Is Christian Fasting Dead?

Bible Studies, Fasting
how-often-should-a-christian-fast

Updated:2020-09-21

How to do a Christian Fast Successful – 7 Steps


Today, I will employ seven steps to describe how to do a Christian fast. These are biblical activities that we should execute as we undertake Christian fasting.

Successful Christian fasting is different from all other forms of fasting. It differs in perspective, activities, fast duration, fasting goals, purpose, and result.

Therefore, when I talk about fasting, I’m referring to Christian fasting or biblical fasting.

The name itself is somewhat of a misnomer. Its practices and procedures actually have their origins in Judaism. No surprise here, for Jews started Christianity.

Moreover, it revolves around a Jewish leader, Jesus Christ.

Nevertheless, the execution of our contemporary Christian fast borrows from Jewish predecessors, like Moses, David, Daniel and so many more before.

Understanding how to do a Christian fast is crucial to a successful Christian-life. Therefore, let’s explore the nuts and bolts of doing it.

Step One – Preparation


Today, there is much noise about prior physical preparation of fasting. To reduce the onset and the intensity of hunger pains and being able to deal with them, we are oftentimes, encouraged to perform various tasks before fasting. These include but are not limiting to:

  • Drink lots of fluids, including water and fruit juices.
  • Gradually reduce the portions of each meal as your fast-day approaches.
  • Consume less bulky foods and
  • Focus more on fresh fruits, vegetables, and juices.
  • Eat softer foods.
  • And this list goes on…..

On the one hand, this is great advice. As you learn how to do a Christian fast, if you are so inclined, feel free to adopt any of these fasting tips. There is no harm in following them.

What Does The Bible Say About Prior Preparations?


On the other hand, is prior physical preparation required for fasting? I’m not a nutritionist nor am I a Medical Doctor, but speaking from personal experience it does nothing for you during your Christian fasting.

After the first twenty-four hours of your, say, three days and three nights fast, all your efforts to prepare for the fast is consumed by your body already.

Mentally, however, you need to prepare yourself for the task of fasting.

There are no doubts that a fast, which is twenty-four hours or less, requires no physical preparations before-hand.

Which Bible-character prepared before fasting? Did Moses, Daniel, Job, David, Esther, Jesus or Paul make any prior physical preparations for fasting? No! None of them did.

Therefore, the Bible is silent on this. Consequently, don’t feel pressured into preparing.

If you want to, go ahead but if not, don’t. It has no impact on the outcome of your Christian fasting.


Step Two – Decide How Long to Fast


Seeing that the Bible is silent on how long to do a Christian fast, we must decide on the duration of our fasting. Even when it does not explicitly inform us of a fast-duration it does so implicitly.

It provides a spectrum of Christian fast durations. This ranges from an evening, overnight, twelve hours, a day, three-day and three nights, seven days and seven nights, fourteen days, twenty-one days, to forty days and forty nights.

These are for our examples: choose one. Adopt the one that best suits your physical and spiritual needs.

If you are a “newbie” to fasting, start with the shortest time segment. Do a twelve-hour Christian fast then gradually increase it as your confidence, knowledge, and fasting skills improve.

Step Three – Establish Your Fasting Goal


You should never engage in a fast unless your fasting-goal or goals are clear.

It’s not unheard of to have goals for a fast, but most should have a single well-defined objective for the fast duration (Nehemiah 1:2-3, 11; Esther 4:16 & 1 Samuel 1:20).

This blog post will teach you how to do a Christian fast that is successful and focused. An effective fast is focused.

This is when you approach God and heaven to realize the fasting objective. Direct all your efforts towards that one goal. Focus your prayers towards it. Read scriptures relating to it. Meditate on it.

Fasting goals evolve. When I was about seventeen, one of my fasting goals: stop chasing girls.

Say, thirty years later, if I were still fasting about that I certainly wouldn’t be writing about how to do a successful Christian fast now.

Over time, all that I have fasted for I have attained. Fasting works! However, for Believers, it must be biblical.


Step Four – Begin Your Christian Fasting


Having decided on the fast-duration, the fasting goal, begin your fast. The constituents of every Christian fast must by definition include at least the seven features listed below.

Step Five – Execute Your Christian Fast

Paying Attention to The Following During Your Fasting:-

  1. A Day to seek God.
  2. A Time to Approach God.
  3. A Day to Mourn.
  4. Afflicting Your Soul.
  5. A Day the Lord Chooses.
  6. A Day the Lord Accepts.
  7. Tasks that we maximize while we fast.

