We fast not to twist God’s arm so He will pay attention to us. We already have His undivided attention. We don’t fast in order to make ourselves worthy of His acceptance. We already have His uncoditional love.
We fast not so He will hear us but for us to hear Him. Not for Him to focus on us, but for us to focus on Him. To train our soul and flesh to be still and to know that above all, He is God and the lover of our souls.
Pastor Joey Bonifacio, THE MYSTERY OF THE EMPTY STOMACH
Just a little confession here: Before I read Joey Bonifacio’s book “The Mystery of the Empty Stomach,” I really thought that fasting is ALL about food deprivation and looking somber. Without meaning to, the images that come to my mind when I hear the word fasting include sack clothes, ashes, weeping and dozens of other depressing scenarios.
Joey Bonifacio’s book came as a pleasant surprise to me. The biggest shocker that I came across while reading it was the fact that fasting IS NOT supposed to be treated as an ordeal but an outflow of a joyful communion with God. Taking Luke 5: 33- 35 as main text, Bonifacio pointed out that when asked about fasting, Jesus recalled images of a happy wedding, not of a mirthless gathering of unhappy faces.
Prayer and fasting is a spiritual activity to be enjoyed, not a religious duty to be endured. Our attitude and approach to fasting should be like a bride who is too excited in all the wedding preparations that she wouldn’t mind skipping a meal or two.