Seven Reasons to Fast
I am very excited about our church-wide fast! I am believing God for blessings and breakthroughs. I came across this helpful list of “Seven Reasons to Fast” from Held by His Pierced Hands, and I am sharing it with you.
#1 When you fast, you tell the Lord that you love him more than food. I think this is the most basic level — the first thing we understand about fasting as a child. Every piece of candy we don’t eat, every meal we skip is a love letter to the Lord.
#2 Fasting helps to detach you from your psychological dependence on food. I think Americans especially are obsessed with food; we let it rule us. The idea of having enough self-control to skip a snack, let alone a meal, is astounding to us. But when you choose hunger for love of God, you begin to realize that hunger isn’t so bad.
#3 Fasting makes eating worshipful. If you’ve ever been really hungry — I mean really hungry — you know that the first bite of a stale bagel is rapturous. That whole first meal, really, is the best thing you’ve ever tasted. Far from running from food because the world is evil, fasting teaches us to find God in the good things of creation.
#4 Fasting gives you mastery over your body. More than just helping you to rule your appetite, fasting teaches you to rule your appetites. When you fast, you discipline your body and learn to be its master, not its slave. I don’t know how people can be chaste when they haven’t practiced self-mastery in the arena of food first.
#5 Fasting unites you to the suffering Christ. I’m not just being flippant when I say, “Jesus suffocated to death for you; I think you can handle skipping snack time.” We suffer for love of him, which consoles his bleeding heart and teaches us just how deeply he loves us.
#6 Fasting teaches you to accept every cross, not just the ones you choose. For many of us, the great difficulty of our particular cross is that it is chosen for us. The more we learn to take up the crosses of our choosing, the more we learn to embrace the one that is thrust upon us. True fasting makes me decrease and him increase.
#7 Fasting changes your attitude to discomfort. When hunger is prayer, it’s not hard to make pain and exhaustion and other physical discomfort prayer. We adjust our attitudes by surrendering our bodies to God and before long we find that virtue isn’t as hard as it once seemed.
Dr. Sheron C. Patterson