Your personal fasting influences others to fast.
Today's Daily Reading: Daniel chapter 6
One of the Bible's most celebrated stories comes from today's reading. I grew up in church and regularly saw pictures of an angel in a den of lions, keeping them from tarring Daniel to pieces, while Daniel rested unharmed. I learned growing up that Daniel was rescued from the mouths of the lions because he was a man of disciplined prayer. Daniel's great character drew God's help.
Daniel didn't pray because there was trouble. Daniel prayed in-spite of trouble. Actually, the trouble came because Daniel was praying. He was promoted to great positions because his life of prayer and fasting opened a door of favor from God. He grew in wisdom and understanding. God worked great miraculous signs and wonders in Daniel's life because of his consistency in spiritual disciplines. Of course God rescued Daniel.
All the above is true. God's favor was on Daniel because of Daniel's lifestyle of obedience. But I saw something interesting in today's reading that I haven't seen before. Daniel's lifestyle of prayer and fasting influenced an unbeliever to pray and fast. Check it out.
Daniel 6:18 says, "Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night fasting. He refused his usual entertainment and couldn’t sleep at all that night."
The king loved Daniel and continued to promote him to positions of great authority. He was in anguish when he realized that his pride allowed the other leaders to deceive him in writing a law that would harm Daniel. I believe the king remembered how Daniel always responded to trouble. And that night, the king fasted. Is it possible that the king's fast moved the hand of God as much as Daniel? It's something to think about for sure.
All I know is that king Darius the Mede fasted and prayed to God due to the influence of Daniel. How many people in your life are aware of how you handle trouble? How many people in your and my life have experienced the wisdom and insight from our lives of fasting and prayer? Not that we go around telling everyone that we're fasting and praying, but the fruit of our fasted life should influence others in our lives for good...for God!