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40 Days Fasting In Christianity

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Lenten Observance Has Variied


Lent: 40 Days of Prayer & Fasting

The Western Church follows the Celtic observance, while the Eastern observance is somewhat different. In the Eastern Churches , where Saturdays and Sundays are both relaxed days, the period of Lent is the eight weeks before Easter.

Practices involving Fasting and other forms of self-denial vary in different Protestant Churches.

Historically, Celtic Christians tended to differ with the Roman Catholic Church on Church Calendar calculations, and lean toward that of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, but regarding Lent this was not the case. However, the Celtic Church used the Orthodox Church calculations for the actual date of when Easter would be observed, and not Romes dating system.

The Early Church celebrated Easter on Passover, which occurred on the 14th of the Jewish month of Nisan, and therefore did not always fall on the first day of the week .

Since every Sunday is a celebration of Christs Resurrection because He arose on a Sunday, the first day of the week the desire to celebrate Easter on a Sunday, seems to be what led to the adoption of new ways for determining the date of Easter each year.

The Book of Hebrews speaks of Christ as our Paschal, or Passover Lamb. The Gospel of John describes Him as:

the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.

Third Be Prepared For Mental Discomforts

You may experience some inner conflict when you deny yourself the pleasure of eating. You may, at times, feel impatient and irritable. It is not unusual for one to become cranky and anxious during a long fast. You can also expect the enemy to oppose you, whispering thoughts that test your resolve. When this happens, invite the Lord to cleanse your mind and empower you with his Holy Spirit.

It Has To Be Led By The Holy Spirit

While anyone can technically venture to do a 40 day fast, its important to note that this is the kind of fast that you dont lead yourself into, the Holy Spirit should.

We see that Moses was led by the Lord to do a 40 day fast.

So, he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights he neither ate bread nor drank water. And He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.

Exodus 34:28 NKJV

Elijah was also given a specific direction before fasting for 40 days and nights.

And the angel of the LORD came back the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you. So he arose, and ate and drank and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.

1 Kings 19:7,8 NKJV

And Jesus was also led into fasting by the Spirit of God.

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be temptedby the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

Matthew 4:1,2 NIV

We should allow God to lead us into this kind of fast due to its length and strain on the body. It can be very dangerous to your health if not directed by God.

Read Also: How To Lose Weight While Intermittent Fasting

This Handout Is For Informational Purposes Only

The information in this handout reflects only the limited opinions, experience, and suggestions of IHOPKC and is not meant to substitute the advice provided by your doctor or other healthcare professional.

You should not use this information for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. Additionally, this information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. These tips have been found to be helpful and successful, but they are no guarantee that you will fast without experiencing any difficulties. You will need to do your own research, talk with health experts and those experienced in fasting, and continually ask the Lord for increased discernment and wisdom concerning fasting and healthy living.

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Do Christians Need To Fast

40 days Fasting

Fasting might sound sensational today. But in Jesus culture, it was weird for a religious person not to fast.

The disciples of John the Baptist, an important prophet who prepared the way for Jesus ministry, often fasted. So did the Pharisees, a group of religious leaders who opposed Jesus teachings and conspired to kill Him!

During Jesus earthly ministry, His followers didnt fast. But Jesus assumed they would fast after he returned to the Father . In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives His followers instructions on how to fast, specifically telling them not to make a show of fasting like others in their culture .

Jesus may not have commanded his followers to fast, but He expected them to.

Read Also: Jason Fung Fasting Meal Plan

Be Prepared For Mental Discomforts

You may experience some inner conflict when you deny yourself the pleasure of eating. You may, at times, feel impatient and irritable. It is not unusual for one to become cranky and anxious during a long fast. You can also expect the enemy to oppose you, whispering thoughts that test your resolve. When this happens, invite the Lord to cleanse your mind and empower you with his Holy Spirit.

How Can I Know If God Is Leading Me To An Extended Fast

This is not the type of idea you conjure up in your mind and are able to follow through with easily unless directed by God.

When God directs you to fast, you will feel a constant prompting or urging on your heart to go for a certain amount of time. The real difference youll notice is grace.

When He leads you to fast, His grace will lighten the burden. You will feel supernatural strength from God to accomplish this goal.

When God leads you to fast, His grace will lighten the burden.

