10 Purposes of Fasting
By Pastor Bill Murchison
We have seen many different purposes for fasting. They include: 1) making our voices heard on high, 2) mourning and showing deep sorrow, 3) repenting of sin, and 4) seeking protection from our enemies. I want to give another example of fasting for protection.
In Daniel 6, some men, who were enemies of Daniel, devised a plan to make him guilty of bowing to someone other than King Darius. They asked King Darius to make a statute that if anyone makes a petition or any god or man besides him, he would be cast into the lion’s den. (That was one of their methods of capital punishment.) (Daniel 6:1-9) Daniel knew that the King signed it, but he continued to kneel on his knees with his windows open towards Jerusalem, and pray three times a day, giving thanks and offering petitions. The men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and supplication, and then brought the matter before the King. (Daniel 6:10-13)
The King became deeply distressed and set his mind on delivering Daniel. King Darius was not allowed to change the statute that he had signed. He had to follow through with the punishment to Daniel for violating the statute. God was the only one who could protect Daniel from the mouth of the lions. “The king spoke and said to Daniel, ‘your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you.’…Then the king went off to his palace and spent the night fasting, and no entertainment was brought before him; and his sleep fled from him.” (Daniel 6:14-18)
In the morning, the king rushed over to the lion’s den and called out for Daniel. Daniel answered, “O King, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lion’s mouths and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also toward you, O king, I have committed no crime.” Then, the king had Daniel taken up out of the den. He also had the men who maliciously accused Daniel, and cast them, their children, and their wives into the lions’ den. They were immediately overpowered and eaten by the lions. (Daniel 6:19-24)
When we fast for protection, God hears our prayers. He protects us from our enemies, and he also destroys those who come against us.
Father, may we learn to seek protection from You. You are the only one who can protect us from the lions’ den. You are the one who protects us from the malicious schemes of the enemy. You are the one who can deliver us from those who want to destroy us. May we learn to fast and seek Your protection. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.