Fasting Basics

How, When, & Why to Fast

Overview of Fasting

Fasting is typically defined as “abstaining from food for a spiritual purpose.”  Fasting does not “earn” anything from God, but it does put us in a position to better receive from the Lord. It is a way for us to lay aside certain routines in life so that we have more time to pray and seek the Lord. Fasting is not something reserved only for the church leaders or mature believers. In Matthew 6 Jesus talks about fasting as part of the normal Christian life along with praying and giving.

Keys to Success

21 days might sound intimidating, but you can set yourself up for success.  Use these keys to help.  A fast can change your life!
  1. Decide on the type of fast to do (see below).
  2. Expect God to move in miracles, answered prayers, healings, and fulfillment of past prophetic words.
  3. Replace time spent in other activities with prayer, scripture reading, or the devotional (released daily).
  4. Join us at Wellspring every Thursday from 4:30-5:30 for prayer, encouragement, and community, or join an online connect group!

Common Types of Fasts

These are some common types of fasts:
  1. Juice Fast Abstain from all solid foods, but drink juices. Consulting a physician would also be wise if attempting this fast for the entire 21 days.
  1. “Daniel” Fast Abstain from meats, sweets and bread, and eat nuts, fruit and vegetables and drink water and juices.
  1. Selective Fast Abstain from any particular type of food/drink (sweets, desserts, alcohol, or anything else).
  1. Partial Fast This can be called a Jewish Fast and it involves abstaining from eating any food in the morning and afternoon. This can either correlate to specific times of the day (for example: 6am to 5pm) or from sunup to sundown.
  1. Total Fast Abstain from all calories. This requires consulting a physician and a direct leading from the Lord. This would be an extremely serious fast.
  2. Non-Food Fast Choose a non-food thing to fast, such as television, social media, going out to restaurants, online shopping, or anything else.  This is often done in addition to a food and drink fast.
Of course, all these fasting models can be modified. For example, you might do a total fast for one meal each day or a juice fast for one meal. Or perhaps a certain type of fast during daylight hours and not during evening hours. You can alternate days or weeks in how you fast -- it’s up to you and God.

Other Considerations

  1. If you are pregnant or nursing or have a health condition that could be impacted from fasting, consult with a physician before fasting from food.
  2. After a fast ends, carefully re-introduce yourself to the elements you fasted.
  3. One approach to choosing what to fast is to identify things you feel you couldn’t give up for 21 days and fast those. God will give you the strength in the midst of the 21 days!
  4. For those with children, make this time a family fast.  Children can easily fast things like desserts, computer, TV, or video games. Explain the fast to them and have a prayer and study time with them regarding it.
  5. As with everything in the Christian life, if you have a weak moment during the fast, just get beyond it and keep going. Don’t let a setback allow you to give up the rest of the fast.

Listen to a Sermon on Fasting