The relevance of fasting
MANY CHRISTIANS, especially those living in the rural areas, can be seen making their way to church on a Wednesday morning for fasting. According to the Oxford Reference, fasting is “the temporary abstinence from food for ritual, ascetic or medicinal purposes.” It is usually a three-hour service beginning at 9 a.m. Members of the Church abstain from consuming food, leaving their bodies “for the Holy Ghost to fill”. It is a major concern, today, as fewer people can be found attending these services and participating in the ritual. Family and Religion journeyed the pews to find out the importance of fasting and whether it is losing its effect.
Florence Buchanan, Bethany Church of God in Christ, Duhaney Pen
"Like prayer, fasting is important and it brings you closer to God. People usually fast for a specific purpose-whether it is for something personal or for their country. Remember Hannah, she wanted a child and she prayed and fasted for it. Sometimes God wants us to spend time with Him, and we do that through fasting. God granted Hannah the desire of her heart.
I don't think fasting will ever lose its effect if it's done the right way. If it worked back then, it will work for us if we believe and have faith in God. It's not only about giving up food, we must also pray, read our Bibles and spend quality time with God."
Rasheem Martin, Great Grace Temple, Harbour View
"Fasting is the time when you sacrifice yourself, deny flesh, and cleanse yourself by not eating food. This is where we're left open for God to use, wash, and sanctify. It has an after- effect that allows people to recognise that you are a child of God. Fasting leaves you with strength, power, and strong faith."
Candice Crawford, Grace Chapel UPC, Southaven, Yallahs
"It helps you to grow spiritually and to be more committed to God. It also helps you to overcome certain things you may be going through. Though I'm uncertain if people are still fasting as much as they used to, I know for sure that it's not losing its effect."
La'Tanya Thomas, Emmanuel Apostolic Church, White Horses
"Fasting allows us to be in a position to be spiritually delivered. It also enables us to have a divine nature, which Christians seek after daily. The importance of fasting in this era has been degraded because Christians today no longer have the patience it takes to fast. Christians need to remember the power and necessity of fasting in their lives. Be blessed."
Lavonne Higgins, Great Grace Temple, Harbour View
"Fasting is the process by which one starves the flesh and feeds the spirit. It's a spiritual act that enables one to draw closer to their God through meditation, prayer, and the reading of their holy book. There are many types of fasting, whether it is from food, sexual activities, or other forms of immorality. Some also abstain from social media. People believe it will promote a healthier relationship with their religious Father. Fasting has lost its effect as many people are not knowledgeable of its purpose.