What comes to mind when you think of fasting and prayer? Really, let’s do a gut check here… My first thoughts are ‘No Way, I can’t go all day without eating’. Can I be more honest? When I felt God prompting me to dig into How to fast and pray, I sort of freaked out.
Stay to the end to see a video where I go more in-depth about fasting and prayer!
I imagined fasting would be hard and that the Bible would be filled with rules and regulations I could never follow. So imagine my shock when I began to search scripture for all the rules about how to fast -and found grace.
Today we will see how easy it is to begin fasting in a way that will please God, feeds your soul, and leads to spiritual breakthrough!
Table of Contents hide
1 How to Fast and Pray for a Breakthrough – God’s Way
2 What is the purpose of a fast?
2.1 What does the Bible Say About Fasting?
2.2 Why Look at the Types of Fasting in the Bible
3 How to Fast and Pray in Today’s Culture
3.1 How do you begin fasting?
3.2 What Biblical Fasting is Not
3.3 Pray Powerful Prayers During Fasting
3.4 Beware A Common Danger
4 Will You Learn How to Fast and Pray Today?
How to Fast and Pray for a Breakthrough – God’s Way
We started this series by looking at 5 of the reasons to fast and how there is hope in it. Next, we saw that God has a lot to say about how not to fast. Honestly, I started there because God started there.
What I expected was a list of acceptable practices on how to fast and pray– maybe in Leviticus – to study and try out. In fact, most of the internet is obsessed with the logistics of fasting… while God is more concerned with our heart during a fast.
The only hard and fast rule for fasting came from Jesus. Jesus told us how our behavior should be during a fast – humble and indiscrete (See Matthew 6:16-18). But He doesn’t say fast from meat or all food or from doing such and such…
Want to know how to fast and pray? A Fast is about humbling our hearts before God. Fasting and praying is about giving up the thing you seek for satisfaction in order to draw near to God… allowing God to satisfy you. Click To Tweet
What is the purpose of a fast?
A Fast is about humbling our hearts before God. Fasting and praying are about giving up the thing you seek for satisfaction in order to draw near to God… allowing God to satisfy you. This prayer guide is filled with scriptural prayers to say while fasting.
What does the Bible Say About Fasting?
“I have food to eat that you do not know about.” (John 4:32 NASB)
Most Biblical fasting does refer to food.
When you think about it, food gives us nourishment, energy to get through the day and can reach a place of satisfaction for most of us.
In Biblical times, they would have spent a great deal of time preparing food. We don’t so much with our modern lifestyles. We can microwave a meal in 5 minutes that would have taken hours for them to make.
Biblical fasting was focused on giving that time back to God – in prayer and worship. That would have been a lot of time for all of their meal prep and eating. They also would have allowed the hunger pangs to remind them of their dependency on God and drive them deeper in prayer. If you lived then and were learning how to fast and pray you would have given up food for a period of time.
Why Look at the Types of Fasting in the Bible
There are many types of fasting in the Bible or types of spiritual fasting.
Where the Bible does not give us rules per se, it does give us examples of many types of fasting in the Bible (spiritual fasting).
And please notice that God honored every type of fast (where the heart was in the right place) so I see Grace in a fast that pleases God.
Also, when people were just following the “rules” they had set about a time of Fasting (and their heart was out of line) God did not honor it. To fast and pray is about the heart – not the rules.
How to Fast and Pray in Today’s Culture
A fast that pleases God – God’s desire – places the heart before the rules. As you plan a time to explore the power of prayer and fasting, write down the purpose of your fast.
- Do you need to fast and pray for a breakthrough? Write it down. If you need help, check out these 5 of the Reasons to Fast
- Next, you determine which type of spiritual fasting will work for you.
- Finally, Pick a day to begin your fast and stick to it.
How do you begin fasting?
There are so many fasting and prayer scriptures but 5 main examples that you can use as a fasting and prayer guide are below.
