Why We Have No Appetite for Fasting

Posted at Reformation Scotland:

These days it seems that when people are serious about losing weight and being healthy they are even willing to try intermittent fasting diets. Whether or not that is a good thing, there are clear reasons why they do. It is simple and they believe it is necessary and will benefit their health. So why do some Christians never engage in fasting and prayer when it is equally simple?

In part, this may be because they do not strongly believe it to be necessary or beneficial. In fairness, it is probably also because fasting by its nature is not routine or part of the ordinary means of grace. This means that we must be persuaded enough to be proactive in identifying the appropriate time for it.

Because we do not know that we should fast?

As has been observed frequently, Christ says twice in the same chapter not “if” but “when you fast” (Matthew 6:16, 18). “Religious fasting” is one of the duties of worship required by the second commandment (Westminster Larger Catechism, Q108). Some make excessive and superstitious use of fasting but this is not true fasting. It should not dissuade us from true obedience to this command. There may also be practical medical issues for some but it is still a principle that needs to be applied in some way. There different ways and different areas of life in which it can be applied.


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