The most obvious and well-known fast to most of us is the abstinence of food or drink for whatever our motive might be. It is usually to help gain clarity for health, various decisions or spiritual reasons… or all of these. Fasting is simply not taught or practiced like it is laid out in scripture. In The Sermon on the Mount we read where Jesus gives instruction on giving (giving of alms), prayer and fasting. It seems historically we bear down heavily on the giving and some on the prayer and none on fasting. It is as if fasting does not exist or went out of style, culture and necessity.
“One day some people said to Jesus, “John the Baptist’s disciples fast and pray regularly, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees. Why are your disciples always eating and drinking?” Jesus responded, “Do wedding guests fast while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.”
The Groom was taken. The Fast is now on. It has never been optional.
“And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Jesus