It is a wonderful blessing that we rarely go hungry. But in our age of plenty, we can also develop large appetites…for food, and also for comfort. We can become addicted to comfort.
The spiritual discipline of fasting invites us to practice self-denial. And somehow, this physical denial frees us, allowing a spiritual feast. The Bible is full of examples of fasting. In fact, Jesus assumes his followers will practice giving, praying…and fasting (Matthew 6:1-18). Yet it’s unfamiliar to most of us.
Richard Foster writes, “More than any other Discipline, fasting reveals the things that control us … We cover up what is inside us with food and other good things, but in fasting these things surface … We can rejoice in this knowledge because we know that healing is available through the power of Christ.”
If your physical health permits, we encourage you to try a “meal-to-meal” fast of 24 hours or so. Begin a fast (of food) following an early supper, then break your fast the next day with a late supper. (Alternatively, you can fast from other comforts, like social media or television.) Do not dwell on your fasting, but instead focus on seeking God’s will during your times of hunger. Feed your soul.
We recommend that children fast from screen time, not food. They can replace that time with prayer or Bible reading.