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Biblical Christian Fasting: Simple Tips


Fasting, a practice deeply rooted in both the Old and New Testaments, serves as a profound means of humbling oneself before God. It's not merely an exercise in self-denial but a disciplined way to focus on spiritual growth and reliance on God. Be sure to watch the video at the end of this post for more. 

Why Fast?

Jesus himself said, "When you fast," not "if you fast," highlighting that fasting was expected among His followers. This practice was evident among the early Christians who fasted while praying and making crucial decisions, indicating that fasting was a regular part of their spiritual lives.

The Essence of Fasting

Fasting is essentially about humbling oneself—it’s a physical manifestation of a spiritual commitment. It is an expression of desperation, need, focus, and intensity in one's spiritual walk. Whether it’s abstaining from all food, certain types of food, or even activities like shopping, the purpose remains the same: to create space for God to work in and through us.

Practical Tips for Engaging in Christian Fasting

1. Set Clear Objectives
Understand why you are fasting. Whether it’s seeking spiritual renewal, guidance, or a breakthrough, having a clear purpose focuses your mind and spirit during the fast. It can be helpful to read passages from the Bible that you are less familiar with to help break you out of any ruts you might be in. This is especially helpful if you are fasting as a part of a spiritual retreat. 

2. Choose Your Type of Fast
Decide on the nature of your fast. It could be:
-Absolute Fast: No food, only water.
-Partial Fast: Limiting certain foods or activities.
-Daniel Fast: Eating no meats, sweets, or bread; focuses on fruits, vegetables, and water.

3. Plan Duration and Preparation
Start with manageable periods like a 24-hour fast from dinner to dinner. Prepare your body by easing into and out of the fast with lighter meals.

4. Stay Hydrated
Hydration is crucial. Consider supplements like electrolytes if you're undertaking a longer fast. Also, remember to re-enter regular eating habits gradually to avoid digestive issues.

Fasting as a Tool for Disciple-Making

Fasting strengthens not just individual believers but also communal bonds within discipleship groups. It can be a collective practice that enhances shared spiritual goals and supports each other’s spiritual journeys.

Share your fasting intentions with a mentor or group for support and accountability. This can provide motivation and encouragement, deepening the overall fasting experience.


Fasting is a gateway to spiritual insight, personal transformation and effective prayer. It aligns with the mission and example of Jesus. (Take a look at Isaiah 58 description of the results of fasting and how it aligns with Jesus's description of his mission in Luke 4, which is actually a quote from Isaiah 61.)

As you consider incorporating fasting into your spiritual disciplines, remember it's not just about abstaining from food but about seeking a closer connection with God and living out His will more fully in your life, taking the next step in disciple making, joining Jesus all in on mission. 

Daren Wride

Founder, 12Church

In this blog Daren shares his latest learnings, resources and ideas about disciple making and leading on-mission groups of Christ Followers.