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Christian Life

Q&A – Why Should We Fast?

Question:

Why should we fast? I know that Jesus fasted, but why is it important to us as Christians?

Answer:

According to the Bible, fasting isn’t optional. In Matthew 6:16, Jesus says, “When you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.”

Jesus doesn’t say “if” you fast, Jesus says “when”. In this verse, Jesus is mostly talking to the Jewish people, but the apostle Paul talks about fasting, too. Paul is not talking to Jewish people, he’s talking to the rest of us.

…As servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger. – 2 Corinthians 6:3-5

Why fast?

We fast simply because when we give up something that we greatly desire, it causes us to fully rely on God for the strength we need to stay away from the thing we’re purging. You can’t give up something you love by using your strength alone — you must rely on God. Therefore, the principle of fasting is this: Turn to God constantly and rely on Him fully. Fasting doesn’t have to be about food either! It can be anything– fasting from TV, Facebook, anything that takes a lot of your time that isn’t spent on giving God the glory.

For a more information on fasting see The Teenager’s Guide to Fasting!

Written by Jenn Arman

Image: Thomas Northcut | Digital Vision | Thinkstock

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16 Comments

  1. emerald

    Posted by emerald on May 22, 2013 at 07:13

    i need to fast from wattpad ……………………………..ok!!!!

  2. Project Inspired

    Posted by kathy on August 4, 2012 at 23:42

    i dont beleve you can “fast” with tv facebook, in bible days jesus dident fast from tvs, because there was none. I think its just food, thats how i was raised.

  3. Project Inspired

    Posted by Jadejam on May 26, 2012 at 10:32

    I wanted to try fasting from food but my mother would not let me. It is really encouraging to hear that you do not have to fast from food but you can fast from other things too 🙂

  4. Project Inspired

    Posted by Kathrie on December 9, 2011 at 16:34

    Wait! This is totally new to me. Is there like a special day to fast or do we do this anytime? And how do we fast? I never heard of us doing this before! Jews and Muslims , yes. But us? Wow.

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by jesusfreak98ily on November 27, 2011 at 09:27

    How long do we fast?

  6. Posted by on October 22, 2011 at 17:43

    yeah but you can’t glorify god every waking minute.

  7. Posted by on September 14, 2011 at 04:03

    I will definitely try fasting from my computer since I am always on it. And since I love to eat, I will try to fast for at least half the day!

    • Posted by on September 29, 2011 at 00:48

      according to the Bible and Jewish guidelines, one day is from sun up, to sun down. so if you can make it that long you’ll have completed one whole day 🙂

  8. Posted by on September 13, 2011 at 21:28

    I would fast with food but I would probably be yelled at for “trying to starve myself again”. I use Facebook to keep up with my family. What should I fast from?

    • Posted by Nicole on September 13, 2011 at 22:21

      Facebook? or TV?

      • Posted by on September 26, 2011 at 12:04

        I would suggest TV or secular music if you listen to that. Those are both good 🙂

  9. Posted by on September 12, 2011 at 20:05

    Fasting is hard,but it gets easier the more and more you do it becuase it makes you depend on God more. When you depend on God,the stronger you get. Most of all,it brings you SO much closer to God! Trust me,I know.

  10. Posted by on September 12, 2011 at 19:04

    I never believed in fasting, but now Im going to fast with my facebook! lol IM SO Addicted!

  11. Posted by on September 11, 2011 at 12:00

    We should fast because it helps us grow closer to God. When you give something up that’s important to you, it causes you to have to depend on God more.

  12. Posted by on September 11, 2011 at 08:00

    i thought it was food wow this is so encouraging i need to tell my family about this thx lol i will do this with maybe even my phone:D