Do Christians Ever Fast?

A bible placed in a church's prayer room
Advertiser Disclosure: TheWitness.org earns commissions from qualifying purchases.

Fasting in Christianity is the process of consciously emptying oneself to be susceptible to something else by abstaining from food, water, and needless thoughts for a certain amount of time. This opens gateways spiritually. Christians who fast become more open to having a closer relationship with the Lord. This allows the Holy Spirit to fill them and enlighten their lives.

Fasting is an important component of our spiritual lives. While it isn’t required but it’s evident that Jesus and the Scriptures want Christians to fast. It is an act of submission to God and His things. This allows us to accept the things of the Spirit more consciously and helps us forego the desires and needs of the flesh.

So questions like do Christians ever fast and do Christians need to fast are needless as it’s an activity that the soul deeply requires. Fasts are personal. Christians should pray for guidance from the Lord to do it according to His pleasure or refrain from something throughout their fast. It’s the time to show your utmost devotion to the Lord.

Fasting in Biblical terms shouldn’t be viewed as a means of losing weight but rather as a means of getting to know yourself and your Lord better so that His Spirit can be intertwined with yours. Christians have practiced fasting since the start of Christianity. It is mentioned in the Bible from the beginning and persists throughout. It should be incorporated into our daily lives since it gives us endless benefits. Regarding fasting, there are certain practical and spiritual guidelines:

Fast In Secret

Christ intended our fasting to be exclusively between the Lord and us highlighted in Matthew 6:16. It tells us to refrain from physically exerting and announcing that we’re fasting. We have been advised to continue our day as normal as any other day of fasting. The only person we’re going to get the approval of is men if we try to show off and impress them whenever we’re fasting. It would amount to no reward for us in Heaven. It would be heedless to let our fast be ruined because we’d rather please men as opposed to the Lord.

If you require discipline and motivation during your fast, ask a trusted friend, a person who you’re close to, anyone in your family, or a mentor to assist you. Although, it is considered unbiblical to go around informing others about your fast just for the aim of letting others know about your fast.

Right Motives

As Christians, fasting is a way of humbling ourselves in the eyes of God. Through this way, we can honor Him. Therefore, we should divert our attention towards Him. Fasting shouldn’t be done as a means to be seen by others, to only gain reward, and to only be viewed as holier than everybody else.

However, fasting should be done to deny the body of any desires of the flesh, to strengthen the spiritual desire for God, and to seek the Lord’s guidance and intervention. Remember that the Lord sees everything and knows your heart’s desires. Remember always to keep your intentions pure and keep your heart in the right place before you decide to fast. The only desire you should have is to be more in sync with His words and His things.

Length Of A Fast

Fasting duration is determined by personal inclination and ability. Many people may not be able to fast due to major health issues. Others may be able to fast for several days at a time. Keep in mind that the purpose of fasting is to strengthen your relationship with the Lord. It’s not a question of how many days or how long a person should fast. Since it’s such a personal relationship with the Lord, a Christian doesn’t need to worry about how long they’ve been fasting compared to other Christians.

Before you start fasting, you should pray and ask God for guidance on how long you should fast. If you’re new to fasting, try having one meal per day. You can proceed for extended lengths of time after you become more aware and used to the idea of fasting. You can decide whenever you please for how long you want to keep the fasts after keeping one for a short time.

See how your body goes through the changes and whether it can adjust to the new routine. There may be some symptoms like feeling weak and lightheaded. Once your body has become accustomed to fasting, you can continue for as long as you like. Fasting length is also determined by what you’re fasting from. You shouldn’t fast for longer than 2-3 days if you’re refraining from both water and food. If you’re only fasting from food, you may be able to fast for extended periods.

Types Of Fasting

Abstaining from entertainment, social media, sweet meals or sex, or many things can be counted as fasting. You can fast for substantially longer lengths if you choose to fast from the mentioned things. This is because these fasts have no such negative effects on health. They might help you live a healthier life.

If you’re married, make sure you have an agreement on sex abstinence with your partner. You shouldn’t deprive one another of each other, but if both of you agree that time may be spent better in worshipping God, then it’s perfectly fine. The pair should resume physical intimacy when the designated time for devoted prayer has passed so that Satan can’t lure them into any sexual transgression (1 Corinthians 7:5).

Abstaining from entertainment, sugary meals, social media, and similar activities can be done for longer periods. Breaking the hold of these things from yourself can help you develop a stronger faith. People spend more time on their phones than reading Scripture and praying. Christians can easily converse and feel connected to God without being distracted by these things.

Our Final Thoughts

We hope there’s no doubt in your mind regarding do Christians ever fast. They certainly do. They do it to cleanse their bodies and their souls as it’s one of the purest ways to get rid of toxins from your mind and body.