“Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” Esther 4:16
I remember my first time to fast. I knew very little about it and asked one of the elder married couples from church.
They enlightened me quite a bit on the subject.
I was unsure about how long to fast and she told me I should set the length but I need to keep the vow of that length.
I set my fast for three days, partly based on this scripture. I was nineteen or twenty years old and prayed and fasted about what to do in my future.
One thing happened out of the blue on the second day.
I was taking a break and leaning against my motorcycle at the church volleyball game on Saturday night when a young lady, I really liked, walked up to me and said, “Want to take me for a ride?”
So we rode down the road a few miles and stopped by a big field where we could see a huge sky filled with stars.
We stood there looking up and talking about things.
Although we did not get back together at that time, I knew this was an answer to my prayer and fasting. I knew we would marry.
That may seem silly and perhaps some may say I read too much into it.
I also remember going to a men’s breakfast before church on the last (third) day of my fast. The eggs, bacon, and pancakes smelled wonderful. And I felt a satisfaction like I had an answer about my future, but I remembered a verse from Ecclesiastes 5:5 – Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.
I had made a vow of three days and even with attending a men’s breakfast I kept my vow until the full time was complete on Monday.
The young lady’s name was Linda and we married about three years later. We were not together for most of those three years. Most of them she despised me but I held by faith to what I knew in my heart.
Since that time I have fasted a few times, probably not as often as I should.
I believe in fasting.
Moses believed in fasting.
Elijah believed in fasting.
Jesus believed in fasting.
You should too. It’s a wonderful way of humbling yourself before God. (c.f. Ezra 8:21, Psalm 35:13)
By the way, Esther went unannounced to the king after the fast. He accepted her!