Christian fasting is a spiritual discipline that is mentioned throughout the Bible.
But what is Christian fasting? What are the rules and guidelines for biblical fasting? How long should you fast for God?
In this post, we will explore all these questions and more! We will also look at some tips on how to fast and pray effectively.
Whether you are a beginner or experienced in Christian fasting, this post should answer all of your questions!
What is Christian Fasting, and Why Do People Do it in The Bible?
Fasting is the act of voluntarily abstaining from food and drink for a set period of time and has been practiced by Christians for centuries.
While the specifics of fasting may vary from person to person, the general idea is to focus on God and prayer while abstaining from food or worldly pleasures.
The practice of fasting is a common one in Christianity, with many believers participating in regular fasts for both spiritual and physical reasons.
Why Christians Fast?
There are many different reasons why Christians choose to fast, but some of the most common reasons are for repentance, spiritual breakthrough, and physical healing.
No matter what the reason for fasting may be, there are some general rules and guidelines that all Christians should follow when undertaking a fast.
4 Christian Fasting Rules?
There are no definitive Christian fasting rules. The Bible doesn’t give us a step-by-step guide on how to fast.
However, there are some biblical principles that can guide us as we seek to develop our own fasting practices.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you fast:
1. Christian Fasting is Voluntary
First and foremost, it is important to remember that fasting is a voluntary act and should never be done out of a sense of obligation.
If you are feeling called to fast, be sure to pray about it first and ask God if it is something that he would like you to do.
2. Fasting Should be Done for the Right Reasons
As mentioned before, there are many different reasons why people may choose to fast.
However, not all of these reasons are in line with what God would want us to do.
For example, some people may choose to fast in order to lose weight or as a way of punishing themselves.
While there may be some benefits to these things, they are not the reasons that God calls us to fast.
Instead, we should only be fasting for the right reasons, such as those mentioned above.
3. Fasting Should be Done in a Healthy Way
Another important thing to remember is that fasting should be done in a healthy way.
This means that if you are going to fast from food, you should make sure to still eat healthy meals when you are not fasting.
It is also important to make sure that you are drinking plenty of water and getting enough sleep.
4. Fasting Should be Done with Prayer
Of course, one of the most important things to remember when fasting is that it should be done with prayer.
This means that you should be spending time talking to God throughout the day, both when you are fasting and when you are not.
Prayer is one of the most important parts of fasting, so be sure to make it a priority.
As you can see, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to Christian fasting.
However, by following the biblical principles mentioned above, you can be sure that you are fasting in a way that is pleasing to God.
3 Benefits of Fasting That are Mentioned in The Bible
The Bible mentions several benefits and reasons for fasting, including:
1. Fasting can Help us to Focus on God and Prayer
This is perhaps the primary benefit of fasting – it helps us to focus on God.
When we remove distractions from our lives, we can better commune with God through prayer.
2. Fasting can Help us to Overcome Temptation and Defeat Sin
Another significant benefit of fasting is that it helps us to overcome temptation and defeat sin.
3. Fasting can Help to Humble us
A final benefit of fasting that is mentioned in the Bible is that it can help to humble us.
When we go without food, we are reminded of our dependence on God and our need for Him.
This can help us to approach Him with humility and a humble heart.
What Did Jesus Teach about Fasting?
When it comes to fasting, Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:16 are some of the most well-known.
In this passage, Jesus deals with the issue of hypocrisy and rewards.
He says that when we fast, we should do so in a way that is not showy or self-righteous.
Instead, our fasting should be between us and God.
It should be something that is done for the right reasons and not for the sake of impressing others.
If we fast with the right heart, then God will see it, and He will reward us.
What that reward looks like is not specified in this passage, but we can be sure that it will be something good.
3 Types of Fasting in the Bible
The three different types of biblical fasting are:
1. The Normal Fast
This is the most common type of fast, and it involves you giving up food and water for a set period of time, usually between meals or for 24 hours.
2. The Daniel Fast
This fast is based on the story of Daniel in the Bible.
It involves eating only fruits and vegetables and drinking only water for a period of time.
The Daniel Fast is one of the most popular types of fast among Christians.
It is a 21-day fast where you give up all forms of food and water except for fruits and vegetables.
The Daniel Fast is based on the story of Daniel in the Bible, where he was taken captive by Babylon and refused to eat the food that was given to him.
Instead, he ate only fruits and vegetables that were provided by God.
3. The Absolute Fast
This is the most intense type of fast, and it involves you giving up all food and water for a set period of time, usually for 24 hours or more.
