|Prayer and Fasting|
In other words, if you’re in a joyful frame of mind, don’t try to adopt an artificial position of mourning and fasting. James says: “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise” (James 5:13).
The call to the cheerful is to sing praise—not fast. So if that's you, an understanding of fasting can help you appreciate more your position of blessing. Rejoice in the goodness of God and remember that He richly supplies you with all things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17).
But some of you are on the other end of the spectrum. You’re grieving the death of a loved one. You’re fighting a major health battle. You’re battling a besetting sin. You’re overwhelmed with a difficult family relationship. Maybe you’re on the brink of a major life decision and urgently need the Lord’s guidance. John MacArthur
For you, fasting may be an appropriate outlet for the burden of your heart. That’s what A. W. Pink was talking about when he wrote,
God appointed fasting for such times. Maybe the act of skipping a meal or two would help you express to God the spiritual urgency that is on your heart. John Piper
Trials tend to make us lose sight of the spiritual realities that belong to us in Christ. So don’t use your fast to focus on your immediate problem or to try to force God’s hand to give you a great deliverance from the problem.
Instead, as you fast, focus your mind on God and direct your thoughts to divine realities.
As you fast with that trusting, dependent spirit, take heart—your Father will reward your Christ-centered fast in His time and according to His will.
One final word. It is popular for Christians to think fasting somehow brings them closer to God in a way that nothing else does. No matter how much people may protest their own experience to support their position, I don’t buy it. John Piper
The Scriptures sanctify us. We are transformed by the renewing of our mind, not the restriction of our diet.
Don’t look for external fasting to do for you what God has appointed the Scriptures to do. Fasting is not designed to put righteous desires into you; it’s meant to be a means to express urgent desires that already exist. Fasting is an effect of a spiritual urgency, not the cause of it.The apostle Paul said, “I will not be mastered by anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12). Fasting reveals the measure of food’s mastery over us—or television or computers or whatever we submit to again and again to conceal the weakness of our hunger for God.
When the sense of God diminishes, fasting disappears.