Q. “Please explain … what you understand the Bible to teach on Christian fasting.”
A. “I think the Scriptures teach very plainly that it is the duty of Christians to fast. The Savior, in the Sermon on the Mount, gives directions for giving alms (Matt. 6:1-4), for praying (verses 5-15), and for fasting (verses 16-18). The three duties are treated here exactly alike, as though they are equally binding. He does not here command either one of them, but assumes that they will all be observed by his disciples, and gives direction as to how they are to be observed. … Christians should fast when tried and tempted, which affliction and sorrow come upon them, when they grow cold and lukewarm in the service of God, when the flesh gains the ascendancy and they become forgetful of their duties to God and indifferent to their spiritual condition or that of the world. When they feel these states begin to approach, fasting and prayer will help them much. When trouble, lukewarmness, and sin come upon a church, they should fast and pray, that deliverance may come through an increase of faith and devotion.”
Questions Answered by Lipscomb and Sewell edited by M.C. Kurfees (McQuiddy Printing Co, 1921); p.228
Note: “Lipscomb” is “David Lipscomb” and “Sewell” is “Jesse P. Sewell,” prominent leaders in the Restoration Heritage, particularly Churches of Christ, in the late 1800′s and early 1900′s in the United States.