14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?”
15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.
16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
The nowadays disciples of Christ fast and pray earnestly because the bridegroom is taken away physically from us. By virtue of fasting and praying, we communicate with God, seek His will, ask for guidance, experience His divine provision and lots more.
Among other reasons we fast and pray is to attract more presence of God in our lives. The reality is there's work to be done to continually enjoy the presence of God in our lives. And one of those work is Fasting & Praying.
Likewise, we fast and pray to discipline our body, to prepare our lives for the race ahead as explained in 1 Corinthians 9: 25
All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.
When we fast and pray, we train our body by denying it the pleasure of life such as food, prolonged TV watching, etc
Another reason and advantage of fasting and praying is recorded in Acts 13:2- 4
2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said,“Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
Fasting and praying position us to hear from God. Fasting and praying help us to discern correctly the plan of God for every matter.
On a final note, when we fast and pray, we are encouaraged to do it decently, without making noise about it. Also, we should remember that there is a reward for every act of fasting and prayer that we do according to His will.
Matthew 6:18 "so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
God bless and strengthen as you prepare your fast to the Lord!