Step Six – Ending a Christian Fasting Episode


End your fasting at the time you decided before you began your fast. Not before. Exercise great care and sound judgment in breaking your fast.

Many Believers do more damage to themselves breaking the fasting than at any other time. For this reason, learning how to do a Christian fast correctly is crucial to your physical and spiritual health.

If your fasting was for twelve hours your body may not have been through any significant changes.

However, for fasts longer than twenty-four hours approach them with wisdom and caution. Your body has changed.

No eating or drinking after that time has taken a toll on your body.

Your stomach has gotten much smaller and sensitive. It has become especially sensitive to spicy and acidic foods.

How to Break Your Christian Fast

I have also discovered, through my love for this plant that it is very helpful in breaking a fast, the sugar-cane. Eat one or two “joints” of it and they will work magic.

Similarly, the water from the green coconut, or “Jelly-water” as it’s locally know in my home country, Jamaica, West Indies, is equally as effective in breaking your fast. Drink a glass of it and it will re-energize your body. This will break your fasting.

Avoid orange juice, ripe bananas (yellow bananas) and pineapple juice. The orange juice that you make a home is OK, but the OJ that you purchase in the supermarkets are not. Avoid them. These are too harsh on the stomach and too acidic.

However, if you are unable to source any of those foods, make use of what you have. Any soft fruit is good.

Pawpaw or papaya are wonderful. So too are naseberries or sapodillas and most ripe mangoes.

Any tea, porridge, soup, broth, fruit juice, or drink, or plain old-water is ok, as long as, it’s not hard on the sensitive stomach.

Despite the foods or fluids you use to break your fast, consume small portions.

As soon as you eat or drink any food or fluid respectively, you break the fast.


Step Seven – After Christian Fasting


After you have broken your fast, utilize the following rule-of-thumb to return to eating your natural and regular diet: the duration of your fast is the time you should take to return to your natural diet.

Therefore, if you fasted for three days gradually return to your regular diet in three days. If it’s for two days, then in two and similarly for one, in one.


Learn The Difference – How to do a Christian Fast and How the World Does it

The world doesn’t understand how to do a Christian fast and it never will. Jesus gave no direct commandment to the church to fast.

The Bible, on a whole, provides no direct instruction to the Church to fast either.

But they are not silent on the topic. This doesn’t mean that the Lord left this most important Christian discipline in the dark. Far from it!

But even if you are searching for something and you are ignorant of what you looking for, it could be right in front of your eyes and you would be no wiser of it.

The Christians are the only religious group confused about fasting. The Muslims don’t entertain any doubts about what to do or not to do during fasting and the Jews are very clear about their similar rituals.


Motivation to Learn About Christian Fasting

As it is in the natural so is it in the spiritual. Jesus explained a similar situation to his disciples.

When they questioned him concerning his motivation for teaching the people using parables, his reply is stunning but informative.

He told them he taught the people with parables for the disciples’ sake.

“And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?” (Matthew 13:10).

“He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given,” (Matthew 13:11).

The similar principle applies to fasting. Seeing that Jesus’ disciples had to search the scriptures to know and to understand the “mysteries of the kingdom of heaven”, we must do a similar thing to learn of the power and reward fasting furnishes the Believer.

Conclusion

Christian fasting is not for everyone. It’s only for Believers. Consequently, we cannot fast as we desire, for the Lord God, through His Words, the Bible, instructs us how to fast.

Conversely, the world could fast however it chooses. It is accountable only to itself. On the other hand, the Church must obey the Lord, to be effective even in fasting.

The ultimate benefit of Christian fasting is not physical but spiritual. However, we do benefit naturally from it. The world is just realizing this but Christian fasting has always positively impacted the Christian’s life.

Anybody could do their research and write about fasting. And there are many writers who have never done a Christian fast and they are writing about it.

Similarly, many neither fast nor are they Christians and should they teach you how to fast as Believers?

The world is constantly changing. How it conducts its fasting is also evolving, but Christian fasting is according to the Word of God. It never changes.

It is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Our fasting should reflect the Word of God.

In closing, share with us, your Christian fasting in the comments below. Have a successful and result-filled fast.


2 comments… add one
  • Kiersten Sep 28, 2016 Link

    Ahaa, its pleasant discussion you have going on here concerning fasting. I have read all that o this blog.

  • Tickler Sep 29, 2016 Link

    Thanks Kiersten for visiting and commenting. Please visit us again.

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