Acts 12:1 Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the ruler, and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
What gets my attention in this passage is the practice of fasting noted in verses 2 and 3. They were “worshiping the Lord and fasting” then “after fasting and praying they laid their hands on (Barnabas and Saul)…”. Some years ago I embraced the spiritual discipline of fasting fairly regularly but it’s been a while – like 10 years or more.
Fasting is a practice that tends to draw one closer to God. It denies the need of food and acknowledges the need of God instead. When I’ve fasted in the past I haven’t fasted food and drink completely, but have most often practiced a juice fast (no solid food) or the fasting of one meal per day over several days. The results were generally good. I definitely felt closer to the Lord, mostly because I was making an effort to hear from the Lord.
Fasting was one piece of an overall posture of humility before God.
Have you ever fasted? What was that like for you? This is a practice I need to try again. Soon. Lord, give me grace to make it so. Amen.