Fasting as a Religious Discipline: Exploration of Its Significance

Fasting literally means to willingly abstain from food, drink or both, either for religious reason or for any other reason with the aim to achieve a definite result. Let's talk about fasting as a religious discipline. Looking at our church today, many people have neglected the importance of fasting. Because of easy life styles, doctors reports, the grace message, which has virally gone to the extreme. Should we fast? Is fasting a necessity in our Christian faith? Did fasting ended with old testament or did fasting continued in new testament by the apostles? Matt.6.17 - But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face. Jesus taught about the right way to fast to God. These are some of the questions we will seek to answer. Let's begin to establish if we should fast, why we should fast and the right way to fast.

Fasting and our contemporary Christian

Many people in the Christian faith today have attached little or no importance to fasting. The church today seem to be too lazy to deny themselves of certain material things such as food, drink, videos and lusts of the this world to fast and pray unto God. Many a times, the church have to fix corporate fasting and only freewill be present, so many pastors cannot even fast today, instead, ceremonial activities have occupied the church. No one want to suffer the flesh, even grace teaching have been wrongly used to support these Luke warmness in the church.

Suffering the flesh by denying it some things in order to attain a higher level in the spirit through fasting is a necessary part of the Christian faith. Fasting is not something Christians do to show off, rather it's what Christians do to dust off some old behaviors and put on renewed clothes of righteousness to God. The word of God is the sustaining power and guidance during fasting. Fasting will enable the church to be in contact with the voice of the Holy Spirit, through fasting visions are seen clearer, spiritual gifts which mostly differentiate Christians from other religions manifest more and many other great spiritual renewals.

In the church today, what happened in Isaiah chapter 58:1-6 where believers highly magnified fasting and idolized it are still happening in the modern day Christian faith. Many have taken the fasting system to an extreme and the Bible didn't teach so. Fasting, without holiness, is just staving and does no good at all. Fasting is not system for religious boasts, nor a system that snatches things from God; as without it, God doesn't answer players. Fasting must go with holiness and word of God. Many fast without purpose, weight loss exercise purpose of fasting is very different from spiritual exercise of purpose of fasting. Purpose should accompany fasting, all fastings in the scripture are accompanied with purpose, fasting is not strife, competition, pride, nor ceremonial show off.

Not only are the churches convinced that acts of fasting and worship evidenced extreme faithfulness; but people are surprised that despite all these ritualized, public displays of devotion, God don't answer their prayers when they fast. It's simply because most people fast with wrong motives. That is why God reproved the Israelis through prophet Isaiah.1With the decrease of the spiritual reality, clarity and awareness, of the Christian faith, and possible reasons to manifest, the outward form, and developed system of religion is certain. Contemporary issues tend to confuse and neutralize fasting, the society tend to belief that it is a one must satisfy every cravings, demands, hunger of humans. Fasting is therefore neglected and as a result fasting seems obsolete.

Many people complained that they fasted, but God answered not,, they suffer and grief themselves in fasting but God refused to acknowledge it, they grew weary in their ignorant self-afflicted routined worship and fasting without result. God gave them reasons why He didn't answer, because they fasted for self-gratification, and extort their laborers. God said, in Isaiah, 58: 4, because of contention, quarrel, other things the church negatively do while they fast, He will neither see nor acknowledge their type of fasting.

Fasting starts from the positive change of the heart and attitudes towards God and towards man respectively. It must be genuinely practice from the heart, and the person involve in fasting must be willing and eager you let go of besetting sins. The person should be willing to grow and develop more of God and spiritual virtue and put to death many setbacks to his/her spiritual growth. Fasting, prayer, giving, love, humility, sacrifice through self-discipline and sometimes going for spiritual retreats where one seclude oneself from the crowd and concentrate on the word of God are always encourage to put together as elements for fasting.

He challenges the people with a true definition of "fast" and activities God requires from people. At the heart of all Yahweh’s demands is nothing less than establishing genuine justice and merciful compassion for all. This directive is not just for Israel, it's for us as well. Justice and mercy do not know age for they are part of the divine fabric of the universe.


In verses 8- 14, God assured them His promises in these verses, He will heal them, answer them, make them shine as light, give them favor and inheritance. If we fast and worship in God's way and let go of our evil ways, God will answer us today. Things start out rather calm, constant prayer, then the Holy Spirit comes roaring into the room, igniting the tongues of fire, Acts (2:1–13). From that point on, we know we are in for a bumpy ride.

03 December 2019
Your Email

By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and  Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.

close thanks-icon

Your essay sample has been sent.

Order now
Still can’t find what you need?

Order custom paper and save your time
for priority classes!

Order paper now