Fasting is one of the Christian spiritual disciplines. Through fasting and prayer, the Holy Spirit can
transform your life. In fact, it has been ignored for so long in our tradition. Last few weeks deacons
encouraged the congregation to fast during a week before Easter. This is a short guidance which can be
used for us to get involve.
Why we should fast
Fasting was an expected discipline in both the Old and New Testament (For examples: Moses, Elijah,
David, Daniel in the OT; Jesus, his apostles and Paul in the NT) Fasting and prayer can restore the
intimate relationship with Christ. Fasting enables the Holy Spirit to reveal your true spiritual condition,
resulting in brokenness, repentance, and a transformed life. Fasting is a biblical way to truly humble
yourself in the sight of God (Psalm 35:13; Ezra 8:21). King David said, "I humble myself through fasting."
Through fasting we can discover more time to pray and seek God’s face, also to recognize and repent of
unconfessed sin, so that we will experience special blessings from God. In the 2 Chronicles 7:14, "If my
people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from
their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
Two motivations of the fasting during a week before Easter are:
(1) To confirm our self-control: One of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control. It is needed to control our
physical needs, emotional needs, even spiritual needs. Someone who is able to control his / her
self will be mature in life, and persevere in suffering.
(2) To focus our mind and heart on the suffering of Christ: During a week before Easter, we learn
from the suffering of Christ as the best example. The purpose is to focus our heart and mind on
God’s mission through our life, as Jesus accomplished at the cross.
How should it be done?
Fasting is not the rules about how it should be done, but about our commitment, faithfulness and our
surrender of life to God. So you can decide which one of fasting types, as follows:
- Typical Fast:
Abstaining from all food, but not from water.
This type is the most common form of Christian fast.
– e.g. Jesus (Matt. 4:2 Luke 4:2).
- Partial Fast Type A:
A limitation of the diet (no meat or all product of an animal and beverage), but not abstention from all food.
This type called also as Daniel (his companions) fast (Daniel 1:12) – John the Baptist (Matthew 3:4).
- Partial Fast Type B:
Abstaining from all food and liquid from sunrise until sunset.
type is the most common form among Muslim (Some Indonesian Churches).
So we will have earlier breakfast and a bit late dinner.
- Absolute fast:
Avoidance of all food and liquid, even water.
– e.g. Ezra (Ezra 10:6) – Esther (Esther 4:16) – Paul (Acts 9:9).
When should it be done?
It is depend on your commitment during March 21 – 26, 2016. We suggest you
to participate by doing partial fast (type A or B). One important thing during the week of fasting is to give
your time more in the Bible reading and intercession prayer. Hopefully this special moment will restore the
intimate relationship with Christ.