10 Fasting Tips: A Christian Guide

by David Peach · Print Print · Email Email

Fasting is a common practice in Christianity. When Jesus was talking with His disciples He taught them about fasting. It was expected that His disciples would fast (Matthew 6:16-18). Here are some tips for fasting.

Plan Your Fast

The Bible has examples of one-day, three-day, seven-day and forty-day fasts (Judges 20:26, Esther 4:16, 1 Samuel 31:13 and Matthew 4 respectively). You should enter your fast with prayer and aPrayer is the language specific plan for how long you will fast.

There are various types of fasts as well. Some people fast with only water for short periods, while others maintain multi-week fasts with juice and broth maintaining a strict liquid diet. Both are valid. You simply need to decide what is right for your body and your purposes.

Part of planning your fast should be to educate yourself on different types of fasts and reasons to fast. It is also important to know how to break your fast properly. This becomes more critical the longer your fast lasts.

Consider Your Schedule

While a fast, by nature, is inconvenient, it should be an inconvenience to you—not to those around you. You should not obligate your family to skip Christmas dinner because of your fast. This takes away the personal nature of fasting.

Tell Only the People You Must

Your spouse will need to know you are fasting. Beyond that, you would be better off not telling many people that you are fasting. Most won’t understand. Fasting can also become a source of pride and boasting as you spread the news to more and more people.

Telling your pastor can be a help both to you and to him. It will be an encouragement for him to pray more specifically for you during this time. And you will know that someone is praying for your spiritual and physical well being.

Wean Yourself Off Caffeine

Several days before your fast begins, you should start weaning yourself off caffeine. Some people experience unbearable headaches 2 to 3 days after ceasing to drink caffeinated products. During your fast you will already be acutely aware of your stomach. There is no need to add a second discomfort if it can be avoided.

Avoid Media

Disconnecting from TV, radio, newspapers and the Internet can help you stay focused on your purpose for fasting. You will be less tempted by the constant bombardment of advertising as you become physically and emotionally challenged. Avoiding media will give you more time to focus on the Lord and His Word.

Disconnect from people

Fasting is not necessarily a vacation, though dedicating time off and away from people during your fast can help you get the most benefit out of this precious time. Leave your email and cellphone behind. If possible, find someone who can cover your responsibilities at work and ministry. Many people fast and still carry on their normal daily activities. But if you can get away, it will give you more time in quietness and stillness with the lord.

Beware of Your Emotions

Some people experience vast mood swings during a fast. One moment they are totally focused on God and the next they are wallowing in pity. Knowing that this is likely to happen will help you react properly. Learning to refocus on God and His goodness during this tough emotional time will help when your fast is over and you experience similar emotions.

Rest

Laziness is a problem that the Bible speaks against, but most of us today suffer from being too busy and not getting the rest we need. If you disconnect from the media and other people you will have extra time allowing you to get a full night’s sleep. During your fast you will be forced to slow down since you won’t be needing long meal breaks. A fast will reveal to you that you have too many activities and busyness in your day-to-day routine.

Stay Physically Active

You should take time to rest but this does not mean you should do nothing. Enjoy a walk in God’s creation. Outside of His Word, His creation is one of the best ways that God has revealed Himself to us.

Be Still and Focus on God

Fasting  is a time to study God’s Word, meditate and pray. To help with this, plan a specific Bible passage or topic you want to study during your fast. Look for verses you want to memorize and meditate upon. Fasting by Jesus and the disciples was always accompanied by prayer. Spend time talking to God and allowing Him to reveal Himself to you in His Word.

Have you been on a fast before? Share your fasting tips or experiences in the comments!



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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Clive Mans February 5, 2016 at 2:28 pm

Hi guys,
I was a leader in the enemy’s army for most of 15 years of my life. I did drugs, lost friends to death over drugs, stole motorbikes when i was a biker, cheated on my wife, grew up with a abusive father always drunk and the list goes on…..
I was out drinking one night and when i woke up the next morning it was like God just decided enough is enough and He plugged me out of the darkness. He made me stop drinking and all the rest and showed me such big miracles that no one that i ever heard of had the same done to them. He even spoke to me vocaly, telling me to “be still”! How amazing wad that!
God has shown me all His glory and given me all His neverending love. It have been babtised in december last year 2016 and washed clean from all my sins.
I have been living with God Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit washed overme ever since. About 6 months now.
I just want to say from a very bad person that became very clean through God’s will that even if i had to live alone in the wild, that i will never be alone again. I speak to Jesus first thing in the morning, through the day and lastly before i go to sleep.
He is in my heart and soul and i feel and hear Him daily. If He dont speak to me in pictures, He speaks to me through His word the truth (bible) or just puts a yearning in me to do something like go to my room and close the door to be with Him alone.
I have to add that sometimes the enemy attacks very hard and where i use to get super negative and depressed and think God had left me, i started forcing myself deeper into Jesus. I will get on my bicycle and cycle out 30km into the veld and go on my knees and pray. I will talk loudly with my mouth and tell Him how i feel.
This week i just started saying ” i plead the blood of Jesus over me” over and over, until i feel the heavens are opening up and God looking down at me forcing myself unto Him.
It works for me.
I haven’t spoken in tongues yet even though i thought i nearly did but i thing if the Holy Spirit comes over me for this purpose i wont even know what it is happening…so i wait patiently until then.
My point is that if you feel He is not talking back at you, try and force yourself deeper into Him. He is there and you need to be still or be loud but never evet give up!