Please be advised: It is wise to discuss the practical side of your plans to fast and pray with your doctor. If you have a medical condition you will want to choose A Non-Food Fast
- A 40 day Complete fast (NO food or water):
- Examples are Jesus and Moses who took things to the extreme. No Food or Water for 40 Days. (Exodus 34:28; Matthew 4:2).
- The Complete fast which could last from part of a day to an entire day to several days or weeks.
- This was the most common in the scripture so I’ll just list a few. (Esther 4:16; Joel 2:12; Ezra 8:21-23; Jonah 3:5-9)
- A Partial Fast (also called a 3 day spiritual fast): In 1 example we see they ate fruit, veggies and drank water for 10 days.
- Daniel and the 3 used this fast to honor God while in captivity. (Daniel 1:12)
- The Daniel Fast: No meat, no tasty bread, no wine, no oils for his skin (For 21 days) (Daniel 10:3; Daniel 9:3)
- These would have been things that satisfied Daniel, good food and relief from dried skin (Daniel was older by then and living in a hot dry land).
- A Non-Food Fast
- A Fast from Sex
- We are told husband and wife can decide together to give up sex for a time and reason (1 Corinthians 7:5)
- A Fast from Oils
- Daniel is our example of this as well(Daniel 10:3; Daniel 9:3)
- A Fast from things that satisfy you or entertain you
- In modern times this could be TV, social media, spending money, etc.
- A Fast from Sex
To begin fasting, simply choose a fast and begin.
What Biblical Fasting is Not
Biblical fasting is not all about food! Not all examples of a Biblical fast or spiritual fast are about food.
The last two examples give me an understanding that to fast and pray is really about replacing things that satisfy us physically with God for a time and specific purpose.
In the past, I have fasted from food and found that to draw me nearer to God in deep ways.
The physical reminder of hunger is a prompt to pray, worship and draw nearer to God. The emotional connection to food (believe me there is an emotional connection) can actually drive me to my knees more intensely!
There have also been times I chose social media fast – that is eye-opening! Another time I set aside my phone for an entire day to fast and pray – wow was that humbling and revealing!
Pray Powerful Prayers During Fasting
When we add scripture we can develop a powerful prayer strategy during fasting.
Adding scripture to our prayer helps them become strategic and powerful! Need more proof, see these 65 Bible verses about prayer for inspiration.
Beware A Common Danger
Fasting and prayer are about heart posture – not a diet.
The reason I chose to give up my phone in my list time to fast and pray – instead of a meal – is my habit of turning a fast into a diet… that is not the right heart posture.
If your heart is in the right place – and you truly are drawing near to God with a purpose, fasting in any form will quicken your soul for Him.
Fasting is about giving up satisfying myself to let God fill me… Allowing God to feed my soul. ~A Beginners Guide to Pray and Fast: Taking Spiritual Warfare to the Next Level by Tiffany Montgomery
Fasting and prayer are about heart posture - not a diet. Click To Tweet
Will You Learn How to Fast and Pray Today?
Do you feel that deep need for breakthrough and spiritual food?
Do you need God to answer or act quickly in your life?
Join me on this journey to draw nearer to our Savior. Learning how to fast and pray is more simple than most Christians realize. There is power in this lost spiritual discipline.
To harness that power, you need only decide to begin.
- Choose what you will give up while in your fast.
- Pick a day to begin.
- Select a topic or verse to meditate in prayer over.
- Don’t get discouraged if the first fast isn’t perfect.
- Keep practicing until you find the right rhythm and God moves.
Comment below “I’m in” and I’ll pray for you as we answer the call to Fast and pray together!
Tiffany of Hope Joy in Christ inspires Christian Women to grow in faith, live out Biblical Marriage Principles and raise Godly Children. Join the Wives Only Facebook Group here or keep up with her through Pinterest.
If you enjoyed this you would also like these Posts:
- How to Effectively Pray Proverbs 31 and Change your life
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- How to Improve Intimacy in a Christian Marriage
- Types of Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough
Sharing is Caring!
How do you fast and pray for God? ›
- Start small. ...
- Keep it simple. ...
