Fasting from any nourishment, activity, involvement or pursuit""for any season""sets the stage for God to appear. Fasting is not a tool to pry wisdom out of God's hands or to force needed insight about a decision. Fasting is not a tool for gaining discipline or developing piety (whatever that might be). Instead, fasting is the bulimic act of ridding ourselves of our fullness to attune our senses to the mysteries that swirl in and around us."""Dan B. Allender, PhD
Dan B. Allender
Fasting with a pure heart and motives, I have discovered, brings personal revival and adds power to our prayers. Personal revival occurs because fasting is an act of humility. Fasting gives opportunity for deeper humility as we recognize our sins, repent, receive God's forgiveness, and experience His cleansing of our soul and spirit. Fasting also demonstrates our love for God and our full confidence in His faithfulness.
Yes, fasting is not merely a commandment from God but a godly gift, a grace and a blessing. God the creator of our body and soul knows of our need to fast for its benefit for our spiritual life, development and our eternity. He granted us the knowledge and manner of fasting. As a kind Father and a wise Teacher, He has recommended fasting for us.
Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria
In Shansi I found Chinese Christians who were accustomed to spend time in fasting and prayer. They recognized that this fasting, which so many dislike, which requires faith in God, since it makes one feel weak and poorly, is really a Divinely appointed means of grace. Perhaps the greatest hindrance to our work is our own imagined strength; and in fasting we learn what poor, weak creatures we are-dependent on a meal of meat for the little strength which we are so apt to lean upon.
The discipline gave me a sense of achievement. Not least, fasting is a test of willpower and, whenever I felt my willpower weakening, I would tell myself that I could eat as much as I wanted after sunset. But then the strange thing was that after fasting all day long, I tended to feel full with just a small snack.
If man has nothing to eat, fasting is the most intelligent thing he can do. If, for instance, Siddhartha had not learned to fast, he would have had to seek some kind of work today, either with you, or elsewhere, for hunger would have driven him. But as it is, Siddhartha can wait calmly. He is not impatient, he is not in need, he can ward off hunger for a long time and laugh at it. Therefore, fasting is useful, sir.
If you're having a difficult time making the best decision then consider fasting. Fasting is simply taking something you regularly do and replacing it with praying and seeking God. For example instead of eating a meal you can take that time to seek God and allow Him to speak to you about the decision.
If you offer fasting with humility and with mercy, your bones, as Isaiah said, shall be fat, and you shall be like a well-watered garden (cf. Isa. 58:11). So, then, your soul shall grow fat and its virtues also by the spiritual richness of fasting, and your fruits shall be multiplied by the fertility of your mind, so that there may be in you the inebriation of soberness, like that cup of which the Prophet says: 'Your cup which inebriates, how excellent it is' (Ps. 23:5 LXX)!
Fasting, as some people speculate, is not a bodily torture, martyrdom, or a cross, but it is a way to elevate the body to reach the level of cooperation with the soul. When we fast, our intention is not to torture the body but to shun its behaviour. Thus, one who fasts becomes a spiritual and not a physical person. Fasting is an ascetic soul which takes the body with it as its partner in asceticism.
Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria
Fasting is not bodily hunger but bodily elevation and purity. It is not a body that hungers and longs for food, but a body that rids itself of the desire to eat. Fasting is a time when the soul flourishes and lifts the body up with it. It rids the body of its loads and burdens and lifts it up so that God may work with it without impediment to the happiness of the spiritual entity.
Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria
Therapeutic fasting is not a mystical or magical cure. It works because the body has within it the capacity to heal when the obstacles to healing are removed. Health is the normal state. Most chronic disease is the inevitable consequence of living a life-style that places disease-causing stressors on the human organism. Fasting gives the body an interlude without those stressors so that it can speedily repair or accomplish healing that could not otherwise occur in the feeding state.
Ramadan is not fasting. Ramadan is an Islamic feast where one stuffs oneself twice a day with food, and in between lets ones intestines dry out. To describe that process as 'fasting' seems rather ubiquitous to me. The amount of food transported into the body is probably exactly the same, but because of the dehydration the food is processed less effectively. As customs go, most customs are typically silly and Ramadan is no exception. I can accept such silliness when people keep it to themselves, but unfortunately one sees such a sharp rise in 'policing' others that even non Muslims are now experiencing violence because they are eating at daytime in the Ramadan period.
And carry out the Hajj and the Umrah for Allah. But if you are prevented, then whatever is feasible of offerings. And do not shave your heads until the offering has reached its destination. Whoever of you is sick, or has an injury of the head, then redemption of fasting, or charity, or worship. When you are secure: whoever continues the Umrah until the Hajj, then whatever is feasible of offering. But if he lacks the means, then fasting for three days during the Hajj and seven when you have returned, making ten in all. This is for he whose household is not present at the Sacred Mosque. And remain conscious of Allah, and know that Allah is stern in retribution.
Therefore bread was created for the glory of Christ. Hunger and thirst were created for the glory of Christ. And fasting was created for the glory of Christ. Which means that bread magnifies Christ in two ways: by being eaten with gratitude for his goodness, and by being forfeited out of hunger for God himself. When we eat, we taste the emblem of our heavenly food""the Bread of Life. And when we fast we say, "I love the Reality above the emblem." In the heart of the saint both eating and fasting are worship. Both magnify Christ.