Fasting Resources

by Josh Smith on January 10, 2023

Whether you regularly practice fasting or have never done it before, we want you to participate with us! This is such a great practice to align our hearts with God, and we want you to join us! 

What is Fasting, and why should I do it?

The most basic Biblical definition for fasting would be the abstinence of food for spiritual purposes. Two things need to be clarified from that definition:

1. Fasting is not just abstaining from food: In the Bible, fasting is only seen in abstaining from food. We do not see in the Bible examples of people fasting from anything other than food. But that being said, fasting from anything that might help us focus more on spiritual activities is certainly not forbidden.
This is why Richard Foster in his book “Celebration of Disciplines” defines fasting as “The voluntary denial of a normal function for the sake of intense spiritual activity.”
It could be that the best way for a person to focus more on spiritual activity is to abstain from television, Facebook, movies, or music for an extended period of time.
The point of fasting is to abstain from something in order to put more attention on your spiritual life.

2. Fasting is for spiritual purposes: Paul commands Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:7 to “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.” The purpose of all discipline is spiritual. Although fasting clears your mind, helps you lose weight, and has many health benefits, those are not ultimately the purpose of fasting. We fast because we want to feast on God more than we want to feast on food. We fast because we are desperate to see God move in our lives and in the lives of others.

We've assembled some resources to help explain the practice of fasting and to encourage you in this discipline.

1. Fasting: Five Facts on Fasting – by Pastor Josh Smith

2. A Hunger for God (PDF version of the book) – by John Piper

3. Fasting for Beginners (PDF article) – by Desiring God

Tags: praying, fasting, spiritual disciplines, fast

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