What Time Should One Fast
Fasting can occur at any time. It really does come down to preference and ability.
For example, fasting can occur once a year, once a month, weekly or even daily, as mentioned above.
Ultimately a persons fasting time depends on what someone is fasting from and what their schedule is like.
A person is often cautioned to fast when it is safe to do so. They do not want to get caught being distracted or overloaded while weakened during a fast.
How To Fast Safely: 10 Helpful Tips
There are many different ways to fast.
Intermittent fasting is an increasingly popular eating pattern which involves not eating or sharply restricting your food intake for certain periods of time.
This fasting method has been linked to a range of potential health benefits, including short-term increases in human growth hormone and changes to gene expression .
Such effects are linked to longevity and a lower risk of disease. Thus, people who fast regularly often hope to lose weight or live a healthier, longer life.
However, fasting can be dangerous if not done properly.
Here are 10 tips to help you fast safely.
How To Prepare For A Biblical Fast
Taking part in a fast is both exciting and scary. Especially, if youre new to fasting or are trying a different type of fast.
I found myself in this exact situation when my church decided to do a 40 day Daniel fast. Id done smaller fast before, but I was really stressed out about fasting for 40 days. Even though they told us a month in advance, I still didnt feel prepared or confident that I could fast for that long.
Maybe your church is preparing to do a fast or youre feeling led by God to fast and pray, but you dont feel prepared or confident that you can do it.
This post is just for you. Today Im going to share with you 12 simple tips that will help you mentally, physically, and spiritually prepare yourself to have a successful fast.
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Will You Practice Spiritual Fasting For Breakthrough Today
Knowing that Spiritual fasting leads to breakthrough and awakening is sadly not enough most days. Fasting is outside the normal cycle of life and so you need a plan to make it happen.
If you are longing for breakthrough in an area of your life that prayer and Bible study alone have not brought to you yet, a time of fasting may help.
Maybe you felt the stir but you are still unsure of the specific how-tos of fasting. No worries. Ive written a short book to help guide you through the process of fasting.
A Beginners Guide to Pray and Fast: Taking Spiritual Warfare to the Next Level by Tiffany Montgomery. Get your copy and start the journey to spiritual breakthrough today.
For more on Spiritual Fasting, check out Tiffanys book.
In the meantime, Id love to pray over you. Let me know how I can be praying in the comments.
What You Can Take Away From David
- Although fasting can get you an answer from God or have God move on your prayer request. If Gods answer is no, then no amount of fasting is going to change that.
- Just because you feel that God has said no or his answer is to wait, do not get discouraged. Like David, you can still fast and petition God for something. Remember fasting is like your flesh calling out to God asking God to listen to you.
- It is possible that Gods answer still may be no. But your fasting may change his mind to yes. I know in the above tip that I said if Gods answer is no then it is no. But you can never really know for sure if His answer is no unless you try as David did. And besides people have been able to change Gods mind before
For other benefits of fasting then be sure to check out my blog The Most Important Spiritual Benefits of Fasting as well. And dont forget to check out my video on how to get the spirit of David.
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Fasting And Lenten Sacrifice
There are traditionally 40 days in Lent these are marked by fasting, both from foods and festivities, and by other acts of penance. Fasting is maintained for all forty days of Lent . Historically, fasting has been maintained continuously for the whole Lenten season, including Sundays. In what is known as one’s Lenten sacrifice, Christians give up partaking in personal luxuries and often invest the time or money saved in charitable purposes or organizations.
During Shrovetide and especially on Shrove Tuesday, the day before the start of the Lenten season, many Christians finalize their decision with respect to what Lenten sacrifices they will make for Lent. Examples include practicing vegetarianism and teetotalism during Lent as a Lenten sacrifice. While making a Lenten sacrifice, it is customary to pray for strength to keep it many often wish others for doing so as well, e.g. “May God bless your Lenten sacrifice.” In addition, some believers add a regular spiritual discipline, to bring them closer to God, such as reading a Lenten daily devotional.
Lenten traditions and liturgical practices are less common, less binding, and sometimes non-existent among some liberal and progressive Christians. A greater emphasis on anticipation of Easter Sunday is often encouraged more than the penitence of Lent or Holy Week.
Lenten Black Fast
Step : End Your Fast Gradually
Begin eating gradually. Do not eat solid foods immediately after your fast. Suddenly reintroducing solid food to your stomach and digestive tract will likely have negative, even dangerous, consequences. Try several smaller meals or snacks each day. If you end your fast gradually, the beneficial physical and spiritual effects will result in continued good health.
