The Life Teen Summer Prayer Challenge for this week is: Fast on bread and water for lunch one day this week.
People were fasting even before Jesus was born – that’s how old this practice is! As Christians we don’t abstain from certain kinds of foods because Jesus made a “New Covenant” with us when he died on the cross. That means the “Old Covenant” with it’s strict food laws was abolished. (Hebrews 8:13)
We still fast today for three reasons.
- Obedience. We fast out of obedience to the Church. You’re probably familiar with the Lenten fast, and the fast we observe for one hour before Mass.
- Sacrifice. We fast as a sacrifice to God. When we “give up” something, it’s like an extra powerful prayer. God then uses that prayer for good, either ours or someone else’s.
- Body vs. Soul. We fast to make room for Him in our hearts by denying our body what it wants, then we’re not controlled by our body. When we’re less “body” oriented, we can be more “soul” oriented.
To make fasting part of your spiritual life is a great habit. Whenever we deny ourselves something, our will power becomes stronger. And when our will becomes stronger, we can say “no” to sin and “yes” to virtue more often.
And that’s what makes saints.