Thursday, September 24, 2015

#26. Should we fast when we pray?

Christian Prayer Catechism: Question #26

Q. Should we fast when we pray?

A. Yes, fasting adds an "exclamation mark" to our prayers.

There are many appropriate times to fast and pray (see the long biblical list in Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, chapter 9 [pgs. 159-180]). Fasting is expected by our Lord (Mark 2:19-20, Matt. 6:16-18, etc), but it is not a means of wrestling God to our point of view or holding him hostage by a hunger-strike. Fasting is a way of intensifying our prayers so that we increasingly say to ourselves and to God that we really believe what we are praying. "This much, O God, I want you" (A Hunger for God, 23).