From all accounts I see; fasting is nearly non-existent in the church today. I don't hear it mentioned or taught about like I did years ago. I do know of churches that have corporate fast and encourage individual fasting. However, they are few and far between. I remember when fasting was a foundational responsibility of being a Christian. Just for posterity sake let me say that it still is a foundational responsibility of every Christian. The trouble in today's world is that we don't want to do anything that causes us discomfort. However if you read the history in the bible of those who fasted and the results God gave them, I think we would be willing to forgo a meal or two to receive from the Lord. Isaiah 58 is the "fasting chapter" just as 1 Corinthians 13 is considered the "love chapter". What does fasting do for us? According to the scripture in Isaiah 58 and I'm paraphrasing, it loosens the hold sin has on us, lifts burdens, sets the oppressed free, and breaks yokes of bondage. There are many types of fast such as the Esther fast found in Esther 4;16 which was a 3 day fast seeking God's favor in a time of personal crisis. There is the Daniel fast in Daniel 10:2-3 for the purpose of understanding the vision and purpose God has for your life. Leviticus 23:27 speaks of a one day fast for consecration and self examination. And of course Isaiah 58 that describes fasting for healing. There are many others that I encourage you to read about and perhaps place in your life. I am restoring fasting in my life to loose the bondage's and seek direction and most of all to just restore or reset my walk in the lord to where I am in love with the heavenly father just as I was when I was first saved. I love the presence of the Holy Spirit and fellowship with the Father. Our nation needs us today. I personally believe the USA is in a crisis and I also believe the church is in a "Laodocean crisis". See Revelation chapter 3:14- 22. A Laodocean crisis is where many of us are neither hot nor cold therefore we are not pleasing to God. We actually don't think we have a need. God see's things differently than we do. I think many of us have actually been dulled to the fear and respect that God deserves from us. I desire to have God's thoughts more than my thoughts, and his ways above my ways. Fasting gives us the boost we need spiritually and physically to accomplish that and breaks the spiritual bondages that hold us back. May God forgive our nation and a sleeping slothful church.
Read Jentzen Franklins book on fasting. Its one of the best published today.
Howard's Helpful Hint: Centered people integrate fasting in their lives to produce godly results and return to their first love.