Why Fasting and Prayer Go Hand in Hand
Throughout history, Christians have always emphasized the importance of prayer and fasting. Many believers understand that fasting is an integral part of their spiritual journey. But why? What’s the big deal about fasting and prayer? Why do they go hand in hand? Let’s break down why fasting and prayer are so important.
The Purpose of Fasting
Fasting has been around since ancient times, but it wasn't until Jesus Christ taught us how to fast that we truly understood its power. In Matthew 6:16-18, Jesus said, "When you fast...your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you." He also said in Luke 5:35, "The days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days." When we fast, we are seeking a closer connection with God by denying our physical desires for food so that we can focus on Him instead.
But what does this have to do with prayer? Well, when we deny ourselves food, our bodies become weak; yet at the same time our spirits become stronger because our reliance on God deepens. We become more sensitive to God's presence as hunger sets in and our physical needs become less important than our spiritual needs. This feeling of being spiritually connected to God helps us pray more effectively and earnestly. Therefore, fasting helps us enter into a deeper level of communion with God; one that cannot be attained without self-denial or without putting forth effort to reach out to Him through prayer.
The Power of Prayer
Prayer is a powerful tool that connects us directly to God. It allows us to express our thoughts and feelings while receiving His grace and mercy. The Bible tells us in James 5:16 “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (KJV). Therefore, when we combine fasting with prayer we are able to access a higher level of communication with God because both disciplines require sacrifice and intentionality on our part. We must be willing to deny ourselves something—in this case food—so that we can focus more intently on hearing from Him during our conversations with Him through prayer.
In conclusion, fasting and prayer go hand in hand because they both involve sacrificing something—our physical needs for food in the case of fasting; or time spent reflecting upon the Lord during prayer—for the sake of gaining greater spiritual insight into who He is and how He works in our lives. Through these disciplines, we draw closer to Him while developing faithfulness towards His commands which ultimately leads us into a deeper relationship with Him! May you find greater strength through your times of fasting & praying! Amen!