When You Fast… Matthew 6:16

Jesus spoke of fasting and prayer as spiritual exercise when He taught the disciples in Matthew 6:16. He did not say, “if you pray” or “if you fast” but “when you pray” and “when you fast.” His teaching indicates that prayer and fasting are necessary and not a matter of choice.

Fasting is a way to move the hand of God. In the Old Testament, God’s hand of judgment was stayed when the people of Nineveh fasted in response to Jonah’s warning. God sent a special revelation to Daniel after he had fasted three weeks.

In the New Testament Jesus fasted forty days and forty nights after His baptism and before He began His ministry. At the end of that fast, He was able to resist the devil in three basic temptations. The Holy Spirit called and sent Paul and Barnabas on their first evangelistic mission because the church in Antioch fasted and prayed. Paul wrote to the Corinthians that he often fasted.

Surely God still hears and answers prayer. We, too, can obtain results from fasting and prayer. More power for witnessing, grace for service, and fruit for labours come to those who fast…

The common fast means abstaining from all food, taking only liquids. A partial fast involves abstaining from certain foods such as meat and sweets or omitting a meal or two regularly for a period of time. A total fast is abstaining from food and liquids, except water. Biblical fasting was this kind. Total fasting should be supervised by a doctor when kept for long periods of time.

Periodic fasting and prayer are beneficial in gaining new spiritual strength and maintaining good health. Jesuto has set aside the last 3days of each month as a regular day of fasting and prayer. We believe it will be fasting and praying church that will hear the cry, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh!” (See Matthew 25:6) Then all prayer needs will be over and the fast will be climaxed with the feast of all feasts: the Marriage Supper of the Lamb!

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