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“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,

and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”

Isaiah 58:6-7


Whatever we fast from, we need to be sure that the purpose of our fast is to have time to be with God in prayer. During Lent we are asking God to show us where we need forgiveness, from Him, from another person and sometimes we even need to forgive ourselves. Our purpose is to grow in faith.


Adele Ahlberg Calhoun says this about the reason for fasting:

A fast is the self-denial of normal necessities in order to intentionally attend to God in prayer. Bringing attachments and cravings to the surface opens a place for prayer. This physical awareness of emptiness is the reminder to turn to Jesus who alone can satisfy


If you are fasting from food, there are a couple of different types of fasts.

  • You can choose one meal that you will not eat and use that time to be in prayer. It could be once a week or for longer.
  • You could increase the meals you fast from to two on a day.
  • As you feel comfortable with fasting from the 2 meals per day you can choose a certain day for a one-day total fast from food but not liquid, especially water.
  • At this point you can fast for longer times. Jesus and Moses both fasted for 40 days.


Some people cannot fast due to health concerns such as being sick, travelling, pregnant or nursing. People with diabetes, gout, liver disease, kidney disease, ulcers, hypoglycemia, cancer, and blood diseases.

Before starting a longer fast (3 days or more) CHECK WITH YOUR HEALTH PROVIDER FIRST.

Instead of me writing more, I found several videos that describe different aspects of fasting. Choose the ones that will be the most helpful for you.


These videos are by Alex Suber. While he focusses on fasting from food, much of the same principles and spiritual practices apply to whatever you gave chosen to fast from.


Defining A Biblical Fast - Christian Fasting

Fasting Renews Your Connection with God

The 4 Types of Biblical Fasting

How to End Your Biblical Fast

How To Do A Biblical Non-Food "Fast"