Fasting/Matthew 6:16-18
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole



What is the Spiritual Discipline of Fasting?


Five Scriptural motives for fasting from Speaker Steve May

1. To hear from God (Early Church in choosing leadership)

2. To intercede for others (Psalmist)

3. Act of Repentance (Prophets)

4. For strength and direction (Acts- Paul and Barnabas)

5.  Act of Worship (Gospels)


Definition of Fasting

It is an intentional ceasing from an otherwise ordinary activity for a spiritual purpose. Fasting is a space for God carved out of our ordinary lives through our bodies. 


Fasting is a way to make a space for God.



The reward of fasting is a greater awareness of God\'s presence.



The result of fasting is a deeper dependence on God\'s presence.



Ideas for Practicing Fasting

1. If you have not fasted before, plan a fast of two or more meals’ duration – breakfast to breakfast, lunch to lunch, and so on – when you will consume only fruit juice or water. Afterward, monitor your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual responses to the fast.

2. If you have fasted before, plan a fast of whatever duration is right for you this week. Perhaps this would be an appropriate time to reflect and pray about your journey into the Spiritual Disciplines in the months ahead.

3.  Fast from something that does not involve food – for example, the entertainment media, passing judgment on yourself or others, people (to experience solitude), impulsive speech.