Fasting | Scot McKnight

Fasting is the natural, inevitable response of a person to a grievous sacred moment in life (18).

That statement summaries the entire book. McKnight identified a three step process in fasting:

  1. Something “grievous” happens
  2. We fast
  3. God responds

Our culture is obsessed with short-circuiting this movement. We want something from God, so we fast (jumping in at number 2) and expect number 3. In Scripture, fasting always starts with step 1; step 3 is never a given. God will not submit to our manipulation. When we use fasting to get something from God we’re engaging in little more than a pointless hunger strike.

The concept is simple, but powerful (as most good ideas are). While not in this book, I wonder whether the pattern is similar in prayer. We’ve been taught to “pray in the good times as well as the bad”, and to not just pray when we’re in trouble. A quick look at the Psalms shows us that David more often than not followed the 1, 2, 3, pattern as well.

Back to the topic at hand. This is an excellent primer for anyone interested in exploring the ancient practice of fasting. It’s motivational, informative, and places the practice in proper perspective.

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