dos-and-don'ts-of-christian-fasting

12 Dos And Don’ts of Christian Fasting That You Need To Know About!

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  • Post last modified:March 5, 2024
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Dos and Don’ts of Christian Fasting You Don’t Want to Miss

Do you dread the very thought of fasting? Are you thinking and stressing about the dos and don’ts of Christian fasting?

The world could do whatever it wants when fasting because it has no directive from anyone or from the Lord God.

But the Church is different. Our fasting must conform to the true Word of God to be spiritually effective for this is our chief objective.

Learn what not to do when fasting as a Christian. This knowledge will make you more effective at it.

Worry no more about it! I had similar stress when I started to fast as a Christian many, many years ago.

For that reason, in this Bible Study, I provide twelve dos and don’ts of Christian fasting that you should implement as you execute your fast!

There are certain things to avoid when fasting and praying. And there are specific things that you should do during every fast.

If you would rather watch the video for this Bible Study click this link!

What follows are not Christian fasting rules but guidelines that if you observe, collectively, they will ensure that you have a successful fasting.

Do’s And Don’ts of Fasting And Praying

dos-and-don'ts-of-christian-fasting

 

Dos & Don’ts of Fasting!

12 Dos And Dont’s of Christian Fasting

#1 – Do Start Small

→ As a beginner, do start small. You don’t need to start Christian fasting big. Start small by fasting for just a few hours at first.

Then gradually increase it to where you want to be. Ease into it!

→If you allow it to get to you Christian fasting could be intimidating.

→ Focus on fasting. Don’t concentrate on the dos and don’ts of fasting and praying. If you do that it will eclipse the significance of this very important spiritual ritual.

→However, rushing into fasting is one of the things not to do while fasting as a Christian.

This is not the same as keeping fasting periods short.

The length of your fast determines that. Remember that you could fast for different durations. For example a few hours to three days and three nights.

But starting small will help you to complete the fast and build your confidence to finish future fastings.

#2 – Set A Fasting Goal

Do establish your fasting goal. Don’t start your fasting unless you have first established your fasting goal.

Don’t have multiple goals. Fast about one thing at a time.

→This is another area where our fasting is different from the World’s. 

→We fast for spiritual reasons first. For example, say someone is attempting to illegally evict you from your apartment and you have tried everything but nothing works, then fast about it. While you are fasting ask the the Lord to intervene and stop this illegal act. Then watch Him work on your behalf!

This will ensure that your fasting is focused (Esther 4:16).

→A focused fast is a successful fast!

→Establish what you desire to accomplish through fasting.

#3 – Do Establish The Length Of Your Fast

→ Having established why you are doing your Christian fasting, now decide on the length of it. How long will you be fasting?

→You decide how long to fast. Will you be fasting for a few hours or three days?
→ This also makes your fasting very focused!

→ In this respect, the Bible imposes no restrictions. You decide the length of your fast.

→I cannot remember ever fasting and didn’t establish the fasting duration long before the actual fast began. 

→Decide this before you fast!

#4 – Don’t Make an Announcement

→ This is a personal fast, so few people should know about it. As a result, don’t tell your friends and coworkers that you are fasting.

→ Even if you regularly have lunch with a group of family, friends, or colleagues don’t inform them about your fasting.

→ Therefore, do inform them that you are unable to dine with them the day of your fast but don’t reveal that you are fasting.

While it’s important to demonstrate that you care and consider others while you are fasting it is more important to obey Jesus’ command concerning how you fast!

→ Fast in secret to the Lord and He will bless you openly.


“That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”

Matthew 6:18

#5 – Do Tell Only These People!

→ However, If you have a spouse you must discuss this with him or her respectively before the fast.

→ This is especially true for long fasting. But it is also relevant for a short 24-hour fast. So, communicate with your spouse to avoid problems.

→ Concerning Christian fasting, we cannot displease our mates and please the Lord God.

→Do inform your spouse about your fasting in advance of your fast.

→ Don’t wait until your spouse made breakfast for you before you reveal that you are fasting!

 

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#6 – Don’t Stress About The Dos and Don’ts of Christian Fasting

→ Don’t worry and stress about your fast. You won’t achieve anything by worrying.

→Later, when you start it, you will realize that it was much easier than it may have appeared.

#7 – Do These Tasks as Usual

• Besides those persons who must know that you are fasting, nobody should by observation, detect that you are fasting (Matthew 6:16).

• Do your hygiene routines as usual. Do your shower, and grooming, but pay especially close attention to oral care.

• Brush, floss, gargle, lotion, and spray on your usual body fragrance.

• Don’t allow your hygiene and appearance to change or deteriorate during fasting.

• Look and smell like your usual self!


“Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”
Matthew 6:16

“But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face.”Matthew 6:17

#8 – No Public Devotions

Set Aside Time For Praying

→ I sometimes observe people on public transportation like taxis, buses, and trains doing devotions!

→ Don’t emulate them.

→ If reading your Bible and praying are so important to you, to the extent that you MUST do them, then why don’t you wake early enough to complete them at home?

→ While doing your Christian fasting or otherwise, please read your Bible and pray in secret (Matthew 6:18).

→ We are fasting to God, not to man!

→ There are no biblical pre-written prayers to say while fasting.

#9 – Do Meditate

→ However, meditate ONLY on the Word of God.

