When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.- (Palms 69:10)

The disciples asked Jesus why they could not heal a lunatic boy. Jesus said, “Because of your unbelief…Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting” (Mt. 17:14-21). Faith needs prayer for its development and full growth, and prayer needs fasting for the same reason. Fasting has done wonders when used in combination with prayer and faith. This is a biblical doctrine. To fast means to abstain from food-that which caused the fall of man. Fasting humbles the soul before God (Ps.35:13); chastens the soul (Ps. 69:19); and crucifies the appetites and denies them so as to give the entire time to prayer (2 Sam. 12:16-23; Mt. 4:1-11). It manifest earnestness before God to the exclusion of all else (1 Cor. 7:5); shows obedience; gives the digestive system a rest (Mt. 6:16-18; 9:15; Lk. 5:33); demonstrates the mastery of man over appetites; aids in victory over temptation; helps to attain power over demons; develops faith; crucifies unbelief and aids in prayer (Mt. 4:1-11: 17:14-21).

All believers are supposed to fast, but no regulations or set rules are given as to how long or how often. That is determined by individual desires and needs (Mt. 9:14-15; 1 Cor.7:5; Acts 13:1-5). Men should fast when under chastening, judgement, in need, in danger, when worried, in trouble, in spiritual conflict, and when desperate in prayer.

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