Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Inspired by Mandy's recent posts I thought I'd post a discussion question of my own.
How do you feel about Biblical fasting in today's context?  Have you ever done it? What was your experience? I'll share my views etc. later in the week.


dean said...

i've been thinking about how to respond on this post ever since you wrote it, since fasting is supposed to be one of those "left hand/right hand" things... not something you're supposed to talk about or call attention to (the long face, putting on the ol sack cloth ans sitting in ashes, etc).

but i will say that there have been a couple of times i did fast and pray... once for a person in the midst of a great personal struggle, and once praying about the global food crisis, as part of a nationwide (or maybe it was a worldwide) call for prayer and fasting concerning the global food crisis.

it did serve to keep me focused on the task (prayer for s specific matter) at hand. both were only one day fasts so nothing like some truly dedicated people have been able to do... Jesus fasting 40 days in the desert... i don't know if i'd be up for that or not. i do believe it's still a valid prayer strategy today though.

Amanda and Justin Dreyer said...

Yes- I never meant this to be a "look at me- I'm spiritual- I fast" post. I just wanted to hear other people's experiences. Fasting is one of those things I really struggle with...there are not many pastors that really teach about it, how/why/when we should do it (or at least that I know of), it's not an issue that many of us learned about as children, and it seems a little mysterious to me. The first time I ever fasted was for an assignment for my spiritual formation class in college. I have to say I just didn't get it; as if I expected that God would magically swoop down and speak to me audibly or something just because I was making a sacrifice that some people do most days (not out of sacrifice, but out of necessity). I didn't really think about it again until I had a really close friend go through (let's just call it mental illness). It was one of those situations that I couldn't do or say anything that would help the issue so I prayed and I fasted (maybe again expecting some kind of miracle for my "sacrifice"). I will have to say that it truly created a humbleness and such a dependence. I mean- if he wanted to he could swoop down and destroy every food source in the entire world. I think for me, it was just a check of my pride and to help me remember that "I am so not in control" and thank goodness for that. It's still all a little hazy to me, I always wonder if it's something that God calls us to do in certain situations or if it's supposed to be something we should do, whether we want to or not.

Mandy said...

I've actually never fasted or felt led to. I agree that it is just a mysterious issue for me.. I've never been taught much about it and how it applies to our times today. I need to read about it in scripture before I can comment much.

I would have to think that when large masses of people fast out of "duty" or "holidays" that most of them will likely not get much out of it. Doing it because you feel you should is not the same as doing it because you are truly seeking God.

I think the reason I am someone that tends to look at fasting skeptically is because I've heard WAY too many ppl use it as a "hey, look what I'm doing!" type of thing. They want to make sure you KNOW they're fasting. As with anything you're looking for credit for, it's unlikely that God has much to do with it.