What is fasting?

Simply stated, biblical fasting is refraining from food for a spiritual purpose. There is a connection between what we do physically and what God releases spiritually in the Bible, and when you fast, you partner with God.

He desires to have a divine partnership with you in the area of fasting and prayer for your family, your life, and His purpose in the earth, and there are times when God requires us to take a physical action to receive a spiritual blessing.

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How Do I Fast?

How to Begin

Start with a clear goal. Be specific. Why are you fasting? Do you need direction, healing, restoration of marriage or family issues? Are you facing financial difficulties? Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Pray daily and read the Bible.

Preparing Spiritually

Confess your sins to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of weakness. Forgive all who have offended you and ask forgiveness from those you may have offended. Surrender your life fully to Jesus and reject the worldly desires that try to hinder you.

Deciding What to Fast

Your fasting type is up to you. You could go on a full fast in which you only drink liquids, or you may desire to fast like Daniel, who abstained from sweets and meats, and the only liquid he drank was water. Remember to replace that time with prayer and Bible study.

Deciding How Long

You may fast as long as you like. Most can easily fast from one to three days, but you may feel the grace to go longer, even as much as 21 to 40 days. Use wisdom and pray for guidance. Beginners are advised to start slow.

What to Expect

When you fast, your body detoxifies causing mild discomfort (headaches, irritability). You will naturally have hunger pains. Rest. Limit  activity and exercise moderately. Listen to praise and worship. Pray as often as you can. Get away from normal distractions and keep your heart and mindset on seeking God’s face.

How to End

Fasting brings about miraculous results and you are following Jesus’ example! Don’t overeat when the time comes to end your fast. Begin eating solid food gradually; eat small portions or snacks.

Types of Fasts

Full Fast

This type of fast removes all foods, and you drink only liquids.

Partial Fast: Selective

With this fast you abstain from certain types of food throughout the fast — often called a Daniel Fast.

Partial Fast: Intermittent

This fast means you abstain from a certain meal (or meals) each day during the fast.

Corporate Fast

This fast involves a group or community collectively abstaining from food for a shared purpose.

How long should I fast?

3 Days

Esther and Paul

Queen Esther called for a three-day fast among the Jewish people in Susa, including herself, before approaching King Xerxes to intercede for her people (Esther 4:16).

After encountering Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul fasted and prayed for three days (Acts 9:9-19).

7 Days

Feast of Unleavened Bread

The Israelites observed the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days, during which they ate unleavened bread and refrained from leavened products (Exodus 12:15-20).

10 Days


Daniel and his friends fasted from the king's rich food and wine for ten days as a form of dedication and purification (Daniel 1:12-15).

21 Days


Daniel saw a terrifying vision from God. It was so terrifying, in fact, that Daniel fasted for three weeks, in mourning for what was about to come upon the earth. (Daniel 10:2-3)

40 Days

Jesus and Moses

The Gospels record that Jesus fasted for forty days and nights in the wilderness before facing temptations by Satan (Matthew 4:1-2; Luke 4:1-2).

Moses fasted for forty days and nights twice while on Mount Sinai, receiving the Ten Commandments during these periods (Exodus 24:18; 34:28; Deuteronomy 9:9, 18).

7 Reasons Why Fasting is Important

Prioritizing the Kingdom of God

Fasting is a means of prioritizing the kingdom of God over our own personal kingdom.

Fast when what is important to God is being crowded out by what has been important to you.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:33

Seeking Guidance and Wisdom

Fasting is a means of seeking God's wisdom and guidance in decision-making.

Fast when seeking clarity in major life decisions, trusting God for discernment and direction.

"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault." James 1:5 (NIV)

Spiritual Focus and Intimacy with God

Fasting allows for concentrated, undistracted time with God, fostering a deeper devotional focus.

Set aside specific times for fasting and prayer to enhance your spiritual connection and intimacy with God.

"But when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father in private." Matthew 6:6 (NIV)

Spiritual Discipline and Self-Control

Fasting helps develop spiritual discipline, teaching believers to exercise control over their desires and weaknesses.

Integrate regular fasting into your spiritual routine to cultivate discipline and self-control.

"I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should." 1 Corinthians 9:27 (NIV)

Repentance and Seeking God's Forgiveness

Fasting symbolizes repentance, a genuine turning away from sin and a desire to return to God with a contrite heart.

Use fasting as a tangible expression of repentance, seeking God's forgiveness and renewal.

"'Even now,' declares the LORD, 'return to me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning.'" Joel 2:12 (NIV)

Spiritual Warfare and Overcoming Strongholds

Fasting is a tool in spiritual warfare, equipping believers to overcome challenges and resist spiritual attacks.

Incorporate fasting when facing spiritual battles, relying on God's strength for victory.

"This kind can only come out by prayer and fasting." Matthew 17:21 (NIV)

Practicing Humility and Dependence

Fasting humbles believers, emphasizing dependency on God as the ultimate source of strength and provision.

Use fasting as a regular practice to cultivate humility and reliance on God in all aspects of life.

"Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up." James 4:10 (NIV)

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