance. If you have not ever fasted, pray about it. God will lead you and if He leads you, get ready for He will move too!