Grace Community Church


Given on February 6, 2022 by Brett Helvie
Scripture: Matthew 6: 16-18

When you think about the practice of fasting, what thoughts, objections, and questions come to mind? Have you ever attempted to fast? What was that like for you? How did it impact you spiritually?
Regular spiritual fasting is very rarely practiced in the modern church in the West, even by mature believers. Why do you think that is – especially considering Jesus’ expectation that his disciples would fast after his ascension (Mt 6:16, 9:15)?
John Wesley (1703-1791) would not ordain any pastor who refused to fast twice weekly and in one of his sermons stated, “The man who never fasts is no more in the way to heaven than the man who never prays.” What do you think of Wesley’s approach? Is it biblical?
In this section of the Sermon on the Mount, along with giving (6:4) and praying (6:6), Jesus promises that fasting in secret will be rewarded by the Father (6:18). What type of reward do you think this is? Most believers I know would heartily acknowledge the importance and blessings of giving and prayer – fasting, not so much. Does seeing how Jesus views all three practices as spiritually beneficial cause you to rethink how you look at fasting?