Here are some suggestions to help you end your fast properly:
- Break an extended water fast with fruit such as watermelon.
- While continuing to drink fruit or vegetable juices, add the following:
- First day: Add a raw salad.
- Second day: Add baked or boiled potato, no butter or seasoning.
- Third day: Add a steamed vegetable.
- Thereafter: Begin to reintroduce your normal diet.
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Holy Days Within The Season Of Lent
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In the Anglican, Lutheran, Old Catholic, Roman Catholic, and many other churches, the Easter Triduum is a three-day event that begins Maundy Thursday evening, with the entrance hymn of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. After this celebration, the consecrated Hosts are taken solemnly from the altar to a place of reposition, where the faithful are invited to meditate in the presence of the consecrated Hosts.This is the Church’s response to Jesus’ question to the disciples sleeping in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Could you not watch with me one hour?” On the next day, the liturgical commemoration of the Passion of Jesus Christ is celebrated at 3 pm, unless a later time is chosen due to work schedules.
Holy Week and the season of Lent, depending on denomination and local custom, end with Easter Vigil at sundown on Holy Saturday or on the morning of Easter Sunday. It is custom for some churches to hold sunrise services which include open air celebrations in some places.
Possible Ways To Fast During Lent
If youve never practiced fasting before, an easy way into the practice is to engage in a partial fast. A partial fast can involve food and drink, or certain habits. Here are some possibilities for a partial fast:
- Fasting from foods associated with feasting: chocolate, desserts, coffee/caffeine, alcohol, etc.
- Fasting from media or entertainment: cell phone, TV, streaming video, radio, music, email, computers, video games, etc.
- Fasting from habits and comforts: shopping, looking in the mirror, makeup, elevators, parking in a spot close to the store, finding the shortest checkout line, reading online, following sports, etc.
Here are some questions to help you discern a partial fast that will be challenging enough to be fruitful :
- What cravings have a hold on me?
- What would be truly liberating to leave behind?
- Short of an addiction, have I become dependent on a particular food, drink, substance, or activity?
- What would be truly challenging for me to give up during Lent?
- What is Jesus asking of me?
As you pray through these questions, try picking one food or drink and one media, comfort, or habit to give up, and then share this with a loved one as a way to embrace accountability.
One more thing about partial fasting during Lent: Sundays dont count! Sundays are feast days, which means you dont practice your fast on Sundays. Practicing a feast day helps make our Lenten fasts sustainable.
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Why Should We Fast
Why do people fast? While in the modern world, fasting has become popular for weight loss and other purported health benefits, individuals and people groups in ancient times fasted to show their devotion to their deity, to demonstrate the depth of their sorrow over a sin or some situation in their lives, or to show their commitment to a certain causeamong other reasons.
1. To strengthen prayer 2. To seek Gods guidance 4. To seek deliverance or protection 5. To express repentance and a return to God 6. To humble oneself before God 7. To express concern for the work of God 8. To minister to the needs of others 9. To overcome temptation and dedicate yourself to God 10. To express love and worship for God
Christians who want to pursue a fast will benefit from studying other instances in the Bible where fasting was practiced. To pursue this kind of topical study, a simple internet search will bring up many different resources.
But the prophet Isaiah provides us with perhaps the clearest explanation and understanding of fasting in the Bible. Portions of Isaiah 58 will serve as a framework for studying why, how, when, and why Christians today should pursue fasting:
What Is Spiritual Fasting And Why No One Should Know Your Fasting
This is SO IMPORTANT. Because when you are fasting you are fasting for God. You are not fasting for people so that you can brag so that people can see how holy you are, so you can show people that you are on a higher spiritual level than they are. Spiritual fasting is about God. Not about you. Take the following Bible verse:
When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 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
I think this verse speaks for itself. You should not be fasting so that other people can see how holy you are. You are fasting for God, and therefore you should be happy when you fast. Do not tell people that you are starving or how hungry you are, do not make yourself look sick, and do not randomly go to the ER because you feel that you are starving to death and have only been fasting for three hours.
All of those things put the focus back on you and not on God where it should be. And whatever you are fasting for will be unheard of by God because He is not the reason why you are doing what you are doing.
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Fast From Something Other Than Food
Fasting from food is not necessarily for everyone. Some health conditions keep even the most devout from the traditional course. However, fasting is not limited to abstaining from food. As Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, Fasting should really be made to include abstinence from anything which is legitimate in and of itself for the sake of some special spiritual purpose.
