Words from an old song came to me recently: "You must fight if you would win." It's not only soldiers on the battlefield who must fight. A spiritual battle is going on for each one we care about, and the battle will be lost unless we fight. One of those ways to fight is to fast-desiring God more than food.
In his book, The Coming Revival, Dr. Bill Bright tells that while seeking guidance after sensing the Lord calling him to a 40-day fast, he distinctly sensed a sobbing in his spirit and, he knew the Lord was weeping. He was startled at first. And although he didn't know why He was weeping, Dr. Bright began to sob, too.
Then he sensed the Spirit saying, "My people have forgotten one of the most important disciplines of the Christian life, the major key to revival." He knew the Lord meant prayer with fasting.
Fasting does not earn us a reward, but can help us express our deep desire for God's intervention. Andrew Murray in With Christ in the School of Prayer said, "Prayer is the one hand with which we grasp the invisible and fasting, the other, with which we let loose and cast away the visible."
Self-denial that pleases the Lord most is that done out of love. I believe God would say, "Deny yourself, not so I will do great things for you, but simply out of a longing for Me and to tell Me you want Me more than you want anything else."
Those who have learned the secret of fasting say with the psalmist, "My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods (63: 5).
Thank You, Lord for this way to express our strong desires to you.
"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you" (Matt. 6:6-18).