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Try fasting

2 Min Read

Fasting is voluntarily giving up something to increase our focus on God.

Fasting is often linked to food and can mean not eating, or giving up a specific food for a period of time.

Why Fast?

There are many examples of fasting in the Bible and in the life of Jesus:

 “But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face,so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Matthew 6:16-18

Many people in the Bible including Esther, Paul, Daniel, David and the Early Church practised fasting regularly.

“So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.”
Acts 13:3

Fasting is also linked to specific moments in the Bible:

  • Moses fasted for 40 days when he went to receive the Ten Commandments
  • The nation of Israel practised fasting during annual festivals
  • Jesus was led into the desert for 40 days of prayer and fasting after his baptism

How to Fast

Fasting can connect us more closely to God and give strength to our prayers. But fasting doesn’t have to be related to food. Fasting is often inappropriate for some people:

  • For health reasons total food fasts for a day or more aren’t recommended for anyone under 16, expectant or breast-feeding mothers, or anyone with a medical disorder affected by diet like Diabetes.
  • We also recommend that food fasts should not be entered into by anyone with a history of eating disorders.
  • If you want to take on a total food fast for an extended period (multiple days or weeks), don’t make the decision alone. Consult your doctor for a recommended diet in the run up to and end of the fast.
Alternative fasts include:
  • Television
  • Social media
  • Sleep
  • Speaking

However you choose to fast, prioritise spending time in prayer and worship as you do it, to focus your mind on God.

Go deeper: Fasting

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