Fasting explained

Types of fasts


Let's discuss specific kinds of fasts.


Let us begin with the helpful words of Richard Foster in his classic, Celebration of Discipline: “As with all the Disciplines, a progression should be observed; it is wise to learn to walk well before we try to run.” Biblical fasting almost always concerns food. Since the purpose of fasting is to focus on God, to humble ourselves and to remind ourselves that we are sustained by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, then the task in fasting is connecting our “going without” to “hungering for God.” This takes time, focus and prayer in itself. Please do not expect to be an “expert” at fasting right away.


  • abstaining from certain types of foods (meat, sweets, etc.) - Daniel 10:3 This type is a good one for beginners to fasting or those with health needs and special or restrictive diets. Choose to abstain from something like breads, sweets, sodas, coffee, or even red meat. Perhaps spend some time reading through Daniel’s fast in Daniel chapter 1 and chapter 10. Stick to only fruits and vegetables like he did or something similar. This fast is 20 days (January 6 - January 26th) but that does not mean you must go without for all of the 20 days. Determine the timing and duration ahead of time and stick to it. Rather, pray through it.


  • Abstaining from all food - Esther 4:16; Acts 9:9 This kind of fast is more difficult but can be broken up by timing and duration. This seems to be the most prevalent of the fasts we see in the Bible. It is also the most intimidating, but refuse to let it scare you. Fasting from all food is not scary if you determine beforehand when you will do so and for how long.             804-573-9530

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