Fasting – When And Why?

Sometime back we had a Doctrine Matters message detailing the New Testament verses that prove Christians should fast today. But when and why should we fast? I thought we would look back at the Old Testament for some help on those questions …

When did God’s people fast in the Bible?:

· Nehemiah 1:4 it was almost always accompanied with prayer

· II Chron 20:2-3 at the threat of war – Jehoshaphat "proclaimed a fast" (it isn’t just forgetting to eat, nor not having enough time to eat)

· Esther 3:8-9,4:3 when faced with impending danger

· II Sam 12:16 when praying for the sick

· II Sam 1:12 when loved ones died

· Deut 9:15-18, Dan 9:3-5 when seeking God’s forgiveness

· Etc.

Purposes of fasting include:

· Jonah 3:3-10 to entreat God’s favor

· Luke 2:36-37 to serve God

· Psalms 69:10, Isaiah 58:5, Psalms 35:13 to chasten/afflict/humble our soul

· Ezra 8:21-23 to seek God’s help in a particular matter

· Etc.

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