Israel’s first king died a tragic death. When David heard about it, he responded in a way many of us would not understand. “Then David and all the men with him took hold of their clothes and tore them. They mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the arm of the Lord and for the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword” (2 Samuel 1:11-12).
Fasting was a common practice of God’s children, in both the Old and New Testaments. For those of us in addiction, fasting can be a sharp tool. To fast is to skip a meal or series of meals for a specific purpose. In Scripture, we see some consistencies among fasts.
- Fasting is almost always done with prayer.
- Fasting is a way to draw closer to God.
- Fasting is a means of personal cleansing.
- Fasting represents sacrifice.
- Fasting enables greater focus on finding God’s will.
- Fasting is often done at periods of transition.
Herman Hesse said, “If a man has nothing to eat, fasting is the most intelligent thing to do.” I suggest fasting goes a lot deeper than that. If you are struggling with your spiritual connection, with your addiction, or in finding God’s will for your life, try fasting. It may be a world-changer for you.
Recovery Step: Fast with purpose, and fast with prayer. Joseph Wirthlin said, “We observe that in the scriptures, fasting almost always is linked with prayer. Without prayer, fasting is not complete fasting. It’s simply going hungry.”