How To Begin Fasting
Fasting is hard. It sounds much easier in concept than it proves to be in practice. First, you must start small. Dont go from no fasting to attempting a weeklong. Start with one meal maybe fast one meal a week for several weeks.
Next, plan what youll do instead of eating. Fasting isnt merely an act of self-deprivation, but a spiritual discipline for seeking more of Gods richness. This means we should have a plan for what positive activities to do during the time it normally takes to eat. You will want to also consider how fasting will affect others in your life. Fasting is no license to be unloving. While you might at times feel grumpy or flustered, you can’t take it out on those around you. Lastly, figure out which type of fasting you will do, and if it will be from food or another vice of yours.
Fasting can turn you more towards God, and help you realign your focus on Him. While our bodies are being deprived for the purpose of drawing near to God, He has promised in return to draw near to us.
Megan Bailey is the Social Media Specialist and Content Producer for Beliefnet. She attended James Madison University where she received a degree in psychology.
How Should We Fast
The first imperative in deciding to fast is that we do so out of a sincere desire to seek Gods guidance and direction. Fasting for the sake of making a show in front of others, or fasting to ask God for things that are clearly outside of his will, is an exercise in futility. More on that in a minute.
First, lets look at the physical aspects of fasting. Fasting comes in different forms and is done in different ways. The most important factors to consider in starting a fasting regimen include the following:
Should Christians Still Fast Today
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
Jesus did not command fasting, but it was a normal occurrence in His earthly time, and it would have made sense to His followers to take up this practice as a spiritual discipline. Fasting is not just for food, but food is widely used in different types of fasting. Fasting from food should be progressive and can be full or partial. Sam Storms, in his Crosswalk.com article, What Christians Need to Know about Fasting, lists the following different types of fasts: a partial fast, abstaining from a particular food a liquid fast, abstaining from all solid foods an absolute fast, abstaining from all food and liquids, and a supernatural fast, as in Moses refraining from eating or drinking for 40 days.
Fasting could be refraining from Netflix, spending the time it takes to binge a whole season in prayer or dedicate the same amount of time in prayer as our weekly screen time report reveals. Put thought into what you are abstaining from, and your fast can be short, intermittent, or longer. Theres not one type of fast that fits all its important that the fast is between you and God rather than a group fad youre joining.
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How To Fast As A Christian
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Fasting is a sacred time in which Christians abstain from food, or other pleasures, and take the time to focus on God. If you are interested in focusing your life around God, while feeding the poor, deepening your faith — read on and find out how!
For a non-religious fast, see How to Fast.
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Christian Fasting Rules Guidelines And Best Practices
Christian fasting is the act of abstaining from something for a period of time for a certain spiritual purposeits intentionally emptying oneself to be receptive to something else. When Christians fast, they become receptive to a closer relationship God and to being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Fasting is a crucial part of our walks with the Lord and although it isnt commanded, we can clearly see in Scripture that Jesus expects His followers to fast. Fasting shifts our attention from the things of the flesh to the things of the Spirit, and it is an act of surrender to the Lord and the things of Him.
What should Christians do when they fast? Fasts are unique to you, so pray about what the Lord wants you do to or not do during your fast. When you fast, I highly encourage you to replace the time youd normally spend doing whatever it is youre fasting from and spend that time dedicated to the Lord instead.
Biblical fasting should not be considered a method for dieting, but a method for growing into deeper communion with God and being more in tune with His Spirit. The primary Biblical reason to fast is to take our eyes off of the things of the flesh and to open our eyes to the things of God.
Prayer is reaching out after the unseen fasting is letting go of all that is seen and temporal. Fasting helps express, deepen, confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God.
Fasting For The Sake Of Discipline
Here is the first wrong way to fast. As I mentioned earlier, the influence of secularism has distorted the true Biblical meaning of fasting. In the same way, it distorted the moral values of humanity. Although, some people might say that fasting on a certain day of the week or a certain period of the year is good in terms of discipline. We should never consider fasting as part of our discipline.
Therefore, it is wrong to reduce fasting simply to be a part of the discipline process. Rather, it is something that we must keep perpetually. We must always keep our bodies fit we must always eat healthily and promote a healthy and godly lifestyle. But fasting is your intimate relationship with God, it is holy. Thus, it puts it into a totally different category 8.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service .
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An Evening Of Fasting
Even non-Christians are aware of the potency of Christian fasting.
A heathen king demonstrated how often and how long Christians should fast.
Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of brought before him: and his sleep went from him, .
King Darius fasted as often and as long as necessary to change Daniels situation and circumstances.
He passed the night fasting . We could learn much from the king.
Spend Time In Devotion
On the Bible app, there are many reading plans about fasting that you have access to. I highly suggest finding a devo or two and doing them during your fast! It can be a helpful tool in learning and growing during your fast. If you dont want to spend time in devos about fasting, I encourage you to find a devo thats linked with the purpose for your fast.
I believe that fasting, prayer, eating the Word, getting in the prayer room are ways that we violently get serious and radical about following Jesus.
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Avoid Television And Radio
Disconnecting from TV, radio, newspapers and the Internet can help you stay focused on your purpose for fasting. You will be less tempted by the constant bombardment of advertising as you become physically and emotionally challenged. Avoiding media will give you more time to focus on the Lord and His word.
Spiritual Preparation For Fasting And Prayer
In preparation for this special time with God, cru.orgs guide to fasting urges that you examine your heart. Ask God to help you see your brokenness clearly so that you can confess your sins and repent. In Scripture, God frequently calls upon people to repent of their sins before listening to their prayers.
You can look to King Davids example in Psalm 66:16-20:
Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for me. I cried aloud to him, and he was extolled with my tongue.If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.But truly God has listened he has given heed to the words of my prayer.
