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Fasting is abstinence from all things a body needs, including animal
products and any kind of food for a limited time (Fetha Negest 15, Matthew
The aims of fasting:
- to make the desire of the body to obey the will of the soul*
- to seek forgiveness for our guilt
- to increase the reward of the soul
The relationship between fasting and religion is strong and everlasting*
Fasting in the Old Testament
In the Old Testament, fasting had a very prominent place
- when the prophets wanted to communicate with God, they did not eat food and drink water (Exodus 34:28)*
- fasting and prayer were used to prevent the anger of God (Joel 2:15).
- righteous people received what they needed and whished through fasting and praying (Ezra 8:21; Nehemiah 9:1-3; Esther 4:16-17)*
Fasting in the New Testament
Fasting has significant value in the New Testament
- our Saviour Jesus Christ made fasting the beginning of His ministry (Matthew 4:2; Luke 4:2)*
- He has also taught that fasting has the power of driving away evil spirits (Matthew 17:21; Mark. 9:2)
- The Apostles who were commanded to serve the church received guidance from the Holy Spirit while they were praying and fasting (Acts 13:2)*
- Priests and deacons were inspired and ordained while fasting and praying (Acts 13:3; 14:23)
- The righteous people received what they needed and whished through fasting and praying (Acts 10:30; 13:2-3)
Things to consider while fasting
- Abstain from animal products and alcoholic drinks which trigger desire (lust) (Daniel 10:2-3).
- Give what has been saved during fasting to the poor or the Church (Isaiah 58:6-7)*
- Keep yourself from evil things- eyes from seeing, your mouth from speaking and your ear from hearing evil things (Matthew. 5:21-30; St.Yared-Digua).
- Do not fast for a show
- Do not fast while blaming others
- Do not fast without repentance and asking forgiveness
- Do not consider diet for our health as fasting