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"Is there, then, any place at all for fasting in the Christian life?" asks Joyce G Baldwin on page 84 of her commentary on Esther. She then warns us of what fasting is not:
". . . a way of gaining merit, nor as a religious exercise used to impress others, and certainly not as a means of 'twisting God's arm'."
Then Baldwin lists some reasons why fasting should/could be part of Christian living:
  • In an age of rush one way of making time for prayer is to forgo a meal.
  • Life's inequalities offer opportunities to help provide for others by taking less of the world's resources for ourselves.
  • Prayer with fasting ensures that important decisions that come in one's personal life and in the church are being taken with due seriousness.
  • When a whole community prays and fasts together, as in the Esther crisis, all share in the joy of seeing God's response and give praise to Him (cf 2 Cor 1:11).

Quotes are taken from 'Esther An Introduction & Commentary' by Joyce G Baldwin (pg84)