1. Truth Seekers Speak
Almost all societies that have had some serious thinking in matters of addressing the problems of this world had the practice of fasting and praying – seeking truth, justice, the right way ahead, etc. The natural urge of any truth-seeker is to speak to the Divine.
While I can not get into everyone’s mind, I have a feeling that even people who claim to not believe in God also would continue to attempt to speak to God from time to time – hoping to find some answers.
2. Volunteers in God’s Kingdom
Fasting is a time of serious reflection in seeking truth, becoming part of the solution, and seeking God’s will for the right/just way forward. We pray in all earnestness to be volunteers in God’s kingdom. That is why we pray – not because God does not know the need, nor is it merely a way of somehow extracting things from God. It is an expression of our serious longing for truth, justice, and righteousness – it is the tension and longing of the now, and not yet – establishing God’s kingdom, even as we look forward to the coming kingdom of God.
3. The Kind of Fasting That God Has Chosen
God says in Isaiah 58:6-12:
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice…
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter…
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail…
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”
– Isaiah 58:6-12