Six biblical reasons and four additional reasons:
1 – Jesus said we should fast. In two places: 1) Matthew 6:17 “When you fast” not “If you fast” and 2) Matthew 9:15 – when Jesus is gone, his followers will fast. He is gone. We fast.
2 – We are in a spiritual war with demonic forces of darkness and the only way to battle those is through fasting and prayer (Matthew 17:21)
3 – The early church fasted (Acts 13:3)
4 – Fasting is associated with appointed elders (Acts 14:23). When we appoint elders we should be called to fast.
5 – Jesus launched his ministry with fasting (Matthew 4). When we launch new ministries or new people into ministry we should have a period of fasting and prayer.
6 – Fasting comes with reward from God. Ever noticed this? “But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:17-18)
7 – Fasting and prayer gets us in tune with God.
8 – Fasting helps us recognize our insufficiency and God’s sufficiency.
9- Fasting develops deep reliance on God in all things
10 – Fasting lessens our fleshly desires and makes room for the fruit of the Spirit. I have never had more peace, patience, etc than in seasons of regular fasting and prayer.
We need to be fasting. We need to talk about fasting. We don’t talk about it because Jesus said (in Matthew 6) not to make a big deal of it. We turned that into don’t talk about it ever. That’s a mistake. Maybe the church is anemic in some sectors because we aren’t taking up the practice that tunes us into full reliance and dependence on the all sufficiency of God!
One tip on fasting – make it a small commitment that can be done weekly rather than a one time deal or something so big you can’t stick with it. As always, a disclaimer – if your health doesn’t permit fasting from food, find something else you find yourself heavily depending on and fast in small increments. For those who are healthy, fasting from things like TV is good and healthy but not the same thing the Bible is talking about.
If you would like more info on fasting and what Jesus taught about it, you can watch this video that goes into more detail. God bless you as you start the wonderful journey of fasting and prayer!