Is there a reason why we as the WELS don’t appear to emphasize fasting as a Christian discipline? (Or maybe we do, and it’s just been my experience to have not heard much about it?) If a believer is considering a fast as a means to draw closer to God in prayer, how would one go about it? Thank you!
Fasting falls in the area of Christian freedom, so an emphasis on that practice will vary from person to person.
“As is the case with any adiaphoron, motives for fasting can be important. Some of the literature I have seen speaks of fasting serving the purpose of ‘assisting and enhancing’ our prayers. In view of that, you may want to ask yourself: ‘Am I thinking in any way that God is going to hear and answer my prayers because of something I am doing? Am I fasting like the Pharisees—thinking that fasting will put me in a better standing with God and make me superior to non-fasting Christians?’ Any thoughts like these would rule out fasting.”
The paragraph above is from a February 2015 column in Forward in Christ. This link will take you to that column. It will address the subject of fasting with more detail than I can provide here.