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The True Origins Of Lent

Christian texts as early as the second century talk about fasting leading up to Easter, but different Christian groups appear to observe different types and lengths of fasts, and even within a church there were differences of opinion. Irenaeus of Lyons noted the variety:

For the dispute is not only about the day, but also about the actual form of the fast. For some think that they should fast one day, others two, others again more some for that matter, count their day as consisting of 40 hours day and night.

The earliest reference to a sustained fast of more than two or three days is in the Didascalia, a Syrian Christian document probably from the the third century AD.

Therefore you shall fast in the days of the Pascha from the tenth, which is the second day of the week and you shall sustain yourselves with bread and salt and water only, at the ninth hour, until the fifth day of the week. But on the Friday and on the Sabbath fast wholly, and taste nothing For thus did we also fast, when our Lord suffered, for a testimony of the three days

This text connects a six-day fast with Easter and with Jesuss suffering, but surprisingly still not with Jesuss 40-day temptation depicted in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. It was Peter I of Alexandria in the fourth century who connected Christian penitential fasting to Jesuss 40-day fast in the wilderness:

Pennsylvania Republican Doug Mastriano Calls For 40 Days Of Fasting To Save Flailing Campaign


Doug Mastriano, the Trump-endorsed Republican gubernatorial nominee in Pennsylvania, called for 40 days of fasting and prayer as his campaign significantly lags behind Democratic nominee Josh Shaprio.

The call comes after Mr Mastrianos rally in Harrisburg was poorly attended and his campaign fails to gain traction, The Philadelphia Inquirerreported.

Mr Mastriano has often adopted the language of Christian nationalism and has come under fire for his far-right positions. Most recently, he faced criticism for saying in 2019 that women should be charged with murder if they violated his proposed abortion ban.

Mr Mastriano posted an image of hands open in prayer on his Facebook campaign page on Monday.

Interceding for our elections, our state, & our nation, the image says. The image also quotes Isaiah 58:12, which says Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.

Mr Mastriano won the Republican primary for governor earlier this year despite limited finances and support from other officials. Since then, polling has shown him down significantly against Mr Shaprio, who serves as the states attorney general.

He has also similarly said that he would work to decertify the 2020 presidential election results and spent money to bus people to Washington on January 6 of last year, though he said he left the Capitol before the violence.

Read Also: How To Lose Weight Quickly Fasting

Please Don’t Get This Wrong About Fasting

Because then Phase 4 comes along and if you GET THIS WRONG you can be in grave physical danger! And this is the part that most Christian teachers on fasting are completely WRONG about in fact, they are dangerously wrong!

If you believe what almost all Christians teach about fasting , you really could be putting your body in serious jeopardy. And I explain exactly why. Some of these teachers now I’m talking about bestselling Christian authors who I really respect can even do you tremendous spiritual and emotional harm, even though they don’t mean to.

And all because they don’t understand Phase 4 of the fast.

When I began fasting back in the 1980s, the only book I had on the topic got it totally wrong. So even though God used that author to inspire me to fasthis book gave terrible spiritual advice than really harmed my soul.

And speaking of being harmed and unpreparednothing prepared me for the fifth phase of fasting.

In fact, after decades of fasting, I have now read almost every book ever written on the subject! And I’ve listened to countless sermons and podcasts. Like I said, fasting is my passion!

Yet I have never once heard anyone mention anything at all about the 5th and final Phase of Fasting. No one. Ever.

I have now coached thousands of students through the fasting experience. And I have never met even one person who knew anything at all about the fifth phase of fasting.

Dont Think Of White Elephants

Without a purpose and plan, its not Christian fasting its just going hungry.

When your empty stomach starts to growl and begins sending your brain every feed me signal it can, dont be content to let your mind dwell on the fact that you havent eaten. If you make it through with an iron will that says no to your stomach, but doesnt turn your minds eye elsewhere, it says more about your love for food than your love for God.

Christian fasting turns its attention to Jesus or some great cause of his in the world. Christian fasting seeks to take the pains of hunger and transpose them into the key of some eternal anthem, whether its fighting against some sin, or pleading for someones salvation, or for the cause of the unborn, or longing for a greater taste of Jesus.

Read Also: What Are The Rules To Intermittent Fasting

Why I’m Passionate About Fasting For 40 Days

Fasting is one of my absolute passions, because:

1. I’ve seen that it releases atomic power in the spiritual realm2. It’s a missing piece in many Christian’s lives today

I do not know anyone, anywhere, who is sharing about The 5 Phases of Fasting. That’s exactly why so few people are able to FINISH THEIR FAST.

