Cornelius was a gentile soldier in the Roman army. The Romans were generally resistant to the gospel and persecutors of Christians. Many Christians were martyred for their faith in Jesus by Romans. Cornelius was religiously devout, and we see here that he prayed, fasted, and gave faithfully. He loved and feared God, although he had not yet entered into a saving relationship with Jesus through the finished work of the cross. He had a vision in which an angel of the Lord said that his fasting, prayer, and giving had made an impression on God. Cornelius’ fasting was effective! The angel instructed him to send men to retrieve Peter.
Now, Peter was a Jew, and we know from the historical context that typically, Romans did not hold high opinions of Jews. Could it be that Cornelius’ fasting enabled his heart to be humbled in order to obey God and do something he usually would not consider? While Cornelius prayed and fasted, God spoke through a vision to Peter that salvation was for the Gentiles, too. When Cornelius’ men arrived, God had prepared him to go with them. Peter shared the gospel with Cornelius and his family, and his whole household was saved! Cornelius’ fast positioned him in humility to receive a life-changing revelation of salvation in Jesus through someone a person of his stature would not usually associate with.
Do you want a deeper revelation of God? Do you want to know Him more? What if your answered prayer comes in the most unlikely way or through the most unlikely person? Fasting positions you to receive from God in humility.