How fasting is a remedy for spiritual constipation. . . . or Why fasting is easier than we thought. . . .
You can pray without fasting but you can’t fast without praying.
I’ve passed this advice along many times myself. Now I question it. I believe it’s true, only in a completely different way than before.
Formerly, I took it to mean something like this: “Fasting is worthless without also adding prayer to go with it. (like a hamburger without fries at McDonalds). In fact, it’s not even really fasting if you don’t throw in a lot of prayer.”
My emerging interpretation: “Fasting IS bodily prayer.” When I fast as a follower of Jesus I am effectively ‘offering my body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.’ (see Romans 12:1)
In the Christian faith, fasting, and for that matter prayer and giving, are not works. They are ways. They shape the willful disposition and declare the loving intentions of a human being toward the living God.
To this end, Jesus asks only two things of us in these practices: secrecy and simplicity.
So what if fasting is simply “not-eating in Jesus name? (seems like that might save us from a lot of “spiritual constipation.” ;0)