Whoa... so this is a really big topic for me, something that I have been thinking about a lot recently. My pastor was preaching for the last seven weeks, I have been reading about it a lot, and a song led me to The Call Website which was talking about fasting... i wonder if God is trying to get my attention : ).
Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast. Matthew 9:15
"But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." Matthew 6:6
"But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." Matthew 6:17,18
"And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:7,8
But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." Matthew 9:13
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Deuteronomy 8:3
I believe that as Lovers of God, WHEN we fast, not if, but WHEN, we fast not to please God with our sacrifice and to show Him how righteous we are, but rather to empty ourselves of distraction, and the addiction of food, and fill ourselves with God. We fast for ourselves, for the body of Christ, and Justice on Earth.
He says there will be reward for you when you fast. That reward is not getting what we want from God, but rather a realignment of ourselves with our maker, which brings out the desires of our heart which He has instilled in us; and when we are completely in the hands of Christ, these are the most natural things for us to do.
Then, throughout history in the Church, Fasting and Prayer has many many times resulted in the kingdom invading earth, God making himself know to the body in a new way, and revival to break forth all over world. The Reformation, The Great Awakening, The Pentecostal Revivals were all the effect of diligent fasting and prayer.
The Lord rewards those who seek Him diligently. Hebrews 4:11
Beloved Church: Seek Him with diligence, and He will meet with you. and You will experience Him in a new way.