GOD HAS CREATED Us in a perfect way, and starting with Genesis itself, He has given us unerring advice for us to keep this machinery in the best state possible. If you read the Bible, you will realize that it speaks about fasting in several passages. Even though it does so from a spiritual standpoint, it is demonstrated that a fast done correctly has great benefits for one’s physical health. Let us begin with the physical aspect and then finish with the spiritual.
When you fast—meaning you abstain for a sensible amount of time from consuming anything other than pure water in an environment of rest and peace—your health receives, among others, the following beneficial effects:
It improves the ability of the body to self-heal.
It frees toxins so that you are detoxified.
It reduces your blood pressure.
It eliminates undesired fats (but be careful about using fasting as a means of losing weight; that is not a correct motivation, since the body needs nutrients).
It helps balance the nervous system.
It helps you to restrain an uncontrolled appetite.
It improves mental clarity and spiritual discernment. No doubt fasting is good for your body, but above all, for your soul. In fact, this has to be the reason for our fast: going to God with a clear mind and with total dependence on Him.
Why did people in the Bible fast? Jesus, our example to imitate, fasted before beginning His ministry: «Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days, He ate nothing» (Luke4:1, 2). Paul and Barnabas fasted when they were making decisions that would affect the progress of the church: «So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord» (Acts 14:23). Ezra «proclaimed a fast that we might humble ourselves before our God» (Ezra 8:21, 22). Joel announced: » ‘Now, therefore,’ says the Lord, ‘turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning»‘ (Joel 2:12).
Turning back to the Lord, asking for His direction, being in communion with Him so that He might direct your mission, and recognizing your total dependence on Him—these are the spiritual reasons for fasting. And its benefits are incredible.
“So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer» (Ezra 8:23).