Three reasons people may fast
1. Health -Although sometimes viewed as unhealthy, depriving, or reserved for religious reasons, short-term fasting can offer excellent health benefits. It generally means it is the withholding of food or drink, though some people will do a media fast or fast from a hobby for an activity they particularly enjoy. I used to do the World Vision 40-hour famine fast, and we did not always fast from food.
As research grows in this area of health, fasting is becoming more widely accepted as a legitimate means of managing weight and preventing disease. Fasting is a practice associated with a wide array of potential health benefits, including weight loss and improved blood sugar control, heart health, brain function, and cancer prevention.
2. Medical – It is necessary to fast before surgery. Each time I have surgery, I have to fast at least 6 hours beforehand to prepare my body for the procedure. Food or fluid in the stomach may be vomited and could enter your lungs while unconscious. There can also be medical reasons for blood tests that require fasting before collecting the blood.
3. Spiritual – One example of fasting in the Bible is when Queen Esther asked the Jews to fast for her. The Fast of Esther is a minor fast in the Jewish calendar on the thirteenth of Adar (February/March), the day before Purim. It commemorates the three days that Queen Esther and the Jews of Shushan (an ancient city in Persia) fasted before she approached the King to intercede for her people.
Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the King, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. Esther 4:16
I have done all three kinds of fasts, depending on the circumstances I have found myself in. But especially when I have desired to see breakthroughs within my family or personal life, it is like saying to God, this issue is significant. Will you increase your presence in my circumstances, move my responses aside, work on my behalf, and move the mountain.
Esther knew that her request from the King could have resulted in her own and her people’s death, so she wanted the Jews to fast and pray for three days before approaching the King.
Fasting can help bring clarity and closeness to God and open doors for answers to prayer.
I am grateful for the benefits that come from fasting.
Until next time