Fasting Guide*

Focus

The focus of fasting should not be on the absence of food. We swap the time we would commit to food preparation,eating, and cleaning for time of concentrated prayer, not on missing the food.

Awareness

Fasting fosters concentration on God and his will. Fasting creates a heightened sense of spiritual awareness as we subtract from the noise of our lives and go to God for a specific purpose.

Dependency

Fasting provides a real-life illustration of dependency. Our dependency on food exposes our greater dependency on God. It humbles us to discover our dependence on food for our emotional well-being.

Discipline

Fasting offers a way to impose self-control in our lives. Working on a physical form of self-discipline builds fortitude for spiritual self-discipline.

There are three basic ways to fast:
  1. 36-Hour Food Fast where after eating dinner on Thursday night, the faster doesn’t eat again until breakfast Saturday morning.
  2. 24- Hour Food Fast where after dinner on Thursday night, the faster skips breakfast and lunch but then eats dinner an hour later than normal on Friday. Thus fasting for a full 24 hours.
  3. Fasting from certain items (TV, social media, etc.) or from solid food (smoothies-fruit juice instead), or skipping meal.

*adapted from Richard Wagner’s Christianity for Dummies & Donald S. Whitney’s Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life.

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