“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?”
Isaiah 58:6-7 ESV
What sort of fast would you choose? Fasting is a discipline that is not often talked about, it is clear that fasting can bring a greater dynamic to our prayer life. There was a time when Jesus’ disciples could not deliver a boy from a demon, Jesus healed the boy, and the disciples asked Him why they could not. “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
Matthew 17:21 NKJV
But fasting without prayer is really just depravation of food. There have been times when I’ve really sensed God calling me to prayer and fast and these times have been fruitful and brought me closer to God. Other times I’ve fasted without the same calling and it has been a struggle because I’ve been trying to do it in my own strength.
Like all of the Christian disciplines we can just undertake them as an observance, a ritual, but if our heart attitude is not right, there is little point. If our actions neglect the poor, oppressed and broken hearted then surely we have missed the point. If our prayer and fasting once again draws to the heart and the will of God, our actions will reflect this and will be evident in how we treat those less fortunate than ourselves