Throughout the Bible many people pray and fast together. It is amazing how many people today see this combination as unimportant. There are no direct commands in the Bible telling us to fast, but we do have the example of many people who practiced prayer and fasting. In the Old Testament King David, Queen Esther, and Jehoshaphat all fasted. In the New Testament, both Paul and Jesus fasted. It is interesting that our two greatest teachers never taught about fasting. Maybe the reality is that we should not even need to ask if we should pray and fast, but be following their example!
Fasting is not a hunger strike to get God to answer our prayers. It is about coming to God in humility and seeking him. Let me encourage you to use this time of fasting as a time of prayer. Can I also challenge you to be open?
Be open to the possibility that God might tell you to answer your own prayer. Are you open, if you pray, 'Lord help the children in Sudan who have no food!' to hear God say, 'I want you to be a missionary to these people and to feed them yourself!'
This year when you fast: Let's pray!