I recommend you read all of Isaiah 58. Here are some key excerpts:
‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’ Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers.
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? 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? 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. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
Isaiah 58 is a beautifully clear passage that reminds us what the purpose of fasting IS NOT, as well as, what it IS.
Fasting isn’t a show or ritual that we do to demonstrate our humility or holiness for others to see.
Fasting is meant to focus us on the Lord and His will for His creation, which is to love Him by loving one another as Isaiah describes in this chapter. Here is what Andrew Murray has to say:
“Fasting helps express, deepens, confirms the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves, to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God.”
Pray: Dear God, as we fast please guide our hearts, attitudes and intentions toward that which glorifies You and Your love and plans for Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name, Amen.