Fasting

Voluntary abstinence, whether total or partial, from food for religious purposes. The principle behind fasting is that, when conducted judiciously, it contributes to good health and can increase spiritual sensitivity. In addition, it is an act of worship, a special outward and wholistic expression of the person’s dependence on God’s grace, power, and presence when confronting real or potential challenges and/or problems. While there seems to be no divine command to fast ( see SDADic 344, 345), the Bible gives many examples of individuals and groups who fasted for various reasons: Moses ( Ex. 34:28 ), David ( 2 Sam. 12:21–23 ), Elijah ( 1 Kings 19:8 ), Daniel ( Dan. 9:3 ), Nehemiah ( Neh. 1:4 ), Esther ( Esther 4:16 ), God’s people ( Esther 4:3 , 16 ), Jesus ( Matt. 4:2 ), Peter ( A...

From the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Published with permission from the Review and Herald Publishing Association.

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