“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others 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. (Matthew 6:16–18 , NIV)
Praying. Reading Scripture. Both are spiritual disciplines we are accustomed to hearing about, as well as practicing. Fasting, we we could do without it. Yet fasting may create a more recognized focus on God and his provisions than any other discipline we can undertake.
What experience or teaching have you had/heard about fasting? Why do you think it is lesser known–and lesser practiced–today?
As with many of the spiritual disciplines that Jesus talks about, fasting is to be done without putting on a big show. Why is this the case and in what ways might fasting be one of the easier disciplines to do without everyone knowing about it?
Why is fasting one of the best spiritual disciplines to practice in order to understand our dependence on God?