Prayer & Fasting

Fasting is voluntarily going without food, for a limited period of time, for the sake of some spiritual purpose.

Why Should You Fast?

  • To strengthen your personal prayer life and increase your intimacy with God (Ezra 8:23; Nehemiah 1:4; Acts 13:3)
  • To seek God's direction (Judges 20:26-28; Acts 14:23)
  • To express grief (1 Samuel 20:34; 2 Samuel 1:11-12)
  • To show your heartfelt repentance (1 Samuel 7:6; Joel 2:12; Jonah 3:5-8)
  • To intercede for others (Daniel 9:3)
  • To align your heart with God and His purposes (Nehemiah 1:3-4)
  • To depend on God's strength to overcome temptations (Matthew 4:1-11)
  • To express your love and commitment to God (Luke 2:37)

Types of Fasting

  • Normal Fast: abstaining from food (Matthew 4:2; Luke 4:2)
  • Partial Fast (Daniel 1:12)
  • Total Fast: no food or drink (Ezra 10:6)
  • Supernatural Fast (Deuteronomy 9:9)
  • Private Fast (Matthew 6:16-18)
  • Congregational Fast (Joel 2:15-16)
  • National Fast (2 Chronicles 20:3)
  • Periodic Fast (Leviticus 16:29-31)

How to Fast Safely

  • Fast only as the Spirit directs you.
  • Before starting a fast, consult your doctor to ensure you are in good health.
  • If you have never fasted, initially start with a 1 or 2 day fast.
  • People who are diabetic, pregnant or nursing, on medication or have a physical condition that depends on a regular diet, should NOT fast without proper medical supervision.
  • Drink plenty of fluids unless God is clearly leading you to abstain from liquids.

Questions to Ask

  • How can I experience God's grace through fasting?
  • What fears of fasting do I need to confess and release to God?
  • What will obediently following the Spirit's leading to fast look like for me?

Resources for Study