No matter what type of fast you choose to do, be sure to do it in a way that is pleasing to God.
And always remember that fasting should never be done out of a sense of obligation – it should only be done if you feel called to do so by God.
If you do choose to fast, be sure to pray about it first and ask God if it is something that he would like you to do.
4 Specific Guidelines or Instructions for Fasting in the Bible?
There are definitely some specific guidelines for fasting that are found in the Bible.
1. Fasting is Personal With God
First and foremost, we see that fasting is to be a personal act of worship and humility before God.
It is not to be done for the purpose of impressing others or gaining attention.
2. Fasting is to be Done in Secret
We are also instructed to fast in secret. This means that we are not to let others know that we are fasting. (Matthew 6:16)
3. Fasting is to be Done for the Right Reasons
Another important guideline for fasting is that we are to do it for the right reasons.
The Bible tells us that we are not to fast to be seen by others or to receive attention.
Instead, we are to fast to humble ourselves before God and to seek His will for our lives. (Isaiah 58:3)
We also see in Scripture that there are times when fasting is to be done for a specific purpose.
For example, we are told to fast when we are in mourning or when we are seeking guidance from God. (Jeremiah 14:12)
4. Fasting is to be Done With Prayer
Lastly, the Bible tells us that we are to fast with prayer. This means that we are to pray while we are fasting.
Prayer and fasting are to go hand-in-hand. We are not to fast without also praying. (Psalm 35:13)
When it comes to fasting, the Bible gives us some clear guidelines to follow.
These guidelines are meant to help us to fast in a way that is honoring to God and that will be beneficial to us.
If you are considering fasting, be sure to read the Bible and pray for guidance.
And, remember, fasting is to be a personal act of worship between you and God.
Christian Fasting Days: How Long Should you Fast?
The answer to how long you should fast really depends on your purpose for fasting.
1. Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough
If you are seeking a spiritual breakthrough, then you might want to consider fasting for 21 days.
This is the length of time that it takes most people to break a bad habit or establish a good one.
It is also the amount of time that it takes for your body to detox and cleanse itself.
2. Fasting for Physical Healing
If you are fasting for physical healing, then you might want to consider a shorter fast of seven days.
This is the amount of time that it takes for your body to rest and heal itself.
3. Fasting for a Breakthrough in Your Life
If you are seeking a breakthrough in your life, then you might want to consider fasting for 40 days.
This is the amount of time that it takes for most people to make a major life change.
No matter what your purpose is for fasting, be sure to pray to God for guidance and consult with your doctor before you begin.
And, always remember that fasting is to be a personal act of worship between you and God.
How Do You Fast for God?
When you fast for God, it is important to remember that He is the focus of your fast, not the food.
This means that you should not focus on what you are giving up, but rather on why you are doing it and who you are doing it for.
It is also important to be prayerful during your fast.
This means that you should set aside time each day to pray and read your Bible.
You should also ask God to reveal Himself to you during your fast.
Finally, be sure to end your fast in a way that honors God.
This means that you should not go back to your old eating habits, but rather you should try to continue eating healthy and living a life that is pleasing to God.
If you do these things, then you will be sure to have a successful fast for God.
5 Things Not to do While Fasting?
Just as there are certain things you should do while fasting, there are also certain things you shouldn’t do.
Here are a few of the most important things to avoid while fasting:
1. Don’t Neglect Your Prayer Life
Just because you’re not eating doesn’t mean you can’t pray.
In fact, you should be praying even more while you’re fasting!
Prayer and fasting go hand-in-hand, so be sure to set aside time each day to pray.
2. Don’t Fast for the Wrong Reasons
Fasting should never be done for the wrong reasons.
Some people fast in order to lose weight or to detox their bodies.
But fasting is not a diet!
It is an act of worship that is to be done for the sole purpose of drawing near to God.
3. Don’t Focus on What You’re Giving Up
When you fast, it is important to focus on God, not on the food.
If you find yourself constantly thinking about food, then you are not truly fasting.
The point of fasting is to focus on God, so make sure that He is the center of your fast.
4. Don’t Fast Without Consulting Your Doctor
If you have any health concerns, be sure to consult with your doctor before you begin fasting.
Fasting is a serious spiritual discipline, and it should not be undertaken lightly.
Your doctor will be able to tell you if fasting is right for you.
Pray to God about it as well before you start fasting.
5. Don’t Forget to Eat Healthy When You Break Your Fast
Just because you’re not eating doesn’t mean you can’t eat healthily.
When you break your fast, be sure to eat healthy foods that will help your body to detox and cleanse itself.