Listen friend: I will tell it to you straight. If every day of your fast was just like the first two days, no one in human history would ever have survived for 40 days.

But every day is NOT like Phase 1. In fact, Phase 2 is typically completely different. And then, once you hit Phase 3, you will forget all about the challenges of the first two phasesand you’ll feel like you could fast forever.

That’s the sweet spot. But that doesn’t last forever either!

Is It Possible To Fast 40 Days

" 40 days with Jesus. Bible lettering. Brush calligraphy. Words about ...

As I write this I know how foreign the practice of fasting is in general so I know you have questions.

  • What is the significance of a 40 day fast?
  • Can you not eat for 40 days?
  • Did Joshua fast 40 days?
  • What are 40 days fasting prayer points?
  • How to break a fast with prayer?

Moses, Joshua, Elijah, and Jesus are among those noted in the Bible who practiced a 40 day fast.

While fasting in Biblical times centered around giving up food, either all food or some foods, for a time, not all fasting did.

Caution: Fasting from all food and drink is risky for your health. Consult your doctor before beginning to make a wise plan based on your specific needs.

It may be possible for you to fast from certain foods for the next 40 days. You may also choose to fast each Friday from red meat, sweets, or social media.

Whatever you choose to give up for the next 40 day fast I would love to support you!

Related: 27 Fasting and Prayer Scriptures for Spiritual Breakthrough

Also Check: How To Lose Weight Fast While Fasting

Get To The Heart Of Your Fasting

The Christians reason for fasting and what we do during the fast is what separates the fast from diets and fads and other religions. It is possible to fast for health reasons, and thats okay. We may employ intermittent fasting to lose weight. But when we fast to grow closer to God, hear the Lords wisdom, and fight spiritual battles, and we incorporate prayer and the Word of God, then our fast becomes a Christian discipline. I am reminded of Davids plea, Search me oh God, and know my heart test me and know my anxious ways. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me into the everlasting way . May this be our prayer as we fast to serve God better.

Andy Lee is an event speaker, blogger, YouTuber, and award winning author of three books, A Mary Like Me The Book of Ruth Key-Word Bible Study, and Radiant Influence: How an ordinary girl changed the world. She passionately teaches how to find life in God’s Word in order to live abundantly. You can catch her life giving messages weekly on and . She also provides monthly Bible reading plans and articles on her website www.wordsbyandylee.

It Provokes A Cleansing

Another amazing correlation we find in Scripture in relation to the number 40 is found in the story of Noah.

God tells Noah He will bring a cleansing on the earth due to the increased wickedness in mens hearts.

The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the timeAnd behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life everything that is on the earth shall die.

Genesis 6:5,7 NKJV

For 40 days and nights, God flooded the earth and cleansed it of evil leaving only Noah and his family alive because they had found favor in the eyes of the Lord .

In a similar form, when we humble our hearts before the Lord with a time of fasting, God uses this time to expose the evil, ungodliness, and sin that may still remain within us.

Youll notice that as you fast, the Holy Spirit will show you modes of thinking, behavioral patterns, and even character traits that He desires to change within you things that for years you have justified and labeled as normal.

In these extended fasts our spirit is hypersensitive to what is pleasing to God, and as a result, He is able to do a much deeper cleanse within our hearts.

Dont be afraid of fasts you may lose weight, but youll gain spiritual weight.

Read Also: How Do You Do Fasting To Lose Weight

Lent Is 40 Days Which Comes Before Easter Purely A Time Of Fasting And Rumination This Year Lent Will Begin On February 17 And End On April 3

According to the Christian calendar, a period of 40 days before Easter, is observed as Lent. Lent is a season of preparation and remembrance before the celebrations of Easter. The 40 days of Lent will begin on February 17 and end on April 3. Lent is a replication of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and departure into the desert for 40 days. Lent is practised by fasting and bounds on festivities. Whereas Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his death on the cross, Lent recalls the unfortunate events leading up to it.

In the 21st century, Lent days are used as a time for forgiveness and prayers by the Christian churches. Only a small number of people today fast for all the 40 days, majorly practised on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Nowadays people make sacrifices in the form of quitting smoking or any bad habits as a reflection of Christs deprivation in the wasteland and a test of self-control.

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