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What Is Fasting? (Acts 27:33)

Introductory Thoughts

Modern Christianity has been redefining Bible terminology and fasting is no exception. Perhaps this is because Christians want to look spiritual without the necessary dedication. Some claim to be fasting from certain things like caffeine or sugar intake. The Bible does not offer anyone this type of latitude. True biblical fasting involves much more than refraining from some handpicked pleasure. According to our passage, Paul entreated the people to take meat because they had been fasting for two weeks. Esther 4:16 reveals that fasting consists of taking no food or drink. Although some Bible teachers have suggested that fasting means to simply refrain from earthly joys, fasting in the Bible always includes refraining from food or from both food and drink. Even the results of fasting identify that it is associated with depriving the body of food. In Psalm 109:24, David said, “My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness.” Foregoing earthly pleasures is a byproduct of fasting, not the sole object.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Read Matthew 15:32. Jesus called going without food fasting. Fasting can also mean going without food and water (Exodus 34:28).
  • (For everyone):  When is the last time you purposely refused to eat or drink anything for the purpose of bringing glory to God? What was the reason for which you fasted?
  • Have you ever fasted? If not, why? Do you think the Lord mentions fasting without purpose or do you think He truly desires for His people to fast?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to give you the courage to fast for Him.
  • Ask God to teach you the benefits of fasting.