Fasting is a time to focus on your health, so make sure you are taking care of your body.
These are just a few of the things you should avoid while fasting.
Can You Drink Water While Christian Fasting?
Yes, you can drink water while you are fasting.
In fact, it is recommended that you do so in order to avoid dehydration.
However, you should avoid drinking other beverages, such as coffee, tea, or soda.
These can all dehydrate your body and make it difficult to fast.
If you are feeling thirsty, drink water and avoid sugary drinks.
Water will help to keep your body hydrated and will also help you to feel fuller longer.
How Do You Fast and Pray For a Day?
If you’re new to fasting, the thought of going without food for a day (or more!) can be daunting.
But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Here are some tips and guidelines to help you fast and pray for a day.
Understanding the Reason for Fasting
First, it’s important to understand what fasting is and why we do it.
Fasting is a spiritual discipline that involves voluntarily abstaining from food for a set period of time in order to focus on prayer and seeking God.
It is a way of humbling ourselves before God, denying our physical desires in order to focus on the spiritual.
Fasting is Not a Diet or a Way to Lose Weight.
It is also not a punishment or a way to atone for our sins.
Instead, it is a voluntary act of self-denial that helps us to focus on God and dependence on Him.
When we fast, we are reminded that our true sustenance comes from God, not from food.
And we are reminded of our need for Him.
4 Guidelines For Doing Christian Fasting For Beginners
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s talk about some guidelines for fasting.
1. Start Off With One Meal
If you’re new and a beginner to Christian fasting, start with one meal.
You can fast from breakfast and lunch, or lunch and dinner.
Once you’re used to fasting one meal, you can work your way up to two meals, and so on.
2. Give Up Certain Foods or Drinks
During your fast, you may want to give up certain foods or drinks that you normally consume.
For example, you may want to give up caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes, or sweets.
Giving up these things will help you focus on your fast and God, and not on the things you’re missing.
3. Pray and Read the Bible More
While you’re fasting, make sure to pray and read the Bible more.
This is a time for you to focus on your relationship with God, and what better way to do that than by reading His word and talking to Him.
4. Don’t Brag About Your Fast
Lastly, don’t brag about your fast.
Fasting is something between you and God, and it’s not something to be used to show off.
If you’re fasting to impress others, then you’re not doing it for the right reasons.
Keep these guidelines in mind as you start your journey of Christian fasting, and always remember to focus on God.
He is the reason we fast, after all.
6 Things To Pray in Your Prayers While Fasting?
When you fast, you are essentially setting aside time to focus on God and your relationship with him.
This means that prayer is an essential part of fasting.
Prayer during your fast can help you stay focused on why you are fasting and can give you strength to stick with it.
There are no set rules for what prayers to say while fasting.
However, here are a few suggestions to help you get started:
1. Pray For Guidance.
Ask God to help you fast in a way that is pleasing to him and that will honor him.
2. Pray For Strength
Fasting can be difficult, both physically and mentally. Ask God to give you the strength to fast for the duration of your fast.
3. Pray For Focus
It can be easy to get distracted while fasting. Pray that God will help you stay focused on him during your fast.
4. Pray For humility
Fasting can be a humbling experience. Pray that God would use your fast to humble you and help you grow in your faith.
5. Pray For The Lord’s Will
Ultimately, we want our fasting to align with the Lord’s will for our lives. Pray that God would reveal his will to you as you fast.
6. Pray For Others
As you focus on your relationship with God, don’t forget to pray for others. Pray for those who are sick, those who are struggling, and for those who don’t know the Lord.
Prayer is an important part of fasting, so make sure to include it in your fast.
And remember, there is no right or wrong way to pray. Just talk to God and he will hear you.
3 Fasting and Prayer Scriptures?
The Bible has a lot to say about fasting and prayer. Here are some key scriptures to help guide your fast:
#1: “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” -Matthew 6:17
#2: “And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.” -Matthew 9:14-15
#3: “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” -Matthew 6:7-8
As you can see, fasting and prayer are important to Jesus and should be important to us as well.
When we fast, we should do it with the right attitude and focus on God.
Prayer is also a key part of our relationship with God.
We should pray often, and with sincerity.
If you are new to fasting or prayer, start small and work your way up.
3 Examples of Christian Fasting Ideas?
There are a few different types of fasts that Christians can do.
1. Daniel Fast
The most common is the Daniel Fast, which is when you eat only fruits and vegetables for 21 days.
This is based on the story in the Bible where Daniel was in captivity and didn’t want to eat the king’s food, so he only ate fruits and vegetables.
