The Purpose of Fasting, Part 6


Matthew 4:1-4Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry. During that time the devil came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.’ But Jesus told him, ‘No! The Scriptures say, “People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God“‘” (NLT).

Was Jesus doing anything else in the wilderness besides fasting?

Andrew Murray, in With Christ in the School of Prayer , says, “Prayer needs fasting for its full growth… Prayer is the one hand with which we group the invisible; fasting, the other, with which we let loose and cast away the visible… And the first thought suggested by Jesus’ words in regard to fasting and prayer is, that it is only in a life of moderation and temperance and self-denial that there will be the heart or the strength to pray much.”

Perhaps I am not looking at fasting in entirely the right way, but maybe I am. In any case, maybe fasting and prayer are linked closer to each other than what I realized. I’ve always known that when you fast you are supposed to pray. But could it be more than that? Could it be that the purpose of fasting is to pray to God about something very specific? Such as an important life decision or a sick friend, or maybe even someone’s salvation? When you look at fasting in the Bible, it seems the tow are always connected. And if this is the case, then fasting should never be taken lightly.


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