During these 22 days we are going to live for God's glory and enjoy Him like never before through PRAYER, FASTING & FEASTING.
More info on our 22 days will be posted here soon. You can click the link below to download some fasting tips.
Join us on our 22 day journey of prayer, fasting & feasting starting on 31 Jan. We will post a daily devotion below as we seek God and His voice into 2022.
 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
My God, the One whom scriptures say created the universe with a word, the One who became one of us to save all of us, the One who knows no limit and no equal – this is the one we have been talking about.
He will, WILL, supply every need of ours. There is not a need in the universe that does not find its answer in Jesus. There is nothing you need that God does not have in Himself. Every need we have ever had, God knew it and met it, in ways often too miraculous for us to understand. God has been working behind the scenes way more than He has in front of our faces to meet the needs we have.
How can He? Well, He meets our needs according to His riches in Glory in Christ Jesus. The limitless of Christ is the resource pool from which God supplies every need we had. Because Jesus is limitless in grace and mercy and righteousness and everything else, there will never be a shortage of what we need. We will never lack what we need because someone else got too much.
If Jesus is the source of all we need does it not make sense, as we have been saying throughout to feast on Him.
May what God has revealed to you, done in you, and done through you during these past few weeks be just the start. May you experience revelation and intimacy at a level that blows your mind and transforms your life.
Matthew 6:31-33 (ESV)
 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
If we feast on the wrong things and it becomes about our reputation and what people think about us, then we have fallen into the trap Jesus is describing here. We have made secondary things primary. We are worrying about the things that God is in control of.
Then Jesus says seek first the Kingdom of God. Seek first His Kingdom, His rule and reign in your life and everything else follows that. In other words, feast on what God is doing in this world through His power and glory and everything else that you would normally focus on will follow that.
Feasting on God’s Kingdom means being excited to see someone come to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Salvation should excite us and motivate us. We should be excited and fulfilled when a family that was torn apart by sin finds wholeness. We should be thrilled when the addict is freed from the addiction. When the Kingdom advances, we have reason to celebrate.
Seek first His Kingdom
Feast on the advancement of God’s rule and reign
Be a part of what God is doing in the world.
Luke 24:28-32 (ESV)
 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther,  but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So, he went in to stay with them.  When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them.  And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.  They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”
This is the Emmaus Road account. Two disciples are travelling after the crucifixion and resurrection. They are talking about the events that happened and suddenly Jesus appears with them without them knowing it. Jesus speaks to them and opens their minds to revelation they had never considered before ad then when they were close to their destination, they invite Jesus to dwell and eat with them.
Two things here.
Number 1, Jesus takes the position at the head of the table and leads the meal. This was significant in that time. The greatest feast we will ever have s when we invite Jesus to be at the head of the table. Our feasts go to the next level when Jesus is not only invited to be part of our feast but is allowed to lead them
Number 2, the disciples realise its Jesus during a time of feasting. They didn’t know it was Him when He was teaching and walking with them but when the food came out, they realized it was Him. There is a revelation of Jesus we get when we feast with Him. We see Jesus in a different way, in a clear way, when we feast with Him.
Today the revelation you need might be on the other side of you inviting Jesus in, submitting to His leadership, and allowing Him to reveal himself to you through some good feasting.
Luke 22:17-20 (ESV)
 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves.  For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”  And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”  And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.
Again, Jesus uses an analogy to help us grasp the concept that He is what we are to feast on. Jesus here says
The broken bread = His Body
The cup of wine = His blood that instituted a new covenant
His body was broken at the whipping post and on the cross. He willingly became the broken bread we need. Peter writes that by His wounds we are healed. The wounds of Jesus, His broken body became the conduit for our healing. He gave it, not to deserving saints but to broke sinners.
Because Jesus is the broken bread we are healed from our sin. We have healing from mental, emotional, and physical disease that plague this world. He then says His blood is the blood of the new covenant. Without blood there can be no covenant. The covenant that purchased our forgiveness and our salvation and our eternity with God was signed for with the blood of Jesus.
