Should a Christian practice fasting?

Is fasting out of character for us because it was part of the legal system that God instituted?

During the second forty days on the mount, Moses states, "I did neither eat bread nor drink water, because of all your sins" (Deuteronomy 9:18). "I fell down before the Lord... because He said He would destroy you" (verse 25). Because the people sinned, he fasted and interceded. Thus we have the practice, but no command.

Israel defeated by Benjamin (Judges 20:26), Jehoshaphat meeting a vast army (2 Chronicles 20:3) and Esther facing death (Esther 4:15) all fasted. Even the unsaved of Nineveh, on hearing Jonah preach, "believe God, and proclaimed a fast" (Jonah 3:5). The practice was not limited to the law nor to Israel.

Unless "afflict your souls" (Numbers 29:7, with Psalm 35:13 where "chastened [with fasting]" is the same word as "afflict") commands fasting, no such command seems to be recorded. These passages link fasting with repentance and humility.

E. Doherty