Popular question – how often should I fast?
As a Christian, you maybe wondering, how often should I fast? This is one of the most popular questions many Believers ask about fasting. However, the Bible is silent on fast-frequency.
There is no direct commandment. Neither Jesus Christ nor his twelve leaders issue any directives to the church about fasting-frequency. Consequently, we shall learn about how often to conduct a Christian fast from biblical examples.
How often to fast – twice weekly?
Seeing that the Lord expects us to fast, for there is no doubt about His expectations, then we must search the Scriptures to discover them.
“I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess”, (Luke 18:12).
In the scripture above, that religious person fasted twice weekly. Should you, as a Believer, fast twice each week?
Could you manage to fast two times every week? Is it even necessary? What are your thoughts on this?
Similarly, how has your Christian-life been? Have you seen many temptations, trials, and testings? Is your faith in God strong, as when you first believed, or is it declining?
If your answer is no, even to the last question, then, I think, and the scriptures will agree with me, that it is time for fasting.
Apostle Paul – fasting frequently
Apostle Paul, also confessed to fasting frequently. He writes, that he endures many things including “…weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness”, (2 Corinthians 11:27).
Think of your need to fast as you would the imperative to service frequently your car. A car does not need servicing every week.
However, should you drive more frequently and visit far and many places you may need to service it earlier or more frequently within a specific time. It’s a similar thing with how frequently we fast as Christians.
What determine how often we fast?
Speaking from my personal experience, whenever I realize that my daily conversations are not aligned with the Bible, I treat that as one of my personal signs that I need to fast.
What do I mean by that? Later, when we study the motivation for fasting I shall address this in detail.
However, for now, suffice it to ask: are your conversations bordering on sin? Are you lying in them? Are you lusting (flirting)?
Would a person secretly overhearing them realize that you are a Christian? If the answer here is no, then I think, you need to fast.
The absence of direct instructions on how often to fast is not crucial. This does not indicate that fasting often is of little or no significance spiritually. As a matter of fact, quite the opposite.
Fasting, in general, and Christian fasting in particular, is always a spiritual activity. The world has adopted it and modify it to suit its diverse preferences, but how often we fast is for us to decide. Fasting is for Believers.
How Often do You Fast – on Demand?
How often we fast is a function of how perceptive we are spiritually. Are you as sharp, spiritually, as you once were? No! You may need a fast soon.
If no, you need a good old abstinence fast to get you back on track. Are you a servant to a bad habit? Break it through fasting, (Isaiah 58:6).
This feature, besides the specific fast days that the Lord God instructs Israel to keep, determines how often they fast. They call a fast, (a solemn assembly), or proclaim a fast as the need arises. They fast on-demand.
“And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah”, (2 Chronicles 20:3 & Jeremiah 36:9).
“Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly”, (Joel 1:14; 2:15).
Those scriptures relate to corporate or group fast and specifically to Israel as a people, but the church could adopt the similar principles because spiritually, by faith, we are all children of Abraham, (Galatians 3:7).
What signals you to fast? Respond in the comments below. Provide your email address below to stay tune with the discussion and you will receive follow-up posts in your email inbox.