There are some Christian folks who believe that Christians should not engage in fasting as a spiritual exercise. This is very wrong and inconsistent with the Word of God. However, when you want to fast, it should be done with understanding otherwise it will be exercise in futility. Typically, fasting is setting a period aside to deny yourself of some forms of pleasure so you can concentrate your focus on God. Fasting from food and drink for a period of time is what a lot of folks is acquainted with. However, you can also fast from friends, work, watching television etc. The important thing is that you are able to separate yourself for a period to focus on God.
An important fact you must know about fasting is that your fasting does not change God but you. God does not hear your prayer because you fast but your fast is design to discipline you and to make you more spiritually sensitive. In other words, fasting sharpens your spiritual antenna to be more receptive to hear God.
For your fasting to be effective, you must fast the way the Lord Jesus instructed for us to fast. Put differently, there is an attitude and approach you must follow to fast to have result. “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full” Matthew 6: 16. Can you see that? If you fast hypocritically or with the wrong intentions, you will not receive any rewards.
What is the right attitude to a Christians fast you might ask? Matthew 6: 17-18 show us the answer. “When you fast, wash your face and comb your hair. So that your fasting will not be obvious to men, but only to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Furthermore, in Isaiah 58: 3 – 10, the Spirit of God shows us the right fast that the Lord God approves of. The Lord insists we do not fast for strife and debate rather our fast should be to do good to others. “Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the ]heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh?” Isaiah 58: 6-7. When you follow the Lord’s prescribed ways to fast, the rewards are unquantifiable. “Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am” Isaiah 58: 8-9.