Communion then is a feast. When we share the bread and the wine we are feasting on salvation and healing, on freedom and forgiveness.
Today why not take some time out to have communion. You might do it on your own or with your spouse or family.
Luke 10:38-42 (ESV)
 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching.  But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”  But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,  but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Here we have the classic Mary Martha conflict. There are so many sermons and opinions about doing (Martha) vs being (Mary). Regardless of how you feel about the two women or who you feel you identify more with what is important to note is that in this instance there was an opportunity for everyone in the house to feast on the words of Jesus.
When last did you feast on God’s Word. When last were you a glutton for the words of God. There are times and seasons we can miss the feast because we are consumed with tasks.
Today as we are in a season of feasting on God can we encourage you to take some time out today or in the next few days and feast on God’s Word. Sit at the feet of Jesus and allow His words to wash over your weary soul. Allow His parables to spark your imagination. Allow His commands to be the dashboard of your life. Allow His words to be your feast today.
John 4:10-14 (ESV)
 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”  The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water?  Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.”  Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,  but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Here we have the well-known story of a woman who was out getting water at the worst part of the day because she had a reputation. She had been divorced by one man after the other. She was now with a man who refused to call her his wife. The reasons we don’t know but we do know she wanted nothing to do with other people, so she came and drew water when no one else was supposed to be around.
Jesus meets this woman who was shaped by shame and into this moment offers living water that only He can provide. This living water Jesus says is so different so sufficient that she will never thirst for anything again. Here is a woman who longed for love, longed for acceptance, and longed to be shameless. She thirsted for so much for so long and now Jesus says he can be the source of her fulfilment.
When we feast on Jesus, we realize that He is the source of everything we need and want. He is not just the source of our salvation, but He is our:
John 6:31-35 (ESV)
 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”  Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”  They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”  Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
Jesus here describes Himself as the Bread of life and does this by pointing all the way back to the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. Jesus goes back to when the people of God were wandering through the wilderness and Jesus reminds them of the provision of God. He reminds them of the manna they ate that sustained them. They lived off the bread of God.
Jesus then says what was a symbol in the wilderness has become a reality in Him.
Jesus is the bread of life. Just like Manna we can thrive through any and every wilderness by daily feasting on who He is. Just as bread is the foundation of so many feasts, Jesus is the foundation of feast life.
When we feast on Jesus daily it doesn’t matter about the wilderness around us or the challenges in front of us, we can thrive because of who He is in us and through us.
John 2:7-10 (ESV)
 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim.  And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So, they took it.  When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom  and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.”
Here Jesus at the outset of His public ministry is confronted with a problem at a party. There was a lack where there should have been plenty. Jesus doesn’t walk away but after a plea from His mother Jesus steps in. What He does however is brilliant.
Jesus uses the ceremonial washing cars that were used to clean people and he makes them vessels of wine, vessels of a greater degree of feasting. Things that were supposed to house the dirty water now housed the best wine anyone had ever tasted.
Jesus is the one who turns feasts out of famine. He turns moment of despair into days of celebration. He turns shame into more dancing.
What we see is that in saving this feast Jesus is showing us that He is the reason we can feast, and He is also going to bring us one day into the greatest feast any of us have ever experienced. In John’s writings, Jesus begins His ministry with a wedding feast, and all creation will find its fulfilment in the wedding feast of the lamb from Revelations. Jesus is the author and reason for the greatest feast we will ever experience and so whenever we feast, whenever we celebrate, we are getting a taste of what is to come.
Feasting then is just as important as fasting.
Psalms 73:25-26 (ESV)
 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Liberty’s “Why”, our mission statement, is to live for God’s glory and enjoy Him forever. John Piper writes, God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him.
The most important thing we can learn is to be satisfied in God. The greatest thing we can accomplish in our life is to find our joy in the glory of God. Part of the declaration of our souls should be what we just read in Psalm 73.
Eugene Peterson in the Message bible brings across these tow verses like this:
You are all I want in heaven! You are all I want on earth!
26 When my skin sags and my bones get brittle, God is rock-firm and faithful.
Fasting helps us get to the point where we can echo these words, “You're all I want in heaven! You're all I want on earth” Fasting helps us find our ultimate enjoyment in God.
As you fast our prayer for you is that you would be completely satisfied in God and find your ultimate joy in Him.
Ezra 8:21-23 (ESV)
 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods.  For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.”  So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.
Ezra here fasts for three specific things.
Safe Journey for
2. Their children
3. Their goods
Ezra fasted for his children’s journey. One of the things that God is passionate about is children. Jesus welcomed children. God over and over speaks to Israel about caring for orphans. God does not simply tolerate children He loves and values them.
There is a generation that is coming after you. Regardless of your age this is true. What is also true is that their journey will or has almost certainly been vastly different for your journey. They will experience things you never dreamed of and will face challenges you never faced. What this means is that we can often feel limited in terms of what we can teach them, but we are not limited in how we can intercede for them.
Fasting is a way for us to set the next generation up without having to know everything they will face. Fasting can help us build into them spiritually without knowing the Goliaths they might face.
Acts 13:1-3 (ESV)
 Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.  While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”  Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
Here we have a group of people who served in different capacities within the church and who operated with different gifting. While they were together worshipping and fasting Holy Spirit speaks and gives direction for the expansion of the church and the spread of the Gospel.
Did God’s will depend on the fasting of the church – no. What did happen is through fasting the people within the church became more in tune with Holy Spirit. They were able to better discern and understand what the Holy Spirit was saying.
Our fasting does not change God or manipulate Him into doing what we want. Fasting does prepare us and help us hear from God. It helps us recognise His voice because we are silencing every other voice in our lives.
As you keep going on this fast, whatever it is you are fasting, listen. Listen for what God is saying. The Holy Spirit may be speaking to you about a new strategy for your work. He may be speaking about a new direction for you and your family.
He might be speaking about something you need to change. He might be calling you into His mission for the world. He might simply be speaking to you about who Jesus is and how much you are loved.
Whatever it is – listen.
Luke 2:36-38 (ESV)
 And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin,  and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.  And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.
Here we encounter a woman who was old and who had experienced loss and grief in her life. She was known as a prophetess, and she spent all her time praying worshipping and FASTING.
Like many of us she was in the space between. She had gone through life and things may not have gone the way she thought they should have. Here she was waiting on God for something. We aren’t told what she was waiting for, but she was waiting and the way she waited was through prayer, worship and fasting.
A lot of us know what it is to wait. A lot of us know what it is like to be in the waiting room of life hoping for something to happen. Fasting can help us to navigate this time well
The reason is because in fasting God is not just our vehicle to get to where we want to go or our ATM through which we get resources we need. As we fast, we are reminded of the truth that all we need is God. God is our most basic and our most glorious need and fasting reminds us we have access to Him.
Therefor if we already have the most basic and glorious thing, we need we can wait for whatever else it is we are hoping for with patience and endurance.
Deuteronomy 8:3 (ESV)
 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
God through Moses here reminds the people that fasting does two things:
· Humbles us
· Reminds us of where our true provision comes from
Sometimes I feel like I have had all the humbling I need. The thing is though that when God humbles us, we don’t end up feeling small we end up knowing He is big. When God humbles us, it doesn’t lead to us lacking confidence. In fact, we have more confidence just not in ourselves but in the One who created us.
Secondly, we are reminded of what we really need. Bread and food are great but even more important is a constant stream of communication from God.
A lot of the world has all the food it can eat and more, but they are starving for what they really need. Anger, frustration, and weariness can all be symptoms of spiritual starvation. Fasting reminds us of and makes us dependent on the only source that can nourish our souls – God.
Matthew 4:1-2 (ESV)
 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
Here we see Jesus go from the height of Baptism where He was affirmed and anointed, and He is led by the Holy Spirit into a place of wilderness and fasting. Before Jesus ministered to people who were living from a place of lack, He entered a season where He identified with them. Jesus went through the desert and wilderness just like the nation of Israel had done.
Before Jesus stepped into the ministry and sacrifice before Him, He stepped into a fast. It’s almost like Jesus is showing us that we don’t fast in response to things we fast so that we are ready for anything. Life and work and relationships and ministry can sometimes be tough and sometimes when things get tough, we fast. Here Jesus says if fasting is part and parcel of your life then no matter what comes along you are engaging it from the right perspective.
The other thing we see is that while in the natural fasting weakens our bodies in the spirit it strengthens us. Jesus was tempted and even though His body was weak, tired, and hungry He was able to refute all the temptations of the Devil because His spirit was thriving.
I would rather meet tough times with a strong spirit and weak body than the other way round.
So, Jesus’ fast is
How He identified with humanity
How He prepared for Ministry
How He chose to face temptation
Maybe we need more fasting in our routine.
Matthew 9:14-17 (ESV)
 Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?”  And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.  No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made.  Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”
We so often speak about new wine and new wine skins but here in Matthew’s Gospel the exact context is about fasting. What Jesus is not saying is that fasting was done away with. He says that fasting will be part and parcel of life once He goes to heaven, and we await the Second Coming.
What Jesus was saying is that something brand new had come and the old thinking around fasting and practice of fasting was no longer going to cut it. We simply cannot fast the same way we did before Jesus came. Instead, our fasting now has a central purpose, and it is to make Jesus primary in our lives. We don’t fast for a Messiah because He has already come. We fast to connect more with the one who came for us.
The new revelation of God in Christ Jesus (new wine) needed a new kind of fasting (New Wineskin). Fasting’s primary goal is to make us more aware of the presence and purpose of Jesus in our lives and worlds. The new wine skin of fasting is supposed to hold the new revelation of who Jesus is.
It boils down to this, one of the most powerful vessels for the Gospel of Jesus is in a fasting disciple.
Psalms 103:1-5 (ESV)
 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!  Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,  who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,  who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,  who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
What can happen in our day-to-day life is we can forget the benefits of pursuing God. Here David lists just a few:
Love and Mercy
These things have their duplicates in the world, but their essence and beauty are only experienced within God.
Again, we don’t come to God like a vending machine asking for what we want after “paying” the right amount and then leaving.
The relationship is more like asking God to be God in our lives and then experiencing all He is in our lives.
Fasting helps us get a revelation of who God is and what God can do.
Today we are going to chat through some of the things that can cause us to become distracted in our fast.
1. Competition and Comparison
When we fast with others we can sometimes compare and compete with others. Simply taking our eyes off God and comparing our fast with others can derail what God is looking to do in and through us.
This may sound obvious but becoming hungry can be a major distraction in terms of our fasting. If we allow our hunger to drive us to focus on the flesh rather than driving us to God, we have missed the point. Hunger should be something that drives us to God, but it can sometimes make us focus so much on what we have given up that it becomes all we can think about.
Sometimes in a fast you slip up and eat when you shouldn’t or do something you are trying to not do. The worst thing is allowing one slip up to determine the entire fast. Remember fasting is about what God is doing through you not just the act of fasting. Therefore, if we slip up it doesn’t mean we have wrecked the fast. Don’t let a slip up distract you from what God is doing in and through you. Get back on track and focus on Jesus
The last one is isolation. We were created for community. It is no different in fasting. It is amazing how community can benefit the fast. When you know people are with you in denying their appetites and seeking God, it gives you a bit more motivation and encouragement. Isolation on the other hand does the opposite. Isolation can cause you to give up because of a vacuum of encouragement.
So, during this fast
Keep your eyes on God
Let your hunger lead you to God
Don’t exaggerate a stumble and give up
Fast in community.
Proverbs 13:25 (ESV)
 The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, but the belly of the wicked suffers want.
Solomon, after looking at the world around him and studying human nature, says that the appetite of the righteous and the appetite of the wicked work in different ways.
A righteous man’s appetite leads to satisfaction
A wicked man’s appetite leads to wanting more.
What is the difference?
A righteous person is one who lives with God as their ultimate and primary focus. Their appetite first and foremost is for the presence and glory of God and so when you desire these things you cannot be left wanting.
A wicked person’s appetite is driven by the flesh and when you live from these appetites you never find satisfaction
The reason is because we were made to be satisfied by God and by God alone.
So, the question today is what appetite is driving you?
What are you hungry for?
Isaiah 58:8-12 (ESV)
 Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.  Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,  if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.  And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.  And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.
Fasting done or the right reasons and that have the right outcomes then produce:
· People becoming light
· People experiencing healing
· People getting a reputation of Righteousness
· God’s glory becoming the people protection
· Intimacy with God restored
· God’s guidance will be with the people
· God will satisfy them
· People will flourish
· People will see their cities rebuilt
· People will become the foundation for legacies.
This would have been the cries of so many people at that time when they had experienced conquest and exile. God basically says everything you have been searching for and longing for is on the other end of you putting me first in your fast. If you get the order wrong, if you fast for the benefits instead of for God then we miss the point. Fasting then becomes a vehicle for us to get instead of for us to be changed.
Jesus would say it like this, “Seek first the kingdom of God and everything else will be added to you”
Isaiah 58:6-7 (ESV)
 “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?  Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
In the last session we said a fast that is only action and does not transform is not the kind of fast we should be looking for. Here we see where the people needed to be transformed.
God expected that when the people fasted corporately a few things would happen:
· Become separated from wickedness
· See an end to oppression
· Generosity with the vulnerable and destitute
· Hospitality towards those who cannot repay you
· Reconciliation within families.
The first outcome of fasting is that people would be separated from wickedness. Fasting should cause us to actively distance ourselves from our own sin and from the wickedness in our world.
Then the rest of the outcomes all deal with how people relate to one another. Fasting should lead us to engage with those who are oppressed, those who are vulnerable and poor. It should also encourage us to reconcile with family members even if they have hurt us.
In essence God is saying that fasting should make you:
A Better neighbor
A better family member
This begs the question what is the result of our fasting in the relationships around us?
Isaiah is confronted with a people who are doing what they think is the right thing, but their hearts are not in it
Isaiah 58:3-4 (ESV)
 ‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure and oppress all your workers.  Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high.
The point of fasting is not you or me. The point of fasting is not about what we give up either. Fasting done out of religious obligation is part and parcel of so many people’s lives. We see people fast because they think they should and because it is the expected thing to do. However, if we fast without it having any internal work in us and on our character and behavior all it is, is a heartless action.
It is one thing to fast, but it is another thing to deny yourself something in order to feast on God’s goodness and see your character reflect His more and more.
This was the mistake God’s people made and it is the mistake we can so easily make with fasting and any other kind of spiritual discipline. Doing something out of obligation may tick a box but God has given us these spiritual practices not just to do but as vehicles of internal transformation.
In your fast do not just focus on what you are doing but on who you are becoming through the fast.
Dallas Willard lists Fasting as one of the disciplines of abstinence and Prayer as one of the disciplines of engagement. In other words, prayer and fasting go together. Prayer is pushing more into God and fasting is denying the flesh in some way. If we only fast without the aspect of prayer we are crucifying the flesh through denial but to what end? To prove our willpower? To lose weight?
The prayer aspect of fasting is so important that without it fasting has become a dietary fad in our society. It is routinely listed as a healthy discipline but the spiritual aspect to it is not always realized because of the lack of prayer.
Jesus says in Matthew
Matthew 6:16-18 (ESV)
 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.  But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,  that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
The point Jesus is making here is that fasting done according to His Kingdom is not about what is happening to the outside. The denial of the flesh is not about the flesh. The point of fasting is what it does to our relationship with our Heavenly Father.
So today as we begin the fast our prayer for you is that you would not be consumed by what the fast does to you externally but that we would all focus on what is happening to our relationship with the Father.