I felt led to fast for a day a while back and after the day was over, I looked to hubby and said "I don't even know if I did that right." He encouraged me that God knows my motives, but it made us both realize we knew very little about biblical fasting which got us studying!
Fasting is something I haven't really heard preached about much. It peaked hubby's interest so he started to search for himself and we discovered some very important things.
Fasting is actually a discipline the Christian should be practicing.
Matt 9:15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
The disciples were not fasting while the Lord walked with them on earth. They were in close fellowship with Him. But Jesus says that when I leave, then the dynamics of our relationship is going to change, and that is when they will need to fast.
Biblical fasting is for the purpose of bringing us closer to God. It is a humbling of yourself before God, it is a time to allow the Holy Spirit to bring us to the place of repentance and reveal our spiritual condition and allow us to restore a more intimate relationship with God. It is a time to rely less on food and more on God himself. To have a deeper prayer time and study time with our Lord.
Matt 6:16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Did you notice the first part of the verse? When you fast.....not 'if' you fast. It should be a part of the Christian walk. Jesus fasted (Matt 4:2), Paul tells us in I Cor 7:5 that a husband and wife are to only be apart physically for a time of fasting and prayer, II Cor 6:4-5 says ministers should prove themselves with fasting... Paul fasted (II Cor 11:27), Daniel fasted (Dan 10:2-3), Elijah fasted (I Kings 19:8), David fasted (2 Sam 1:12), Ninevites fasted after Jonah preached to them (Jonah 3:5), Moses fasted (Duet 9:9) ......the list goes on!
To read more about fasting, a good resource is here and there are several more good articles if you search them out.
Have we been neglecting an important discipline as followers of Christ? I encourage all of us to be in prayer about fasting and listen to God's leading about fasting.