- Make sure your fast is good for you and your relationships. ...
- Watch out for rationalization. ...
- Keep it between you and God and your spiritual director. ...
- Come up with a plan for your fast.
Fasting is a spiritual discipline that is taught in the Bible. Jesus expected His followers to fast, and He said that God rewards fasting. Fasting, according to the Bible, means to voluntarily reduce or eliminate your intake of food for a specific time and purpose.What kind of fast pleases God? ›
We have two types of fast. The one that pleases God known as the purifying fast, and the one that displeases God known as the wicked fast.How do you fast and pray according to the Bible? ›
Prayer Is the Most Important Part of a Proper Fast
It is not merely refraining from food or an action, but it is coming before the Lord in prayer to hear the Holy Spirit speak to you and work in you. The Bible says this on when to pray, “on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Ephesians 6:18).
If you're a beginner learning how to fast, start with a 24-hour goal: Eat dinner, and then refrain from eating until the next night. Be sure to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, and plan your fast for a non-training day.How does Jesus tell us to fast? ›
Second, Jesus taught, when fasting, fast for God, “ … so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret.” We don't fast to impress people or to demonstrate our piety or our zeal; we don't fast to get something from God. Its central motive is fellowship with God.How do you fast for blessings? ›
- Plan for each upcoming fast by meditating on the purpose of the fast.
- Begin each fast with a kneeling prayer. ...
- Go 24 hours without food or drink.
- Use hunger pains as a reminder to pray again about the purpose of the fast.
- Express more gratitude through prayer.
- Give a generous fast offering.
- #1. DO NOT STOP DRINKING WATER IN YOUR FASTING WINDOW.
- #2. DO NOT JUMP INTO EXTENDED FASTING TOO QUICKLY.
- #3. DO NOT EAT TOO LITTLE DURING YOUR EATING WINDOW.
- #4. DO NOT EAT A HIGH CARBOHYDRATE DIET.
- #5: DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL DURING YOUR FASTING PERIOD.
English translation: Oh Allah! I fasted for You and I believe in You, and I put my trust in You, and I break my fast with Your sustenance.What is a fast prayer? ›
Prayer and Fasting - A Definition
Prayer and fasting is defined as voluntarily going without food in order to focus on prayer and fellowship with God.
What is the correct way to fast in the Bible? ›
Regular fast: A regular fast is when you abstain from all food and drink except for water (Matthew 4:2). Partial fast: This is a type of fasting that involves abstaining from a particular type of food. Daniel's diet while he was in Babylon is an example (Daniel 10:3).What are the 3 types of fasting? ›
There are three main types of fasts: calorie restriction, nutrient restriction, and seasonal eating.What should you not do while fasting and praying? ›
Avoid Looking Gloomy
One of the first things to avoid when fasting and praying is looking gloomy. The bible says in Matthew 6:16, “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others.
Start with one meal; maybe fast one meal a week for several weeks. Then try two meals, and work your way up to a daylong fast. Perhaps eventually try a two-day juice fast. A juice fast means abstaining from all food and beverage, except for juice and water.
The best time to fast: While people most commonly start fasting at 7 or 8 pm, you can start later or earlier than these times.How do we fast as Christians? ›
So if you're fasting from food, the time that you would normally eat breakfast, lunch or dinner, should be spent with Him, through prayer, worship, or reading the Bible. Now there are a few different types of fasting. The first one is a food fast for a certain amount of time where you only drink liquids.What did Jesus do while fasting? ›
At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights and afterwards was hungry. The tempter approached and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.
- Make fasting a regular part of your life. ...
- Study the scriptures and general conference talks to learn more about fasting. ...
- The next time you fast, take time to prepare. ...
- Make a generous fast offering as part of your fast.
- If you or someone you love is facing a challenge, fast for help with that challenge.
Prayer Before a Fast Begins (A Pre-Fast Prayer)
Lord, as I begin this time of fasting, fill me with your strength. Help me to use this as a time of growth, renewal, and healing. Calm my anxiety about what I might be giving up or times of discomfort that I might face.
