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Why Fast?

Why should you Fast?

[Ezr 9:5 NKJV] 5 At the evening sacrifice I arose from my fasting; and having torn my garment and my robe, I fell on my knees and spread out my hands to the LORD my God.

To worship God.

[Neh 1:4 NKJV] 4 So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned [for many] days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

[Act 14:23 NKJV] 23 So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

For intercession

[Ezr 8:21 NKJV] 21 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions.

[Neh 9:1 NKJV] 1 Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, in sackcloth, and with dust on their heads.

[Psa 35:13 NKJV] 13 But as for me, when they were sick, My clothing [was] sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting; And my prayer would return to my own heart.

[Psa 69:10 NKJV] 10 When I wept [and chastened] my soul with fasting, That became my reproach.

To humble yourself

[Psa 109:24 NKJV] 24 My knees are weak through fasting, And my flesh is feeble from lack of fatness.

[Mat 4:2-4 NKJV] 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”

To realize your dependance upon God.

[Ezr 8:23 NKJV] 23 So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.

[Dan 9:3 NKJV] 3 Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.

[1Cr 7:5 NKJV] 5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

To show how serious or important you are about a certain prayer / petition

[1Sa 7:4-6 NKJV] 4 So the children of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and served the LORD only. 5 And Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the LORD for you.” 6 So they gathered together at Mizpah, drew water, and poured [it] out before the LORD. And they fasted that day, and said there, “We have sinned against the LORD.” And Samuel judged the children of Israel at Mizpah.

[Joe 2:12 NKJV] 12 “Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”

For repentance

[Mat 6:16-18 NKJV] 16 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 “so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who [is] in the secret [place]; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

For rewards

[Mat 17:18-21 NKJV] 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

For spiritual power in prayer

[Mar 2:18-20 NKJV] 18 The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were fasting. Then they came and said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?” 19 And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. 20 “But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.

To show your love of /longing for Jesus.

[Act 10:30-31 NKJV] 30 So Cornelius said, “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, 31 “and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God.

[Act 13:2-3 NKJV] 2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent [them] away.

For direction

[Luk 2:36-37 NKJV] 36 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; 37 and this woman [was] a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served [God] with fastings and prayers night and day.

[2Cr 6:4-5 NKJV] 4 But in all [things] we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, 5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings;

To serve God, by setting the example through your lifestyle

How not to Fast!:

[Isa 58:2-14 NLT] 2 Yet they act so pious! They come to the Temple every day and seem delighted to learn all about me. They act like a righteous nation that would never abandon the laws of its God. They ask me to take action on their behalf, pretending they want to be near me. 3 ‘We have fasted before you!’ they say. ‘Why aren’t you impressed? We have been very hard on ourselves, and you don’t even notice it!’ “I will tell you why!” I respond. “It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves. Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers. 4 What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me. 5 You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the LORD?

The type of Fasting God requires!:

6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. 7 Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. 8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind. 9 Then when you call, the LORD will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply. “Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors! 10 Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. 11 The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. 12 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes. 13 “Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don’t pursue your own interests on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the LORD’s holy day. Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day, and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly. 14 Then the LORD will be your delight. I will give you great honor and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob. I, the LORD, have spoken!”

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