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Brandy February 8, 2016 at 5:53 pm

I found myself nodding my noggin all the way thhrogu.

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Ed de Bruin February 11, 2016 at 2:33 am

Today will be the start of the 40-day fast towards Easter morning. I will abstain from Alcohol, Coffee, Meat and Sugar. Having gone that way for several years now, I look forward to all these moments that come with it. Most of all, the moments of 10 minutes of silence and contemplation every morning and the joy of cleaning up the mind and the body to open yourself up for the Lord make me happy. Join?

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Matthew Fitzpatrick June 28, 2016 at 1:44 am

Good article I’ve been on a fast just 3 days ago but had no pastor pray for me its really been difficult cause sometimes for me I’d tend to get distracted & go off thinking about food lol but yeah lol

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Vicki Jacobs July 4, 2016 at 12:15 pm

David, I know a young man, mid thirties, who is deaf but with the use of his hearing aides is able to communicate well and have a good job. He is content with his work/job situation, but is desperately lonely and discouraged in his personal life. He needs friends who can help him find a connection with others. I have been praying for him and he too is a born again Christian, but he needs others around him to feel needed and part of a Christian community. Can you help?? Someone in Utah

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Jack Wellman July 4, 2016 at 12:25 pm

I don’t know how we can help but invite him out to dinner with some of your friends or from your church and include him in some of the activities you do in the church. I would also speak with the pastor about this so that he might suggest ways to include your friend and make him feel welcome and useful.

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Penniah Hall August 14, 2016 at 11:52 am

Isaiah 58 is extremely helpful.

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Gladys August 22, 2016 at 6:26 pm

Thankyou so much for this article.. As i write this, i am in dire need for Gods Blessings upon my life.. I need to get a job, feed my baby, pay for my bills and education. I want to do the three day fasting from 6am to 3pm as i am a beginner. I know that God will hear my Prayers as i seek him. Amen

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Gugulethu September 15, 2016 at 3:42 am

As I write this I am going through a fast.I am in South Africa and I used to fast every Thursday but just stopped and grew distant from God.I realise that when I face problems I avoid God and when things are going well I feel the need to talk and engage with him.I decided on this fast to learn more about fasting and to ask God to help me grow close to him.To close the emptiness that I feel in my heart , to restore my family ,my brothers ,my sister my mother and I always fail to get along its just frustrating me. My relationships need healing.I have committed myself to fast once every week and then with time do 2 days ,7 days and hopefully eventually 40 days.I will update.God does not change ,he is the same today as he was yesterday and will be the same tomorrow.

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Maria October 11, 2016 at 11:03 pm

Hello fellow soldiers I am currently staff in a Christian woman’s recovery home and am going thru allot of personal problems I want to teach them to fast and what to fast for but I find myself struggling to fast even just half a day!! God has given me this awesome responsibility and I feel I need to know more about everything lol….Do you think fasting talking is a type of fast? what is the best fasts to break strongholds and how long do I do it for? Anything else you can help me with its much appreciated. Thank you and God bless

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Monrovia October 12, 2016 at 8:07 pm

I hope your fasting is going well , read isiah 58 , also Google true fasting and other things like that , I believe and have found that true fasting is abstaining from food and drink.

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Kari October 20, 2016 at 11:47 pm

Hi Maria, I also work at a Christian recovery program. Tomorrow is the last day in a 40 day fast that I’ve been doing. Through the last 40 days and the weeks leading up to it, I’ve done lots of research on fasting. Everything I’ve read has said that a true, biblical fast, is to give up food – whether it’s all food like Esther and her town did for 3 days, a specific kind of food like Daniel gave up meat for 21 days, or all food and water like Jesus did for 40 days. There are “fasts” where someone might give up TV or Facebook, but according to the Bible, that is not the kind of fast you would want to do if you’re wanting to break strongholds. It is very true what you said, “I find myself struggling to fast even just half a day” but that’s why it breaks strongholds. It is such a difficult thing to deny our physical bodies, that “When we are weak, He is strong.” We HAVE to rely on God, which is why strongholds can get broken. Hope this helps!

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ifeyinwa November 7, 2016 at 4:22 am

Am currently on a fast now. I do fast once in a while but sometimes I wonder if am fasting in the right way and also if God hears me when I fast and pray.

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