Summary: An in-depth guide to fasting and prayer, in the Christian’s life.

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We are living in a society that ranks “eating” as the number

one passion.

A. We could take the whole time just naming these, roast beef, fried chicken,

hamburgers, Greek food.....and-on-and-on.

1. We have been programmed to eat at set times.

a. There may be no hunger involved....we

eat out of habit.....”because its there”.

1.) As a general rule, Americans eat

too much and too fast.

a.) 80% of Americans are over-


B. Many are very dependent upon food.

1. Not just for survival:

a. For dealing with anxiety, depression,

boredom, and many other emotional


b. Rather than eating to live....many live to


1.) These people eat for the taste only.

With this all in mind....we can understand why fasting can

be so much of an emotional issue.

A. People fear to fast.....there are some who,

subconsciously fear starvation.

1. It may come from a real past of not having

much to eat.

2. It could be coming from a lack of faith and

trust that God WILL provide our needs.

B. Many do not want to fast, because they enjoy

food...too much.

1. Could one say that food can be our master?

Now.....on the other side of the coin are the different

degrees of fanaticism concerning fasting.

A. Some of these ideas can a often do turn a person


1. John Wesley said, “Some have exalted

religious fasting beyond all scripture and

reason, and others have utterly disregarded


a. There are those who feel that fasting

needs to be bound upon all Christians...

as a matter of faith.

1.) They have made rules and reasons

for fasting and try to control others

in this exercise.

b. Then there are those who consider fasting

totally unnecessary....undesirable...and

very inconvenient.

1.) In short.....they feel as though they

can ignore all that is said, in

Scripture, concerning the practice

of fasting.

Even though this subject may be a touchy one or one that

we are comfortable in ignoring......I think that we do need

to take a new look at the concept of fasting.

A. The list of Biblical people who fasted becomes a

“who’s who” of scripture.

1. Moses, David, Elijah, Esther, Daniel,

Jesus Christ, the Apostles, but name

a few.

a. There are more teachings on fasting in

the New Testament, than on repentance

and confession.

b. Jesus taught more on fasting than on

baptism and the observance of the Lord’s


Because the Bible has so much to say on the is

only right that we consider several points concerning the


I. Occasions of fasting in the Old Testament.

NOTE: Old testament writings are almost always the

foreshadowing (or the figure) of something to

come, in the New Testament.

1. The Old was the fleshly....the carnal.......The

New is the Spiritual application of this

example or principle or law.

A. Fasting was called for on the “Day of Atonement”.

Lev. 16:29-31 - 29“On the appointed day in early autumn,

you must spend the day fasting and not do any work. This

is a permanent law for you, and it applies to those who are

Israelites by birth, as well as to the foreigners living among


30On this day, atonement will be made for you, and you

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