HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
An important benefit of fasting is that it promotes self-control by disciplining our bodies. When we say no to our natural appetite for food, we develop the will-power and discipline to say no to other fleshy desires
(1 Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway).
Other reasons people in the Bible fasted include
- Deliverance (2 Chronicles 20:3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah).
- Mourning the loss of a loved one (1 Samuel 31:13 And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.)
- Healing the sick (Psalm 35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom)
- Spiritual strength (Matthew 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterwards an hungered)
- The appointment of elders in the church (Acts 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed).
Losing weight is NOT the emphasis when fasting for spiritual reasons. I believe that is bringing your body into subjection to the word of God.