Fasting – Part 13, Purposes of Fasting 11

13 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, 4) seeking protection from our enemies, 5) spiritual alertness and discernment, and 6) increased faith. Today, I want to look at a seventh reason for fasting; spiritual revelation and understanding.

In Daniel 9:1-3, Daniel was reading some of the Jeremiah’s prophecies (Jeremiah 25:11-12, 29:10), and he wanted to gain more understanding about the seventy years. Therefore, he gave his “attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.” Because Daniel understood several important principles, he fasted for spiritual revelation and understanding.

(Dan 9:1-3) “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of Median descent, who was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans {2} in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. {3} So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.”

First, Daniel understood that God knows all things. He is omniscient. When we lack knowledge, understanding, or wisdom, He is the source that we should go to. Second, Daniel understood that when we ask God for wisdom and revelation, He gives it to us generously and without reproach. (See James 1:5.) Third, Daniel knew that fasting and prayer were ways to press in to God and to hear more clearly. So, Daniel fasted for revelation and understanding.

What about you and I? Are there things in the Scriptures that we do not understand? Are there issues in life that we need more insight and understanding? Have we taken the time to seek the Lord with prayers, supplication, and fasting?

Father, give us a hunger for more knowledge, understanding and revelation. Help us to learn the importance of fasting and spending time listening to You for the many areas that we desperately need Your counsel. Thank You for revealing things to us through the Holy Spirit. Thank You for speaking to us and showing us things which we do not know. Thank You for giving to us generously and without reproach. Help us to learn to use the tool of fasting. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

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