What is fasting? Try defining it, and I’ll make a suggestion. Go ahead — in your mind define it.
Here’s my suggestion: If, in defining fasting, we are tempted to define fasting as something we do “in order to” get something, I suggest we need to look again at the deepest wells of the Christian fasting tradition: the Bible. In Fasting: The Ancient Practices
I suggest that in the Christian tradition we somehow got sidetracked.
Instead of seeing fasting as a discipline we use “in order to” get answers to prayers, “in order to” become more attuned to God, or “in order to” become more spiritual, the Bible’s focus is on fasting as a response to life’s sacred, grievous moments.
Lent is a time for fasting, but I suspect most of those who spoke of “fasting” were talking about “abstinence” (not the same as what the Bible means by fasting). And now that Lent is over, we can think again about what fasting is.
This book is in a series that is now four books tall: Brian McLaren, Finding Our Way Again, Robert Benson, In Constant Prayer, and Dan Allender, Sabbath. It’s a series on the recovering the ancient practices.