This week flew by for me…I was busy with preparing and recording an upcoming message for the Women’s Ministry at my church, I was back in the kitchen working on some new recipes, recording and editing a new episode of Feed Your Spirit podcast, and started a couple new projects (more details later this month). I feel like I blinked and here it is Friday already.
Instead of my normal blog post this week, I wanted to share a short excerpt from the Biblical Fasting section of my new book, Faith & Fasting: Scripture & Plant-Based Recipes to Nourish Your Body & Soul along with one of the days in the Meal Plan. I hope you enjoy it and if you already purchased your copy, Thank You! If you haven’t…what are you waiting for? Just click the link above and you will be able to get your copy today.
What Does the Bible Say about Fasting?
While we are not commanded to fast, the Bible presents fasting as a good thing. Throughout the scriptures, we can see examples of fasting being used as a form of obedience, repentance, mourning, helplessness, or spiritual need.
Fasting is not intended as punishment but as a way to redirect our attention to God. It is a time in which we should allow God to get more of us as we surrender our insecurities, bitterness, anger, fears, pride, unforgiveness… whatever we need to trust Him with. By taking our focus off the things that consume our time, we can refocus our attention on our fellowship with our Father and pray for clarity and strength and a breakthrough on the other side of faithfulness.
In the Old Testament, the Book of Nehemiah describes the prophet’s response to the news that Jerusalem’s walls had been torn down and the gates burned. Nehemiah was so troubled by this that he fasted and prayed.
When I heard these words, I sat down and wept. I mourned for a number of days, fasting and praying before the God of the heavens. – Nehemiah 1:4
His prayers during his fast were characterized by weeping, confessing, and pleading to God for mercy. God responded to his prayers and fasting by giving him the ability to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls and gates. He prepared a plan and went to work, doing it with the help of the citizens and for the glory of God.
Like Nehemiah, Daniel turned to fasting and prayer after Judah had fallen to the Babylonians. Daniel was in mourning as he watched more and more of God’s people turn to sin, rebelling against the covenant given to them by God.
So I turned my attention to the Lord God to seek Him in prayers and petitions, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed… – Daniel 9:3
Daniel fasted and prayed God would have mercy upon the people. This would not be the last time he did so…