The goal of fasting is to draw nearer to God. Biblical fasting always has to do with eliminating distractions for a spiritual purpose; it hits the reset button of our soul and renews us from the inside out. It also enables us to celebrate the goodness and mercy of God and prepares our hearts for all the good things God desires to bring into our lives. Remember, your personal fast should present a level of challenge, but it is very important to know your body, your options, and, most importantly, to seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do.

Types of Fasts

Timing a Fast

Twenty-four-hour Fast
From sunset to sunset. Abstain from solids.
Partial Fast
Abstain from pleasant foods. Partake only of clear soups, fruit juices, cereals or grains, OR give up one meal a day for prayer. (see Daniel 1:8-16; 10:2-3.)
Three Day Fast
Total Abstinence from food for three days. (See example in Esther 4:16)
Extended Fast
This fast has two methods; both require preparation. Before an extended fast, it is recommended you omit caffeine and rich foods from your diet.
  • Total Fast: Excludes all food but does not exclude water. Fast should be broken slowly. Only diluted juices for a day or two. Next gradually proceed to fruits, vegetables and grains, adding meat last.
  • Non-total fast: No food intake; only diluted fruit juices, water and hot herbal teas are taken
At Life Words, we encourage fasting for 21 days each year in the month of January. This is part of 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting, a season of focused prayer as a church family. You may also choose to fast at other times during the year for your own spiritual development. It’s very typical to fast a single meal, a whole day, or three days or more. The timing of your fast is not as important as the strength of your focus on God as you fast.

Additional Scripture References
Matthew 6:16-18
Matthew 9:14-15
Luke 18:9-14
Acts 27:33-37
Nehemiah 9:1-3