Benefits of Fasting
I have encountered persons who made it clear that they fasted every week on a particular day and time. On the whole ’fasting’ is a healthy and good exercise. However, I am led to explore how it benefits us spiritually.
For many years I have been involved in various spiritual [Christian] exercises that have involved ‘fasting. I have encountered persons who made it clear that they fasted every week on a particular day and time. On the whole ’fasting’ is a healthy and good exercise. However, I am led to explore how it benefits us spiritually.
’Fasting’ is defined as the act of abstaining from food or water for a specific period of time accompanied by some form of worship. For the strict Jews, ’fasting’ was the order of the day. You will find that the only required fast in the Old Testament was during the “Day of Atonement” as found in the book of Jeremiah 36 and Leviticus 16. Jesus also practised fasting and the account of this is found in Matthew 4. Although some would have you believe that ’fasting’ is a necessary component of our religious duty, it must be noted that Jesus sanctioned the practise but did not command that it be done.
From all accounts on the subject of ‘fasting’ we must always consider the following elements:
It is to be specific – not just for dietary needs although this is a bonus;
To be accompanied by worship;
To be observed for special needs
Please keep in mind that there are many types and variations of <i/>’fasting’</i> and all are beneficial according to what the Holy Spirit leads each person[s] to do. They are as follows:
Total Fast [known as the 40 Day fast and which the liturgical churches subscribed to during the period or Lent] – Deut. 9
Supernatural Fast – 1st Kings 19
3 Day Fast – Esther 4
Water Fast – 2nd Samuel 11, 12
Daily Fast – Daniel 10
Following are several passages of scripture to be studied on the subject of ’fasting’:
Moses Fast – Deut. 9:9, 18, 25-29; 10:10
Elijah’s Fast – 1st Kings 19:1-18
Ezra’s Fast – Ezra 10:1-17
Nehemiah’s Fast – Nehemiah 1:1-4; 2:1-10
Anna’s Fast – Luke 2
Jesus’ Fast – Matthew 4
Elders’ Fast – Acts 13
Paul’s 3-Day Fast – Acts 9
Cornelius’s Fast – Acts 10
Paul’s 14-Day Fast – Acts 27
I encourage all who read this to consider ’fasting’ as a part of your sacred time with the Lord, but to be sure that when you do it is for a specific intention and a desired result from the Lord.
For a little more than three decades the author Mrs. R Cecilia Askew, worked in the financial and investment services industry. She received training in Office Administration and was a member of the Institute of Commercial Management of the United Kingdom.
After receiving a call from the Lord, she pursued Pastoral Counselling and religious training and currently holds a Certificate of Higher Education in Christian Studies from Oxford Brookes University, Oxford.
She is a trained Pastoral Counsellor, Spiritual Director and, Chaplain. She is a member of the International Order of St. Luke [Healing Ministry], a Certificated Pastoral Care member of the Association of Christian Counsellors [UK].
Cecilia Askew serves the Anglican Diocese of The Bahamas as the Pastoral Care Ministries Coordinator, one of the Directors of the Alpha Programme and member of the Diocesan Health Care Ministry Council. However, first and foremost she is a “child of the KING and servant of the Lord through whom and in whom she has her being.