There are a lot of people out there who are trying to figure out what may be best for the church in different situations, and there is some discussion related to the whole process as well. Does a church need prayer and fasting practices in order to be effective and strong? Let’s take a closer look at this topic so that we can work toward a solution.
In the Old Testament, prayer and fasting were regular parts of the calendar year. There are several feast days in the calendar, but the most prominent one is the Day of Atonement. Today, modern Jews refer to this day as Yom Kippur. The fasting was a sign of repentance and dependence on God for provision and sustenance.
Prayer and fasting are also mentioned throughout the New Testament. Jesus’s trial in the desert involved a lot of prayer and fasting. They are also two incredibly vital parts of the decision making process in the apostle’s lives. It can be assumed, due to some of the earliest Christian leaders being Jewish, that many of the fasting traditions were continued in early Christian circles.
Fasting is believed to be something that is healthy for one’s body and soul. Soul-wise, it helps a person to refocus on God and His provision. Health wise, it allows your body to cleanse itself. Both of those things are very important for our walk with God. The reason that prayer is paired with fasting in every instance that it occurs in Scripture is because the prayer allows us to focus on God even further, and trust Him to care for our bodies as they are being cleansed.
So, does a church need to have this sort of practice? Some people believe that it could help the church become more connected with the spiritual, where you can better listen to what is going on in the world around you and understand what makes the most sense for the world that we live in. Considering this as an act of worship could be a worthwhile idea to consider.