A Guide to Fasting
“Then John’s disciples came and asked him, ‘How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?’ Jesus answered, ‘How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.’” — Matthew 9:14-15
Fasting helps us focus on God by abstaining from something for a set period. Here are some questions that can help you decide how to incorporate fasting into your prayer life:
Why should I fast?
The main benefits of fasting are internal. Fasting is good for your spirit. When you fast, you are making a conscious decision to seek God. Hunger reminds you there is something more satisfying than food and points you to God. You might want to fast for a specific request or breakthrough. You might be pursuing God in a specific way. Or, fasting might be something you do regularly to connect with God.
How should I fast?
There are many ways to fast. You can customize your fast however you want. There should always be some area of denial, and no one finds fasting easy. If you’re not used to fasting, begin with a less intense fast to train your body and spirit. Here are some examples of fasts you could consider:
- Total Fast: In this fast, you only drink liquids. You can choose which liquids you’ll allow, but it’s always important to drink plenty of water.
- Partial Fast: You choose what/when you will eat. For example, you could choose to fast during the day for multiple days in a row.
- Daniel Fast: Based on how Daniel fasted, this fast removes meat, processed sugar, caffeine, dairy, alcohol, and bread from your diet. You drink water and eat only fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, and vegetables.
Do I have to fast from food?
Fasting from food is the most common way to fast, but it’s not the only way. If you have health issues that prevent you from fasting from food or need to address an imbalance in another area of life, consider fasting from something else for a season. This could be social media, alcohol, sex, television — literally anything!
However God leads you to fast, remember: it’s about saying “no” to something in your everyday life so that you can say “yes” to more of God.
Hear from Lead Pastor Michael Mullikin about how he began fasting and how it’s grown his relationship with Jesus.