Can sinners fast?
Both the Old and New Testament teach the value of fasting, which is really abstaining from food or drink in order to focus on prayer and seeking God's will. The Scripture tells us that fasting will help us grow in a more intimate relationship with Christ and will open our eyes to what He wants to teach us.
A frequently asked question relating to this topic is, 'Can sinners fast?'
Family and Religion reached out to Pastor Eric Graham, who is attached to the International Evangelical Mission Church of God in Race Track, Clarendon, for guidance on the subject.
"Yes, sinners, too, can fast. The only difference (between individuals) is that one is a sinner and the other may be born again. Sinners can go on fasting for just about anything as long as they believe they will get their deliverance," he said, adding that when a person decides to fast, there are certain things they should know.
"For example, if a person wishes to go on fasting tomorrow, they should not mingle with flesh (cohabit) the night before, and when they wake up in the morning on an empty stomach - they should give God thanks and begin the period of fasting.
"Fasting isn't so much a restricted activity - a person can be at work and be on fasting, as well as they can be at home or at church. You just need to observe the basic unwritten rules governing the practice and you will be on your way," he said.
Graham explained that usually when people fast, they are asking something of God, and there must be a belief that if you take your two or three days or however long you decide that you will be delivered as it is out of your fasting and belief that you get whatsoever you need.
He says that sometimes even before the period of fasting is over, persons get their deliverance, pointing out that sometimes people prefer to fast before or after a major and potentially life-changing event, "so a person with an illness who is scheduled for major surgery will opt to go on fasting a few days before in hopes of the procedure being successful", Graham told Family and Religion.
For persons who are married and one partner wishes to go fast, Graham said that the matter should be discussed and both parties arrive at an agreement where cohabitation is concerned.
Persons can break a fast under extreme circumstances over which they do not have direct control. In such a case, you pray and break your fast. Then, after completing a task, you resume your fasting.
"A person can go on fasting for several things at a time for however many days they choose. Just go to God and tell Him your desires and allow Him to give you your deliverance. There is nothing that you will say to Him that He doesn't already know.
"Whether saved or unsaved, it is important for a person to fast because that is the quickest way you can get your deliverance or your blessing. God answers everyone's prayers once you send it with a willing and just heart.
"Joel 2: 12-13 reads: 'Even now, declares the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love'," he concluded.