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(Mat 6:16-18 NKJV)  "Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. {17} "But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, {18} "so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Question. No 1.

What didn’t Jesus like about the way the Pharisees fasted?

Possible answers:

Jesus was not against the Pharisees fasting, it was just the way they did it.  By wearing the evidence on their faces with a sad countenance so that they can win the approval of man. That they will feel good by making out they are very religious.

Question No 2.

What are the benefits of fasting?

Possible answers:

The benefits are it allows us to spend more time with God we become clearer in our mind; it will sharpen our minds to hear the Word of God.  As we take the time in prayer, God will reward us by showing us more of Him.  And will show us our own hearts.  Fasting also relates to a time of confession (Psa 69:10 NKJV) When I wept and chastened my soul with fasting, That became my reproach.

Question No 3

Why should I fast?

Possible answers:

The desire to know the heart of God and to know the mind of God, there is a time of prayer and fasting.  Fasting is the laying aside of food for a period of time when the believer is seeking to know God; wanting to spend more time with God and to be able to hear the Word of God in our hearts.

Summarize a brief personal story you could share in the Home Group regarding the role of fasting in your own life.

As I desired to hear from God and pray for a need that only comes out by prayer and fasting, (Mat 17:21 NKJV) However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting." I went with out food once for at least 2 days in a week, such as missing tea or lunch in that time. I seek to know the Lord by reading his word, so that he will reveal to me his will, for my food was now the word and prayer; to be filled to the brim.  That His voice will become much clear to me. 

When you arrive at the home group you discover that two people gave brought unsaved friends along.  How will the above discussion questions apply to the unbelievers as well as believers?

We all need to know that there is a right and a wrong way to try and please God.  Fasting that’s done with the wrong motives does not please God. Our attitude must reflect our Lord in every aspect (Mat 7:21 NKJV) “Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Going to church does not make us right with God.  Only believing in Jesus and trusting Him as our savior does.

Giving up sport or our possessions, or giving up alcohol does not win us any favour with God.  Only having trust and depending on Christ as we have an assurance with all confidence and faith in Jesus in what He can do.  There will be benefits if we will spend time seeking and reading His word as you would talk and get to know your friend so it is when we spend time with God in prayer by setting time aside being alone.  We all can seek Christ; when it is our hearts desire, it can be a question or a need treat him how you would like to be treated as your best friend.  

When you seek after God with or without fasting, you will be rewarded in many ways.  The promise is as in (James 4:8 NKJV) Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. By fasting you will find that you will be able to draw near to God, on our part it will demonstrate great determination and will be evidence for your part, God will reward that.  Fasting will also make you more aware of the Spiritual and natural world.

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Comment by Rogana Yandit on March 31, 2016 at 4:17pm
Thank you for sharing the benefits of fasting. I haven't tried fasting because I didn't know how.
Comment by C. on March 22, 2016 at 10:41am
Prayer and Fasting is a great way to open your heart to GOD.
I have done it before. And not like Pharisees.
I pray more people would at least give it a try.
And not to lose weight either but to spiritually be closer to GOD.

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