What is Fasting?

Fasting is an ancient practice among Christians where one would refrain from eating, or sometimes drinking, for a period of time in order to fully focus one’s attention on God. For example, one might skip a single meal each day for 21 days, devoting that time to prayer. Or, another person might choose to not eat and only drink liquids for a series of days each week. Of course, one must be careful to do so in ways that are wise and medically sound. (If you have any health concerns, consult your healthcare provider before fasting.)

Why we fast is more important than what we forego or how we do so. For example, it needn’t always be food. In Jesus’ day there was no social media or a vast entertainment industry. A 21-day fast of social media or commercial entertainment might have more spiritual benefits in our culture than fasting from food.

In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches us about prayer and fasting, He begins the teaching by saying, “When you fast,...” He doesn’t say “if,” He says, “when.” Jesus assumed those who were His followers would fast. As we approach fasting, we must remember Jesus’ heart for fasting is rooted in the desire for us to know God deeper and set aside distractions. This gives more room for the Spirit to move in and around us. Whatever you choose to fast, and for however long, do it because you want to encounter Jesus in a more intimate and powerful way.

We look forward to the next 21 days of prayer and fasting with you.