Fasting posted by John Sorensen on Oct 14, 2010
One Tuesday we spoke a bit about fasting. EE has a quarterly day of fasting and prayer, and our next day is scheduled for November 9th, 2010. Some of us will begin a ten day fast on October 31st leading up to that day.
In honor of that occasion, I thought I would share with you an interview that my friend Elmer Towns conducted with D. James Kennedy some time ago. May the Lord bless you today.
Learning That Fasting Is for Today
Fasting Interview with Dr. D. James Kennedy
Favorite Verse About Fasting:
In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.—2 Corinthians 11:27
Question: Do you practice fasting?
Kennedy: Early in my ministry I had assumed that fasting was an Old Testament practice and was not applicable to the New Testament. So I didn’t fast. Later, however, I read the comment of Paul, “In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness” (2 Cor. 11:27). Paul’s fasting caught my attention and caused me to investigate the matter from the New Testament perspective. I was led to believe that fasting was intended for Christians in the New Testament times as well. I then began the practice of fasting.
Question: Describe your practices of recent fasting.
Kennedy: My last fast was interrupted after four days when I walked into a few walls. I realized that I had started the fast too soon after a major surgery. I learned a lesson, and I want to pass that on to others, that there are times when you physically cannot fast.
Question: Describe a day when you are fasting.
Kennedy: Obviously, when you are fasting there are a number of hours of the day which are ordinarily taken up with all that is involved with eating, traveling to a restaurant or preparing food. When I fast, that time is available for spiritual exercises, such as reading the Scriptures and praying. The greatest thing about fasting is the extra time I can devote to my relationship with God.
Question: What do you eliminate when fasting?
Kennedy: My understanding of a fast, which I realize is not held by all Christians, is that when I have fasted I have taken nothing but water. It is my feeling that this is what is meant by a fast in the Bible, though some feel that taking fruit juices would be allowed. While I do not practice that, I do not disagree with their practice. I allow the Holy Spirit to guide each person regarding his or her practice of fasting.
Question: How would you suggest someone begin fasting?
Kennedy: I would suggest that those who have never fasted begin with fasting for a single day, and only after some experience would I recommend a longer fast. After a longer fast, it is important to begin eating very minimally as you get back into the normal routine of life.
Question: Have you challenged your congregation to fast?
Kennedy: As to fasting with others, we have on occasion invited the congregation to fast and pray, but never for more than one day. I believe that a corporate fast gives Christians an opportunity in a unique way to sever themselves from this world, and to fix their hearts and minds upon the world to come.