If the better part of wisdom for you, in your health condition, is not to go without food, consider fasting from television, computer, social media, or some other regular enjoyment that would bend your heart toward greater enjoyment of Jesus. Paul even talks about married couples fasting from sex for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer .
Do Christians Need To Fast
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.
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Prayers During Your Fasting Prayer While Youre Fasting
Heavenly Father, thank You for hearing this prayer during fasting.
As You know the listener has made the decision to fast before You.
Their heart and mind are fixed on You Lord.
Thank You for wisdom, revelation, and understanding regarding the question they have on my heart.
Your Spirit is showing them what to do. They are led by Your peace.
Father You know all and it is to You that they look for answers.
Praise Your Name! Thank You that every question is answered!
They can rest in Your promise that You hear them when they pray according to Your will and they know that they shall have the petitions that they desire of You.
Father they delight myself in You and You cause their desires to be agreeable with Your will.
Not their will be done but Yours be done! In every area they bow their knees before You!
Thank You that You are revealing to them what they need to do and what they need to change.
This fast has been dedicated to You and their plans will succeed.
They thank You that it is You who gives the wise answer of the tongue.
Forever oh Lord, they will praise You! You are wonderful! There is none like You!
You are faithful and they can rest in Your faithfulness.
They continue this fast with the joy that is set before them. Thank You that You are right here with them, every step of the fast.
Please help them to get all that You desire for them to receive from this fast!
Thank You for hearing this prayer while they are fasting.
Scriptures To Read:
Prayer To Start Your Fast
Heavenly Father, we gather together and come into agreement in the wonderful and powerful Name of Jesus.
Where two or more are gathered there Youll be in the midst of us and anything we agree upon as touching You will surely do.
The Bible says that if there is any unforgiveness that it should be dealt with before praying.
Therefore we release any anger, bad feelings, resentment or any other wrong attitude before You now.
We lay it at Your feet and we release and forgive those who have wronged us.
Father in Jesus Name, there is no distance in the spirit and we thank You for the listener who desires a prayer to start a fast.
They have made the choice to fast.
You know the reason why Lord and we ask for Your help in keeping them focused.
We ask that they would be invigorated and strengthened in their innermost being now in Jesus Name.
We ask You for wisdom, revelation, and understanding regarding the reason the listener is fasting.
We ask for answers to any and all questions they may have.
Help them to discern Your answer for You have promised to generously give them wisdom.
We praise Your Holy Name!
We exalt You Father!
Together, we look to You for the answers.
Father the listener delights themselves in You and You cause their desires to be agreeable with Your will.
Lord, not their will but Yours be done.
Praise You that You hear us when we pray according to Your will!
We know that we shall have the petitions that we desire of You!
Glory to God!
We magnify You Father!
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How Many Hours Should A Christian Fast
This is a question that always comes up when it comes to fasting.
The duration of a fast is up to the participant. They should carefully determine this amount of time before commencing.
One can fast a meal, fast from eating food for a day, and even fast for several days.
Starting slowly is better.
Never done a fast? Start with fasting one meal.
Grow from there.
Let’s Go Back To The Basics
What is fasting?
The first mentioning of fasting was in the old testament. Many different kinds of Biblical fasts took place according to how the Spirit of God led the people. In Biblical times, fasting would only involve the abstinence of certain or all foods and/or water in order to spend dedicated time to prayer and reading God’s Word.
What were / are the motives behind fasting?
Fasting can be regarded as an act of desperation for a move of God. In the Bible, the people who were led to fast needed something from God such as: divine wisdom, guidance, repentance, salvation, or victory in battles. Fasting told God, “I need You” and “I can’t do this without You.”
Today one may fast for the same reasons as listed above. People want their family to turn to Christ so they sacrifice a material value in their life to spend time with God for salvation to happen. Many people simply fast to be closer to God. There’s nothing wrong with that. Fasting certainly will bring you closer to the Father, through time in prayer and reading and studying His Word. The Holy Spirit alone can give you the power and desire to start and complete a fast. Your eyes always have to be on Jesus and not on your own efforts otherwise, the fast would be in vain.
Examples of Old Testament Fasts:
In Exodus 34:28, Moses fasted 40 days and nights without food or water. This resulted in hearing from God and writing the Ten Commandments.
Examples of New Testament Fasts: