God speaks clearly about what matters to Him.

Isaiah 58:
 6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
   and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
   and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
   and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
   and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
   and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
   and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
   you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
   “If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
   with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
   and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
   and your night will become like the noonday. 

Fasting is a temporary ‘doing without’ something. We usually think of food, but it can be media, sex, internet, etc. While fasting is a common religious practice in most religions throughout history, God gives us reasons to consider doing it.

Fasting is tied to the idea that I will do without out in order to share what I have with those who lack. I will fast a meal because I gave it away to someone who was hungrier. I will give up some of my comforts so others can be provided for. I will fast and pray so that I can understand how to help someone else who is being oppressed, unfairly treated or enslaved.

When we catch this idea of fasting, we capture God’s desire. He wants us to stop with all of our critical talk and judgment. Less talk and more acting in kindness… Then, God’s ways, justice and presence will be evident. It’s not longer prayer meetings, louder diatribes or greater protests that win God’s heart. God is looking for us to lay down our lives for others. That’s something to pray about…