But the days will come; and when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days." (Luke 5:35 NASB)
In response to the question about why His disciples didn't fast, Jesus gave a wonderful answer. He presented the metaphor of a bridegroom coming for his bride. During this time of coming for His bride, the church, His disciples could not be expected to fast. There would come a time, however, when they would fast. "When the bridegroom is taken away," he said. This "taken away" word is actually prophetic. The Greek word here is "apairō" and does mean to take away, but it also can mean "to lift off and take away". The ascension back to heaven was certainly a type of "divine lift off" that took the bridegroom away! There would be no fasting until then.
The time in which we live is "post-ascension", and we are, by Christ's own words, destined to fast. A voluntary abstaining, fasting has been practiced throughout Scripture, and giving up almost anything can constitute a fast. My own experience has ranged from food to activities. Isaiah 58 tells us of the fast God desires us to make. This fast is one of abstaining from a judgmental, critical spirit and replacing it with a spirit of generosity and giving. (this chapter is worth reading again)
My son once said that fasting is what we do to let God know we are serious about that for which we pray. Perhaps. I think it also lets US know we are serious. Are we serious enough about the spiritual welfare of our children to fast for them? Today, make a plan for a limited fast to accompany your prayers, and pray that our Lord would use that time of prayer and fasting to draw us, as well as our loved ones, closer to Him.