What is Fasting?

To ‘fast’ is to abstain from something – usually food and/or drink – for a period of time. For centuries, people of all religions have fasted for spiritual reasons. Christians have developed particular ways of fasting, and there are certain days and seasons when it is appropriate to fast. In addition, there are particular Christian purposes for fasting.

Why Fast? Emptying and Dependence

Empty yourself so that you might be filled with the purposes of God. This idea of emptying has become, for me, a central part of fasting. We might recall Philippians 2:7, Jesus “emptied himself” (NRSV, ESV) in his incarnation. So it is with fasting: I empty myself of something, in order to be receptive of something else. When I fast I find myself receptive to a closer relationship with God; open to being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Related to this, fasting involves an attitude of trust and dependence. One depends on God to fill that which is being left empty. This is perhaps a succinct definition of faith: dependence on the creator to fill and supply what is needed.

How to Fast

Identify a Purpose:
The first step for any fast is discerning your reason/purpose for fasting. Are you fasting to empty yourself? To strengthen your relationship with God?  Clarifying the purpose of your fast is critical. It creates a frame for your experience.

Commit to a Time period:
If you are just beginning, fasting for one meal is a good pace to start. You might, for example, eat a light breakfast and dinner, but fast for lunch. Another option is to fast from Saturday evening to Sunday morning, breaking your fast with Sunday Worship. Many Christians practice this type of fast year round.

Consider Liquids:
For most fasts, it is advisable to consume some liquids. Water, of course. For a longer fast, some juice (no added sugar, and heavily diluted with water). Vegetable broth or herbal tea are other options, again without sugar and diluted with water. One should not drink caffeine or alcohol while fasting. However, if you anticipate a caffeine headache, you may wish to drink a very small amount of coffee or tea. Remember that a fast is not meant to be debilitating or self abuse.

Tips for Fasting

Avoid Television:
We can be surprised at how prominently food is featured on TV, especially commercials. If you do decide to watch TV, be aware of this. On the other hand, you might use your fast as a chance to also fast from media, electronics, or noise.

I recommend continuing whatever normal exercise routine you already do.  Fasting involves dependence on God; God will provide the energy and strength you need.

Pray During Hunger or Weakness:
At some point you are likely to feel hungry and/or weak. This is a time to come back to trust and dependence on God. You might pray: “Dear God, give me the energy beyond my own physical state, at this time.” In essence, this this is a definition of grace. As creatures, we have limits. But with grace, we appeal to power that comes from God. In other words: Grace is something good I need, that I cannot give myself.

Fill Time with Other Activity:
People are often surprised by how much time they spend preparing food, eating, and cleaning up. During a fast, all that time becomes open. Before your fast, decide how you will fill some of that open time. You may engage in prayer, meditation, or spiritual reading.  For example, pray for the things that the Spirit of God prompts you to pray in addition to the list of prayer points.

The Blessings of Fasting

I highly recommend determining a purpose for your fast. Be intentional about this, and do it beforehand. That way, your activity during your fast can be in alignment with the purpose. In other words, the more intention you have before the fast, the more fruitful your fast will be.

Without intention, one can fall into the temptation of sitting around feeling bad for oneself. One might think, “If I am fasting, I am supposed to feel bad.” But no – feeling bad is not the purpose of fasting; that’s just a side effect that happens as your body gets used to it. The main purpose of fasting involves the question: “What I am desiring to be filled with?”

In my experience, fasting has led to some wonderful surprises. I am often surprised that, when fasting, I am filled with energy. Or at the very least, filled with enough energy to maintain my usual activities. In addition, I have been surprised by a feeling of serenity while fasting. I invite you to try fasting for yourself, and find surprises of your own.

There are no rules to fasting, however one must plan the fast ahead of time and stick to it. Otherwise we might fall into the temptation to change our fast and satisfy the desires of our flesh. In this case our fast will not be very successful and we will leave us feeling guilty of breaking our fast. Set out you're fast to be reasonable and attainable. In other words, if fasting is new to you, then start out slow. Give up one meal a day and pray during that meal. God will give you grace and strength to develop a deeper fast and commitment. 

Enjoy the Lord during you're fast!

Prayer Guide and Scripture Reading for Fasting


Objective: For divine favor, a mighty move of God in your life and unprecedented breakthrough. 

  1. Praise God for who He is, and thank God for all He has done and is doing in our life (Psalm 100:4, Ps 103:1-21 Thess. 5:18)
  2. Ask God to forgive your sins, and cleanse you from all unrighteousness/iniquity (Judges 6:1-4Proverbs 28:131 John 1:7-10
  3. Reaffirm the Lordship of Jesus in your life, and renounce any covenant or association with false gods, including those connected with your ancestors (Judges 6:25-26Exodus 20:2-5Deut 29:18)
  4. Ask the Lord to reign over every area of your life (Judges 6:26Isaiah 26:3Isaiah 9:6)
  5. Pray for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth. (Matthew 6:10,33Proverbs 14:34)
  6. Pray for God to empower you and fill you with the Holy Spirit. (Judges 6:34Luke 11:13Acts 1:8)
  7. Pray to be led by the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 45:1Exodus 33:14Judges 6:7,11-12)
  8. Ask God to replace any misconception you have about your life with His truth. (Judges 6:14-16Jeremiah 29:11)
  9. Ask the Lord for complete restoration of your soul, and to restore everything that was stolen, killed, and destroyed in your life (Joel 2:25John 10:10)
  10. Pray for protection from every force of evil (Matthew 6:13Psalm 23:4Psalm 91:3-15Psalm 35:1Isaiah 49:25Psalm 68:1-2)
  11. Pray for healing for those that are sick or oppressed by the evil one, and shield you from sicknesses and diseases (Psalm 107:20Luke 4:18Job 1:9)
  12. Pray for God’s goodness and mercy to follow you all your days (Psalm 23:6Exodus 33:19)
  13. Pray for God to build, establish and elevate Living Stone Family Church & Revolution City Church (Isaiah 2:2-3Micah 4:1-2)
  14. Pray for salvation of souls of people who do not yet have personal relationship with Jesus as Lord (John 3:16-17Micah 4:1-2Isaiah 9:2)
  15. Pray for God to remember and reward your service and sacrifice (Hebrews 6:101 Sam 26:23a)
  16. Pray to have a strong spiritual life and positive mental transformation (Philippians 4:6-7Romans 12:1-2Proverbs 23:7)
  17. Pray for the grace to live for God and to walk fully in your purpose & destiny (Proverbs 19:21)
  18. Pray for those trusting in God for marriage, that they be divinely connected with their life partners (Genesis 2:18Psalm 68:6)
  19. For love, unity, peace to abound in marriages, and for God to restore marriages (Ephesians 5:31-32)
  20. Pray for the God’s blessing, favor & grace in every area of your life (Psalm 84:11Ephesians 2:8-9)
  21. Pray for the Lord to shepherd (lead & guide) you with His wisdom, power, and divine direction in 2024 and beyond. (Psalm 23Romans 8:14)
  22. Pray for your children. That God will protect, guide, and prosper them (Isaiah 54:13
  23. Thank God for the privilege to come to Him in prayer and for His answer (Psalm 91:15)
  24. Pray for the expansion of territory for this ministry, and facilities that are about to be constructed. (Zechariah 4:10, Romans 10:14-15)