The Christian life is incomplete without the regular practice of fasting and prayer. We imitate the footsteps of Jesus Christ, who fasted and prayed for 40 days in a row. So, why does the Son of God, who is already perfect, need to fast and pray? In addition to the obvious spiritual advantages, there are also physical and mental health benefits supported by scientific evidence. It’s in your best interest to put it into practice.
Fasting and prayer are performed not only by Christians but by numerous religions all around the world. Despite its centrality to the Christian life, this scriptural and spiritual practice receives surprisingly little attention. Many believers miss the significance of these actions. Here, we’ll explain what fasting and prayer are, why they’re helpful, and how you can embrace them into your life.
What is Fasting and Prayer
Many of God’s people have practiced fasting and prayer throughout biblical history. The earliest incident of fasting recounted in the book of Exodus is when Moses fasted and prayed for 40 days and 40 nights on Mt. Sinai. Fasting in the Bible refers to the practice of refraining from food consumption for spiritual purposes; when combined with prayer, fasting can deepen a Christian’s relationship with God and bring about profound transformation.
To fast and pray is to forsake earthly pleasures in order to devote one’s whole attention to the Heavenly Father. It’s a decision to put God’s will ahead of your own, to put aside less crucial concerns to concentrate on those that matter. By engaging in spiritual practices like fasting and prayer, you can feed your soul while starving your worries to death. It aids in detachment from the world, allowing you to reconnect with God through prayer. Jesus, too, prayed and fasted!
Why Should I Fast and Pray?
It is evident that fasting and prayer can greatly impact your life. If you’re eager to put in the effort of fasting and praying, the Holy Spirit will work in your life, and God will speak to you in exciting, new ways. It makes a person more open to His direction. If you find yourself in a state of loss and unsure what to do, fasting and prayer can help you communicate with God on a deeper level.
Through fasting and prayer, we can demonstrate our sincerity in recommitting ourselves to a life of obedient service to God and our repentance for the sins we have committed. It’s our way of showing God how little we know about ourselves. Do you have trouble resisting certain temptations? Purify your body and soul with a period of fasting and prayer. Realizing you can only do so much on your own and relying on Jesus to carry you through will alter your perspective on God and the world.
How to Practice Fasting and Prayer
Now you know how significant fasting and prayer are, the next step is to understand how to commit the act. Don’t make the mistake of fasting without praying; that is simply called dieting.
Here are some helpful steps to guide you through fasting and prayer
Step 1: Examine your motives. Ask yourself this. Why am I fasting?
The efficacy of your fasting and praying might depend on your motivations. Is it for healing? Spiritual renewal or breakthroughs? Start by seeking the Holy Spirit’s direction so your prayers can be focused and effective.
Step 2: Think carefully about what kind of fasting you want to do through prayer.
Set goals for how long you want to fast (one meal, one day, one week, etc.), how you want to fast (water only, water and juices, etc.), what kinds of physical or social activities you want to limit, and how much time you want to allocate in prayer and reading the Bible every day.
Step 3: Prepare yourself Physically and Spiritually.
Before committing to a period of fasting and prayer, it may be wise to see a doctor and get an assessment of your health. Don’t rush. Instead, try to reduce your food intake to give your body time to adjust. Prepare your heart, too. Before anything else, pray to God and repent of all your sins that may hinder your ability to fast and pray properly. Embrace who God is and what are His attributes. Keep in mind that you may face spiritual opposition once you begin. From now on, it will be a war between body and spirit.
Step 4: Follow a schedule.
Pray to God on your knees first priority in the morning and last priority at night. Spend much time in prayer and reflection. Take heed of His direction. Spend considerable time reflecting on God’s Word during the fast. Your schedule can comprise your list of activities for the day and what kind of water or juices you will have. Don’t let yourself get sidetracked.
Step 5: Breaking the fast.
Do not eat solid foods right after you finish your fast. To minimize harmful consequences to your body, try eating numerous smaller meals or snacks every day. Begin with small portions and gradually increase your intake until your body has recovered.
Intimately humbling oneself before the Lord is at the heart of fasting and prayer. It’s an opportunity to reflect on sin in one’s life, ask forgiveness from God, commune with Him in prayer, and study His Word. By doing so, you will become more attuned to His presence and open yourself to fresh spiritual understanding. Christians should make an effort to do this regularly. The Bible Portal is an excellent resource for learning more about fasting and prayer. This may be difficult at first, but it is essential if you want to grow more intimately God.