Isaiah 58:6: “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: / To loose the bonds of wickedness, / To undo the heavy burdens, / To let the oppressed go free, / And that you break every yoke?”

March 19th, 2018 by Pastor Ed in devotional

During a Sunday service, a woman experienced a healing in her body, so she wrote a note to her pastor, telling him of her experience. She closed her letter with: “Pastor, do you think that God could do something about my weight problem, too?” The pastor wrote back: “Dear Sister, that kind does not go out except by fasting.” This is of course just a joke, but the subject of fasting is an important matter, full of great spiritual truths. It is first mentioned in Scripture in Exodus 34:28, when Moses miraculously fasted 40 days and nights and then received the Ten Commandments. In the New Testament, Jesus began His earthly ministry with 40 days of prayer and fasting.

The Lord tells us through the Prophet Isaiah that fasting is about releasing burdens, oppression, and heavy yokes. When someone or something has us in bondage, or there are heavy burdens upon our lives that we can’t handle, we can find deliverance by bringing it to God through fasting. It is interesting to study the lives of the people God has used mightily in His Kingdom and find that most, if not all, consistently practiced fasting. Orphanage founder and pastor George Mueller fasted; as did Judson Taylor, missionary to China; and evangelist George Whitefield. Many recent leaders like Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ; James Dobson of Focus on the Family; and pastor Jerry Falwell have also practiced fasting.

We see in Ezra 8:23 that prayer and fasting always go together: “So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.” In his book, God’s Chosen Fast, Arthur Wallis says, “Fasting is calculated to bring a note of urgency . . . into our praying, and to give force to our pleading in the court of heaven.”

“LORD, we thank You for the spiritual tools of prayer and fasting.”