Blessed be God,
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Daniel Fasts For 21 Days
We already looked at the Daniel fast but I want to touch on it again because it is so powerful. The concept of partial fasting for 3 weeks or a 21 day fast is solid but check your heart. If oils, sweets, or meats are not what you turn to for satisfaction, this type of fasting will fall flat.
Search your heart. Spend time asking God to reveal to you the things that you seek for satisfaction. It could be Facebook or Candy Crush instead of food. Be open to fasting from the things that will really drive you to pray.
21 days of fasting and prayer can change your life if you choose the right things to fast from.
Ways To Fast According To The Bible
What the Bible says about the history and purpose of fasting.
by Alikay WoodPosted in How to Pray
Fasting is enjoying a renaissance. From churches starting the year with a Daniel Fast, to the trendiness of intermittent fasting as a diet plan and the growing popularity of Lent, fasting has entered the mainstream.
But what is the purpose of fasting? And where did it come from?
Fasting is an ancient practice, and almost every major religion features fasting in some way. In the Bible alone, fasting is mentioned upwards of 70 times, as a way to pray, petition God or express grief. Its important to note that you should consult with a medical doctor before fasting to ensure you do so in a healthy way.
Here are a few examples of fasting in the Bible:
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How To Fast And Pray In A Way That Pleases God
What comes to mind when you think of fasting and prayer? Really, lets do a gut check here My first thoughts are No Way, I cant go all day without eating. Can I be more honest? When I felt God prompting me to dig into How to fast and pray, I sort of freaked out.
I imagined fasting would be hard and that the Bible would be filled with rules and regulations I could never follow. So imagine my shock when I began to search scripture for all the rules about how to fast -and found grace.
Today we will see how easy it is to begin fasting in a way that will please God, feeds your soul and leads to spiritual breakthrough!
What Are The Different Types Of Fasting
Since there are countless types of fasting, it would take a lifetime to lay out all the options, but I can share the basics to help you find the type of fasting that will help you draw nearer to God.
Know that each one has pros and cons and you should weigh them wisely. In all honestly, as I practiced various types of fasting and prayer I learned a lot from each form. Most of the time I failed at the fast, but I learned from it nonetheless.
Be okay with failing. See each attempt at fasting as a practice run to find the right path forward toward a spiritual breakthrough.
1. A 40-Day Complete Fast
Moses and Jesus both give us examples of a 40 day complete fast. Note please that they give extreme examples by having no food or water for 40 days. Consult your doctor before fasting from all food and water for more than 24 hours.
So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights he did not eat bread or drink water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.
And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.
2. A Complete Fast
The duration of a complete fast could range from part of a day to an entire day to several days or weeks. This was the most common in the scripture.
3. A Partial Fast
In Daniel, we see believers who ate only fruit, veggies and drank water for 10 days to honor God while in captivity.
Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink.
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Different Types Of Fasting In The Bible
JaimeBible StudyJanuary 20, 2021
There are many types of fasting in the Bible, various reasons for fasting, and different lengths of fasts. All are important and good to refer to when we are fasting to draw closer to God. Fasting without prayer is pointless it is a given that the time you would be spending eating or enjoying other things would be spent instead in prayer and consecration. Those two together will move heaven and earth! This is what makes Biblical fasting different than other types of fasting.
Fasting For The Sake Of Fasting
Another wrong way to fast that many Christians are doing, including me in the past. As a new believer, especially with a Ukrainian Orthodox background, I was fasting for the sake of fasting. Martyn Lloyd-Jones calls it mechanical fasting. This kind of religious practice makes fasting an end in itself. Here is the logic: Now, because I have become a Christian, I have to do this or that because it is a part of the Christian religion. That is the wrong motive, and if that is your case, you might as well not fast at all.
A routine is a form of false conduct found in many areas of the Christian life. Many believers simply make up a program for the week to fill their spare time with religious rituals. Thus, it makes such a relationship with God similar to that of a robot with its creator. Moreover, fasting is not the only rite that falls in that category. Christians do mechanical prayer and mechanical Bible reading. Even Sunday service became a part of their weekly routine. And now my question is: if you are a true believer, can you call such conduct worship? Can you call it holy?
And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come .
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Chapter : Fasting In The Old Testament And Ancient Judaism: Mourning Repentance And Prayer In Hope For Gods Presence
It is reasonable to ask how theological applications might be derived from the biblical texts related to fasting. An attempt will be made to examine a wide number of biblical passages in order to arrive at what Gerald OCollins and Daniel Kendall describe as biblical convergence. They write that the principle of convergence entails letting the broadest and most varied amount of biblical witness come to bear on the theological question at issue.11 This will also entail acknowledging intersection with certain metathemes and metanarratives in key passages, as will be seen below in discussions of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Moses on Mt. Sinai, and the Day of Atonement, and how these kinds of themes find an answer in the NT literature .12
How To Fastwhat Does The Bible Say Gotquestions
- John the Baptist’s disciples routinely fasted according to Jewish custom, but Jesus’ disciples did not. However, Jesus said His disciples would mourn and fast after He had left them . The early Christians practiced fasting at least occasionally
- Throughout the Bible we most often find God’s people turn to fasting as the natural, inevitable response to a grievous sacred moment in life, such as death, sin and tragedy. But other times a fast is not a spontaneous reaction and we have time to prepare to respond both physically and spiritually
- Christians who want to pursue a fast will benefit from studying other instances in the Bible where fasting was practiced. To pursue this kind of topical study, a simple internet search will bring up many different resources. But the prophet Isaiah provides us with perhaps the clearest explanation and understanding of fasting in the Bible
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