2. Esther Fast
Another fast is the Esther Fast, which is when you give up all sweets for 21 days.
This is based on the story in the Bible where Esther was going to go before the king to plead for her people, and she fasted and prayed for three days before she went.
3. Jonah Fast
The last type of fast is the Jonah Fast, which is when you fast for three days and only eat one meal a day.
This is based on the story in the Bible where Jonah was swallowed by a whale and he was in the darkness for three days.
There are other types of fasts that people do, but these are the most common.
If you’re thinking about fasting, talk to your pastor or a spiritual leader to see if it’s something that God is calling you to do.
And if you do fast, remember that it’s not about the food, it’s about God. So make sure to spend time in prayer and worship during your fast.
Can Christians Fast Together as a Group/Church Body?
The answer is yes! In fact, group fasting can be a very powerful spiritual experience.
There are many examples in the Bible of people coming together to fast and pray,
including Jesus and the disciples (Luke 22:20), the church in Antioch (Acts 13:2-14),
and Esther and the Jews (Esther fasting for three days before going to the king, Esther 4-16).
Fasting is a personal spiritual discipline, but it can also be a corporate experience.
How To Lead a Group Christian Fasting
If you are leading a group fast, here are some things to keep in mind:
1. Make Sure Everyone is on the Same Page
This means that everyone understands what fasting is, why you are doing it, and what the guidelines are.
2. Keep it Simple
Don’t try to do too much. Pick one or two things that everyone can commit to, like giving up food or social media.
3. Set a Specific Time Frame
Decide ahead of time how long the fast will last.
4. Pray together
This is the most important part! Set aside time each day to pray together as a group. This could be in person or online.
5. Check-in With Each Other.
Make sure everyone is doing okay and staying on track.
6. Celebrate When it’s Over!
Breaking the fast is a special time too.
Make sure to have a plan for how you will celebrate and break the fast together.
It is rewarding personal when we can be discipline for God.
Fasting is a great way to grow closer to God and to each other.
If you are considering leading a group fast, remember to keep it simple and focused on prayer.
How To Break A Christian Fast Correctly?
There are a few things to keep in mind when breaking a fast.
1. Ease into it
Don’t stuff yourself with food after not eating for a while.
Start with small amounts of light foods and work your way up.
2. Stay Hydrated
Make sure to drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
Be careful with fried and sugary foods.
You may be tempted to overeat after fasting, but it’s important to take it slow and ease back into eating.
3. Listen to Your Body
Everyone is different, so pay attention to how your body is responding.
If you’re feeling lightheaded or dizzy, for example, it’s probably best to wait a little longer before eating.
4. Be Grateful
Remember that fasting is a privilege, not a requirement.
If you’re able to fast, be thankful for the opportunity to grow closer to God.
10 Very Helpful Books About Christian Fasting
Here are some books that you could look read if you want more information about Christian fasting. I will provide audiobooks that you can listen to for free on Audible with a free trial or hardcover books if you prefer holding the physical book instead.
Christian Fasting Audiobooks (You can listen to any of these for free)
- Fasting for Breakthrough and Deliverance
- Eat, Fast, Feast: Heal Your Body While Feeding Your Soul – A Christian Guide to Fasting
- The Hidden Power of Prayer and Fasting
- Fasting & Feasting: 40 Devotions to Satisfy the Hungry Heart
- Atomic Power with God, Thru Fasting and Prayer
Christian Fasting Hardcover Books
- Fasting for Breakthrough and Deliverance Paperback
- Pursuit: 21-Day Prayer and Fasting Devotional
- A Complete Guide to Biblical Fasting: Master the Habit that Provokes God’s Favor
- A Hunger for God (Redesign): Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer
- Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough: A Practical Guide to Nine Biblical Fasts
If you like these, here is a list of 7 Fasting and Prayer Christian books in more detail.
Remember, fasting is a serious spiritual discipline that should be undertaken with care and caution.
But if you do it the right way, fasting can be a great tool to help you draw near to God.
Fasting can be a difficult thing to get used to, but it is so worth it in the end. Just remember to take it slow, focus on God, and to be praying often.
Also, if you are new to fasting, it might be a good idea to start small and work your way up.
If you’re thinking about fasting, talk to your pastor or a spiritual leader to see if it’s something that God is calling you to do.
Remember that Christian fasting it’s not about the food; it’s about God.
So make sure to spend time in prayer and worship during your fast.
What are your thoughts on fasting? Have you ever done a fast before? Share your story in the comments below!