Since the time of our first parents, Adam and Eve, God's people have always fasted in order to know Him better, to be closer to Him and to worship Him. The Savior Jesus Christ gave us the best example demonstrating the importance of fasting. fastingtoday He still expects his people to fast and pray frequently.
You may be wondering what is fasting?
Fasting means to voluntarily abstain from eating and drinking for a certain period of time, with the objective of getting closer to God and invoking his blessings. When you fast from time to time it is very healthy for the body and helps your mind to be more active.
The Savior Jesus Christ taught that fasting with a determined intention is something deeper than just abstaining from food and drink, fasting is also concentrating on spiritual purposes.
When we take the time to fast, we also take the time to we must prayfor the prayer is an indispensable part of a true fast. At the bibleIn the same way, fasting and prayer are repeatedly mentioned together. Therefore, if you wish to better understand the will of God, fasting and prayer are mentioned together. Father and to develop a greater spiritual strengthOur fasting must be accompanied by sincere prayer, which is why it is necessary that you begin and end your fast with prayer.
For fasting to have a deeper and spiritual meaning, it should be done for a specific purpose, or it can also have several purposes. Through fasting, accompanied with sincere prayer, we can overcome weaknesses, dominate our body and mind, help us to have strength of character, learn to control our appetites and passions or find the solution to a problem. Sometimes you can fast to ask for help or guidance for other people, for example, for a family member, friend or acquaintance who is ill or afflicted by some situation and needs to be blessed.
Fasting can also help us to be comforted in times of sorrow and pain, it helps us to be humble, develop more faith, and with that faith, you can have greater spiritual power and feel closer to God.
According to the sacred scriptures, there are different ways in which you can fast, which we will examine below. It is important that you can be honest with yourself about your physical health before you start fasting, it is recommended that you consult your doctor so that your health is not affected later.
As the partial word indicates, this type of fasting consists of abstaining from ingesting only certain foods, with the purpose of eating simply in order to avoid excesses, to avoid eating in large quantities just for physical pleasure, and to take care of our body from harmful or addictive substances that cause harm to our body and spirit.
In the bible we can find the prophet Daniel, who made the decision not to eat any type of meat, wine, or elaborate delicacies. Thank you After Daniel's decision, he was visited by the Angel Gabriel, who gave him comfort and strength, as well as revelation of prophecies for the end times.
With this type of fasting God teaches us that we must take care of our body from things that can harm both the body and the spirit, it is also an option for those who can not do a complete fast and then they can abstain from consuming certain foods.
And I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him in prayer and supplication, in fasting and sackcloth and ashes.....(Daniel 9:3)
In those days I, Daniel, was in mourning for three weeks.
I did not eat soft bread, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth, nor did I anoint myself with ointment, until the three weeks were fulfilled. (Daniel 10:2-3).
You may have noticed that this type of fasting can be done for a longer period of time or even your whole life, since it does not wear out or endanger your physical health, but rather it will strengthen you in all aspects, both spiritual and temporal.
This type of fasting is done by the majority of the disciples of Jesus Christ who do not have any physical impediment. Since it is a total fast where no food is consumed or drunk, it is done for less time, usually for a period of 24 hours, but it can also be done in periods of 6 or 8 hours depending on the spiritual and physical level of the person. It should not be done for longer than the indicated time since it can be dangerous for the health.
In the Bible we can see that on one occasion the people of Judah fasted for three days.
Go and gather together all the Jews who are in Shushan, and fast for me, and neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day....... (Esther 4:16).
When fasting for several days, it is important to drink water. This type of fasting is well known in the Christian world because no food is eaten but water can be drunk. For this reason people can extend the fast for a longer period of time.
Although it is not mentioned in the scriptures, some think that this type of fasting was the one that Jesus Christ did for 40 days and 40 nights. Note that in Matthew 4:1-2 the following is mentioned:
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting 40 days and 40 nights, he was hungry.
Since it is not mentioned that he was thirsty, it is thought that he drank water during this period of time.
We can also see that in the book of Mark 1:13 it says that the angels in the desert served him (some suppose among other things that they served him with water).
Other types of fasting
In the Holy Scriptures other types of fasting are recorded which do not refer to food or drink. These are aimed at leaving aside things or activities that have nothing to do with food, either for a period of time or for the rest of one's life. For example, to stop having sex for a certain period of time in the marriage to devote to prayer, it is important that this type of decision is taken in mutual agreement with the couple. Another example in these times can be a fast from social networks, television, or any other activity, where you could in that time get closer to your Creator, understand His will and acquire the strength to follow Him and be in communion with Him.
As you have been able to observe there are several ways in which you can fast, the most important thing is that when you take the time to do it, you prepare yourself physically and you can focus your mind and body on God's will. This way you can be strengthened spiritually and understand what He expects and desires for you.