Food and drinks that contain calories
Strictly speaking, any amount of calories will break a fast. If a person follows a strict fasting schedule, they should avoid any food or drinks containing calories. Those following a modified fasting diet can often eat up to 25% of their daily calorie needs while fasting.
What is OK during a fast? ›
Generally speaking, while fasting with time-restricted intermittent eating, you don't eat any food at all and only drink beverages with very few calories, such as water or unsweetened coffee and tea without milk. When you're not fasting, it's important to eat a healthy and varied diet that's good for your body.What activities to do while fasting? ›
Pick up writing, gardening, and origami. Each of these activities is mental and physical exercises that truly help in relaxing the mind and body. Once you get immersed in either one, you won't even know time has gone by.What do you say when you finish fasting? ›
Other suggestions include saying: "Allahumma inni laka sumtu, wa bika aamantu, [wa 'alayka tawakkaltu], wa Ala rizqika aftartu." That translates as: "Oh Allah! I fasted for You and I believe in You [and I put my trust in You] and I break my fast with Your sustenance."What time do you close your fast? ›
Preferred time to stop eating is ten minutes before Fajr time. So if the Fajr time is 6:12 a.m., one should stop eating around 6 a.m. Permitted time for eating suhur, however, extends up to 6:12 a.m., after which time it is considered unlawful. Therefore, if anyone deliberately did so, the fast is considered broken.Why fasting prayer is powerful? ›
The ancient practice of fasting is a natural way to express your faith with your whole being – body and spirit together – whenever you experience a sacred moment that compels you to respond. Your spirit's hunger for God can find fulfillment when you fast with your body.What are the 5 stages of fasting? ›
The 5 Stages of Intermittent Fasting with the LIFE Fasting Tracker app: 1) Ketosis and heavy ketosis, 2) Autophagy, 3) Growth hormone, 4) Insulin reduction, 5) Immune cell rejuvenation!What are 4 reasons for fasting? ›
- Developing spiritual strength, including resisting temptation.
- Developing self-mastery, making our spirits masters of our bodies.
- Showing humility.
- Showing sorrow.
- Enhancing prayer.
- Obtaining spiritual knowledge and testimony.
- Obtaining spiritual guidance.
- Helping the needy.
Dirty fasting is a term used to describe consuming some calories during a fasting window. This differs from traditional fasting or “clean” fasting, which restricts all foods and calorie-containing beverages. People who practice dirty fasting will typically consume up to 100 calories during their fasting window.What prayers to say while fasting? ›
Prayer for Fasting
Please bless those who have prepared this beautiful meal for us. We invite your Holy Spirit to be with us as we enjoy this precious time together. Lord, as we eat and drink may we celebrate the love and goodness you give us each day. Amen.
Fasting for Holy Spirit Guidance
I ask for Your call and purpose in my life to be made clear. Remove any and all confusion. I pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to speak to me and guide me as I journey on. Remind me Lord, that You have called your church the set apart ones and I am part of that.
What are the steps in fasting and prayer? ›
- Determine Your Prayer Requests. Your fasting is centered around your spiritual growth, so it starts in your prayer life. ...
- Commit to Your Fast. ...
- Prepare Yourself Physically. ...
- Prepare Yourself Spiritually. ...
- Following Through. ...
- Prayers and Meditation. ...
- Breaking Your Fast.
English translation: Oh Allah! I fasted for You and I believe in You, and I put my trust in You, and I break my fast with Your sustenance.What to avoid while fasting? ›
Strictly speaking, any amount of calories will break a fast. If a person follows a strict fasting schedule, they should avoid any food or drinks containing calories. Those following a modified fasting diet can often eat up to 25% of their daily calorie needs while fasting.How do you fast pray for Jesus? ›
- Morning. Begin your day in praise and worship. Read and meditate on God's Word, preferably on your knees. ...
- Noon. Return to prayer and God's Word. Take a short prayer walk. ...
- Evening. Get alone for an unhurried time of “seeking His face.”