Fasting is when you abstain from eating food for a period of time longer than you normally would. In ancient Israel they ate two meals a day, the first meal, the lighter of the two, was usually around noon. The second and main meal of the day was eaten in the evening around the time of sunset.
It was a common belief that if you skipped the first meal of the day that you were fasting. Hence the name of "breakfast". Break fast.
As a side note, they that worked physical jobs also ate a very light meal or morsel in the early morning before leaving for work.
In the Bible, people would fast during times of mourning, affliction & persecution.
Typical fasts last 24 hours.
If you fast long enough you will feel a sense of well being & clear mindedness. I notice these effects begin after around 17 hours of fasting, meaning 17 hours since my last meal.
Jesus said that his disciples would not fast while He was with them, but when He was taken away, then they would fast (Matthew 9:15).
People often fast in times of mourning, repentance & gratitude. As well as to seek God's council or to be able to offer more fervent and acceptable prayer.
In Matthew 17:21 (KJB) Jesus tells us that some demons will not leave without fasting and prayer. "Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting."
This is proof that the spiritual life is quickened through fasting.
Apparently there are many other benefits to fasting besides spiritual benefits. Such as autophagy and many other health benefits. Perhaps we can learn something from animals who stop eating when they become sick.
The following information is a quote from a doctor named Ben Kim. I do not endorse or support anything else he may have said or is involved with.
"For much of human history, fasting has been guided by intuition and spiritual purpose. Today, our understanding of human physiology confirms the powerful healing effects of fasting.
Fasting is a powerful therapeutic process that can help people recover from mild to severe health conditions. Some of the most common ones are high blood pressure, asthma, allergies, chronic headaches, inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn�s disease), irritable bowel syndrome, adult onset diabetes, heart disease, degenerative arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, eczema, acne, uterine fibroids, benign tumours, and systemic lupus erythematosus.
Fasting provides a period of concentrated physiological rest during which time the body can devote its self-healing mechanisms to repairing and strengthening damaged organs. The process of fasting also allows the body to cleanse cells of accumulated toxins and waste products.
Fasting gives the digestive tract time to completely rest and strengthen its mucosal lining. A healthy intestinal mucosal lining is necessary for preventing the leakage of incompletely digested proteins into the bloodstream, thereby offering protection against autoimmune conditions. A healthy digestive tract also helps to protect the blood and inner organs against a variety of environmental and metabolic toxins.
A fast that is appropriate for your situation will allow for you to experience some or all of the following:
* More energy
* Healthier skin
* Healthier teeth and gums
* Better quality sleep
* A clean and healthy cardiovascular system
* A decrease in anxiety and tension
* Dramatic reduction or complete elimination of aches and pains in muscles and joints
* Decrease or elimination of headaches
* Stabilization of blood pressure
* Stronger and more efficient digestion
* Stabilization of bowel movements
* Loss of excess weight
* Elimination of stored toxins
* Improvement with a wide variety of chronic degenerative health conditions, including autoimmune disorders
It is important to understand that the detoxifying and healing processes that occur during a fast are also active when a person is consuming food. A fast can be helpful for people whose conditions are not improving as quickly as they would like, or for people who have health conditions that require a concentrated period of healing to resolve. It is also important to understand that the most important part of a fast is how a person lives after the fast. Fasting can provide a clean and revitalized foundation upon which you can build and maintain a strong and well-conditioned body by consistently making healthy food and lifestyle choices."