There is a lot of misunderstanding today about fasting. Some people think it is related to dieting and the body. Others think its purpose is to impress God with the intensity of their desire. Others hope their self-denial will speed up the Lord’s answer. None of these are true.
Fasting is a spiritual work in which we temporarily eliminate distractions so that we can give our undivided attention to our heavenly Father. It is a time of spiritual preparation through exclusion of earthly interruptions. As we abstain, other things begin to lose their sense of importance; in their place is a heightened awareness of God's presence and His priorities for our lives. Our agenda is replaced by His as we connect with Him in deeper intimacy and receive all that He has to tell us. It can be one of the most powerful experiences of the Christian life.
Fasting can be carried out in several ways: going without food, eliminating activities, or forgoing sleep in order to seek Him. You can also set aside the intimate sexual relationship between husband and wife for a period of time. The intent is always to be in the Lord's presence without disturbances so that His voice can be heard.
Have you avoided fasting because it appears too hard or too confusing? Think instead of the joy you will experience from a deeper communion with your loving God, and step out in faith. Giving your unhampered attention to the Lord for a period of time is one of the wisest things you can do.
Taken from "The Powerful Practice of Fasting" by In Touch Ministries (used by permission).