August 20
Esther 4:15-17, 5:3

Fast and pray

When Queen Esther got Mordecai’s message asking her to speak to the king, she sent this message back; “Gather all the Jews in the city and get them to fast and pray for me. Don’t eat or drink anything for three days. My servant girls and I will do the same. Then I will go to the king—even if I must die for doing this.”

After the three days, Esther put on her royal robes and went to stand at the entrance of the throne room. When the king saw her, he invited her in and said, “You may ask for whatever you wish and I will give it to you.”

What is a fast?

A fast is not the opposite of ‘a slow’. To fast means to go without food for a while. A food fast could last for a day, or even a few weeks. You are probably wondering why anyone would want to go without food. Well, there is a good reason and it has nothing to do with dieting.

  • Fasting helps our hearts draw closer to God because our hunger keeps reminding us about Him.
  • Because fasting makes us weak, it helps us to be humble before God (Ezra 8:21).
  • Fasting is a way of showing repentance—sadness for sins (Jonah 3:3-9).
  • Fasting helps us find out God’s will when we ask Him to show us what to do (Acts 13:2-3).
  • Some people fast when they pray about something that is very important to them (2 Samuel 12:16).

Although some people, including Jesus, have fasted for forty days (Luke 4:1-2), a fast could be as short as skipping a meal. You could also decide to go without something else you might have enjoyed. The main thing to remember is that a fast is between you and the Lord; it is something you want to do—a decision that comes from your heart.

Verse for today                                                    

So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer. Ezra 8:23