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Spiritual Disciplines: Fasting 101

“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” - Matthew 6:16-18

Fasting is sometimes overlooked as a spiritual discipline, and we often do not make it a regular part of our life. But there is great blessing found in fasting, so let’s talk about it.

What is fasting? Basically, fasting is denying yourself something for the sake of pursuing God in its place. For instance, the most common way to fast is to fast from food. The idea behind it is this: you go without food for a certain amount of time, and while you are doing that, you take all of the time you would normally spend eating and use it for prayer.

You see, fasting and prayer go hand in hand. When you fast, you pray. This is awesome. It’s literally saying through your actions: “God, pursuing you is more important to me than [fill in the blank].”

You don’t have to give up food, though. Maybe you spend a lot of time on your phone and you need to fast from using your phone. Maybe you should fast from video games. Maybe you’re constantly distracted from God by work and you need to fast from it for a little bit. Or maybe there isn’t anything distracting you, but you just want to take your relationship with God to the next level - pick something and fast from it!

You see, fasting is pretty simple, and I promise you that if you do it with the intention of growing closer to God, you will experience something incredible!