Fasting for the Soul
Fasting is one of the best ways of getting closer to God. Spiritual fasting is a great method of purifying the soul, and coming closer to God. Critiques of fasting argue why one needs to fast for God? Wouldn’t God love you or hear your prayers if you do not fast? However, one needs to understand that you not fast for God, but for yourself. When one fasts by starving the flesh, the spirit becomes stronger and purer. Fasting gives one both spiritual and emotional healing and is one of the best methods of coming nearer to God. It is also a sound way of exploring your own psyche and coming to know about your own strengths and weaknesses.
To get away from the rigors of modern life, a number of people are turning towards prayer and fasting in order to make their lives more meaningful. Fasting, combined with prayer is significant in your search for God. Fasting does not only refer to abstinence from food. The main aim of fasting is to control the pleasures of the flesh. Fasting refers to starving the flesh, so that the soul can be fed. So you can abstain from any of the various things that your flesh is dependent on.
You can give up food, drinking, alcohol, smoking, television, music—anything that you think is hard to live without. You will find that while you will crave what you give up for the first few days, the need will no longer be there after some days. Christian fasting does not only refer to giving up pleasures of the flesh, but when you are on a religious fast, you are also supposed to pray so that your spirit may come closer to that of God. The aim of religious fasting is not to deprive the body of food and drink, but to purify one’s soul and to find God.
While fasting is not something that is supposed to be obligatory in Christianity, it is more or less expected from the believers. The Bible has references to Jesus saying "when you fast', rather than if you fast in Matthew 6:17-18. So while it is not compulsory to fast, it is definitely expected.
ou can opt for any of the various types of fast. You can choose a fasting regime that suits your health and your lifestyle. You have various options ranging from an absolute fast where one does not eat or drink anything at all, to a television and entertainment fast, where you go on feeding the stomach but abstain from sources of entertainment like television, magazines and novels in order to spend time in seeking the Lord.
Other common types of fasts are the normal fast, where one only has water, the partial fast, where you may choose to have certain kinds of food and abstain from some, and the partial fast where you fast one meal. Juice fasts, fruit fasts and liquid fasts are other types of fasting that are quite popular.