In the Bible, Jesus tells his followers to fast. It is not optional. He doesn’t say, “If you fast…,” but rather, “When you fast…” (Matthew 6:16-17). Jesus’ teaching applies to us too.
Fasting is intentionally going without something in order to better connect with God, such as to focus on prayer or seek his leading in making a decision. Typically, fasting is specifically going without food for a period on time. The length of time could be for a few hours, up to several days.
It is important to remember that the focus of fasting isn’t about suffering, but about seeking.
When we fast, we become understandably hungry for food, reminding us of the importance of being hungry for God. Imagine craving time and intimacy with God as much as we crave eating—three or more times a day.
(See “Fasting for the Right Reasons.”)