Fasting is a tool that the Lord has provided for us. It is not something that you would use daily, but only as needed. He also showed us that that there are times that it is needed, verse 21.
Prayer and fasting, they go together, without prayer, fasting is just “going hungry”. Prayer is something that comes fairly naturally to each of us. Making our request to God daily, is a huge part of being a child of God. In this passage the Lord informs us of the power of prayer and fasting.
What does fasting along with prayer accomplish?
- Proof of your faith – Verse 20
The reason stated why they could not heal the boy was “unbelief”.
[Matt.10:1] the Lord had given them the power to heal the boy.
[Verse 21] the Lord has told us that fasting makes a difference.
When you commit to a fast, you are taking a step of faith.
[2 Corinthians 5:7] (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
2. Proof of your submission – [Isa.58:3,5]
Fasting not only affects your physical being, but it afflicts your soul.
What is considered a fast?
- [Lev.16:29-31] [Lev.23:27-32] these passages speak of “afflicting the soul”
- [Ps.35:13] “I humbled my soul with fasting”
- It is a period of time in which you deprive the flesh of food (and water in shorter periods)
It is a God honoring method of submission
By committing to afflict your body and soul you are showing God your seriousness.
[Isa.58:3] it also affects your lifestyle, replace the time spent on your flesh with prayer/Bible
3. Improve your relationship with God
[Isa.58:6] can deliver you from sin
Just by committing to a fast, you are confessing it and submitting it to God
[Isa.58:6] can undo heavy burdens you may be carrying
[Isa.58:8] can give you light, clearer direction from God [Ps.119:130]
[Isa.58:9] Can provide answer to prayer, or speed up the process
[Isa.58:11] can improve the work of the Spirit of God in your life
Water is likened to the filling of the Holy Spirit [Jn.7:38-39]
[Eph.5:18] being filled with the Spirit means removing everything else, fasting does that.
Ask your doctor if you can safely fast
Make sure that your fast is prompted by the Spirit of God for specific spiritual reasons, never as a method to obtain a blessing from God [Lk.18:10-14]
Never done to draw attention [Matt.6:16-18]
Prayer and fasting never obligate God and make him a servant