Fasting is abstaining from food for a period of time in order to seek God’s Face and focus on Him. It expresses a hunger and dependence on God; a desire to be in greater communion with Him. It is a way to draw near to Him, deepen one’s relationship with Him, and seek His help, counsel, guidance, comfort, & conviction in times of special need. It is a way to abstain from an essential gift that God gives us so that we can focus exclusively on the Giver and Provider of all our material, relational, and spiritual needs. It also helps us discern whether we have begun to be more content with the gifts that God gives us rather than our relationship with the Giver Himself. Fasting provides a unique opportunity to appreciate being in God’s presence, to enjoy Him, to abide in Him, and to rest in Him.
Those who cannot abstain from food for health reasons can select another essential gift from God such as time. For example, you could forgo the time you spend on your phone, tablet, computer, television or other device.
Fasting is not to be entered into haphazardly. It should have a specific purpose, be done in faith and obedience, with humility, while engaged with Scripture, coupled with prayer, alongside fellow believers when united around a common purpose, and with a focus on pleasing God alone.
Fasting should be done in private so that it does not become a source of spiritual pride. Fasting is not a sign of greater spirituality, does not guarantee any outcome, and does not make us more acceptable to God. It is simply an opportunity to abstain from food or another essential gift from God so that we can Seek His Face and spend time with Him. Therefore, it is essential to set aside time during a fast to pray, read Scripture, and enjoy God’s presence.
Fasting: As you consider fasting, we want to encourage you to listen to the Holy Spirit. Ask God to lead you in this time of seeking his face. Whether you choose to fast for one day, several days, or the entire 21 days, the point is to humble yourself in a new way and draw near to God. Here are three common ways to fast:
1. Selective Fast – During a selective fast, you eliminate certain things from your diet. For example, eating only fruits and vegetables, what some might call a “Daniel fast.” (View a sample food list.).
2. Partial Fast – During a partial fast, you refrain from eating for a set period of time each day. You could choose to fast from a single meal or from sunup to sundown.
3. Complete Fast – During a complete fast, you refrain from eating and only drink liquids for particular days or even for an extended period of time.
Prayer: Praying is spiritual breathing, essential for our life in God. As we meditate on God’s Word, we breathe in the promises and purposes of God. In prayer, we breathe out, responding to God’s Word to us. Together, let’s put our faith into action, trusting in the promises of God for us and our church.