We’re in the middle of Lent, preparing our hearts and our lives to appreciate and receive what our Lord Jesus did for us, gave for the whole world, on the Cross of Good Friday and the Resurrection of Easter. And a key factor in this preparation has always been, since the beginning of the celebration of Lent in the history of the church, the practice of fasting. In fact, prayer and fasting has always been a central part of the Judeo-Christian religion. But today, many if not most Christians do not practice any form of fasting, partly because their particular tradition does not encourage it, but also because many of us have forgotten why we should fast. This is what we will discuss to day on Deep IN Scripture.
1: “Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
16: “And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
17: But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
18: that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
[19: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal,
20: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.
21: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.]
 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.”
 Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they believed.
Didache Chapter 8
(1) Do not practice fasting with the hypocrites. They fast on Mondays and Thursdays. You should fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. (2) Nor should you pray like the hypocrites. Rather pray as the Lord commanded in his Gospel,
Our Father, who are in heaven.
Hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debt as we have forgiven our debtors.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil
For yours is the power and glory forever.
Pray this three times a day.