“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.. (Matthew 6:16-18 ESV)
We don’t fast to gain the attention or praise of others, we don’t even truly fast to garner the attention of heaven. We fast primarily to set our attention on the voice of God. We want to know him and to hear him so that we may obey him.
Obviously we are going to bring our petitions and requests to God—That is wholly biblical. But more than that fasting gives us an opportunity to become a bit more tuned in to what God would say to us. We will find new direction and be refreshed in our spirit. This is why it’s such a great discipline that we do well to practice regularly.
Today, let’s practice the listening side of prayer a little more intentionally. Be still and know that he is God.