I must confess that I have never been a diligent faster even though Jesus speaks of it as an expected part of life when he says, "when you fast" in Matthew 6:16. So if it is to be a normal part of life (or in our case a normal part of 7), what is fasting for?
There are two types of fasting. One is individual fasting and the other is corporate ( we are participating in a bit of both). Examples of fasting range from the mourning of sin, fasting during grief, fasting for repentance and confession, seeking protection and guidance. Prophets fast during ministry and Jesus fasts before beginning his ministry. Jesus teaches in Mark 9 that certain miraculous acts (driving out a type of demon) is only performed through fasting and prayer.
After fasting, prayers are heard, repentance occurs (see Nineveh), angels visit (Acts 10), demons are driven out, and guidance is given. So, why don't we fast more?
May these 7 months of fasting open my eyes to the dark places in my life, drive me to repentance and confession, and lead me to a life that looks more like what God intends it to be.