Fasting is not a discipline that particularly appeals to me or my stomach, but that doesn't mean that I should ignore the spiritual benefits of fasting and simply disregard it as a thing of the past. Fasting isn't merely dieting dressed up in spiritual jargon. The intent is to force us to think vertically, keeping God and His purposes in mind even while our body keeps trying to bring us back to the horizontal.
It's not that eating is bad or unholy. God made us in a way that our bodies require food. In fact, a number of miracles in the Bible were related to food. Fasting, however, should help us devote time to God that would normally be spent taking care of our horizontal needs.
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Our Father knows that we have needs, and will not be angry at us for meeting those needs (Of course, we should also keep in mind the difference between "Needs" and "Wants"). However, our greater desire should be for our Father's Kingdom, and one way we display that desire is through fasting and prayer. We can meet our horizontal needs without chasing after them. Paul often used a race metaphor in his letters. We can't finish the race if we are chasing the wrong things. Prayer and fasting help us stay on the right track.
Mike @ DCC