→Think about your fasting objective, locate relevant Scripture verses in the Bible that address it, and read and meditate on them.

→ Ask the Lord for answers to questions that matter to you.

→ Ask the Lord questions.

#10 – Can You Drink Coffee While Religious Fasting?

Things Not to Do While Fasting As A Christian

→ I love coffee. I have several cups of it every day and sometimes too many of them to reveal.

→ And I love my Starbucks black and strong.

→ So, I understand how difficult it could be not to drink it while fasting!

→ Nevertheless, during your Christian fasting, if you eat any food or drink any fluid you have broken your fasting.

→Therefore, don’t eat or drink anything, including coffee, until you are ready to end your fasting.

What You Should Not Do When Fasting?

→Do not drink any water while you are fasting.

→Drink no alcohol either
→ But not even vitamins should you take while fasting!

→Do not eat any protein this ends the fast.

Should You Exercise While Fasting?

Why would you want to exercise while fasting? If we are attempting to “realign our hearts’ affections with His” how does physical exercise aid us to accomplish this?

→Additionally, we don’t exercise or go on walks while fasting. Don’t blur the focus of your fast. Preserve your energy to finish your fast.

→If you are having fun by going on walks and such you are not afflicting your soul, you wouldn’t be fasting you’re just avoiding food.

→Fasting doesn’t cleanse our hearts for we must appear before God with acceptable hearts even before we commence to fast.

#11 – Do Memorize a Scripture

→ Memorizing a Scripture verse while fasting is optional. However, I highly recommend that you don’t make it an option. Instead, do it and watch how you will grow in Christ!

→ While you are executing your Christian fasting you are in an ideal position to memorize a verse of Scripture.

→ Therefore, identify a Scripture that speaks to your fasting goal or one that is relevant to what you are afflicting your soul for and memorize it.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

2 Timothy 2:15

#12 – Don’t Be Intimate

→ Even married couples should abstain from sexual intimacy during Christian fasting (1 Corinthians 7:5).

This is another reason our spouse MUST consent to our long fasting for it to be acceptable to God.

→ I never go fasting without the support of my wife and best friend!!

12 Do’s And Don’ts Of Spiritual Fasting From My Experience

Have you ever wondered, what not to do when fasting as a Christian? I have thought about this question and I have done some homework on it! What follows are my findings on the topic.

Christian fasting is never only about abstaining from some actions for a set time. That is basically planned starvation and such deprivation has no spiritual value.

Neither does fasting allow us to be filled with the Holy Spirit, such teachings are nonsense and devilish!

What Not To Do While Fasting As A Christian

Here is a list of things that will break your fasting as a Christian! This list provides categories of what not to do when fasting and praying.

 

    • Do not drink any fluids

    • Don’t eat any foods

    • No Sexual Intercourse

    • Refrain from any behavior that will indicate to onlookers that you are fasting.

Christian fasting is more than abstaining from foods and drinks, for, it’s one of the most powerful spiritual arsenals we possess.

Therefore, if you execute it correctly you will have unimaginable success! Follow your Bible!

Fasting In Christianity

The principles that govern Christian fasting are similar to those of Islam. Both have their origins from the same source, Judaism.

Things To Do While Fasting as a Christian

 

    1. Make time to read and study the Scriptures

    1. Don’t ever go on a Christian fast and not pray. You must pray or else, what is the purpose of fasting?

    1. Also, maximize every opportunity you get to pray. You don’t need a prayer schedule but pray every chance you get to do so.

    1. If it is possible, separate from others. Being in a room alone should help keep you focused on fasting.

    1. Read a Christian Book on a topic of your choice.

    1. Memorize a Scripture verse.

    1. Meditate on the Word of God, but especially Scriptures relating to the object of your fasting. For example, if you notice that you have been lying, then read, memorize, and meditate on Bible passages on that topic.

    1. Next, fast in secret. Matthew 6:16.

Don’t be deceived. What is the most important component of your Christian fasting?

For this reason, starting small is ideal for Christians new to fasting.

Things to Avoid When Fasting And Praying In Christianity

The things we need to avoid, as we fast and pray as Christians, are mainly contingent on personal situations and circumstances.

Doing these things while spiritual fasting are not wrong but they could blur or detract from the focus of your fast. So, avoid doing them!

Thus, what may apply to one Believer may not fit appropriately in the fasting rituals of another. Therefore, the following are merely general observations and tips.

However, below, you will find a list of the major things to avoid doing while fasting and praying. Adhere to it.

Nevertheless, utilize the instructions of the Holy Bible as your ultimate authority on this subject.

 

    • STOPPING: Avoid anything that distracts you from finishing your fast. For example, refrain from going on walks and exercise during this time. Preserve your energy to complete your fasting.

    • SOCIALIZING: These tips are for personal fastings. Therefore, avoid groups, and people generally. We can’t approach God and socialize simultaneously. We must separate ourselves to accomplish this. All the prophets, in both the Old and New Testaments, practice this.

    • TEMPTATION: Stay away from places where there are foods and drinks and others are there dining. Avoid locations and businesses with strong luring smells of foods and drinks. These situations shall tempt you to break your fasting.

    • CHEWING GUM – Many people want to know, can you chew gum while fasting as a Christian? My recommendation: Do not chew gum on your fast! This could hurt you.

    • EXERCISING – No exercising!

    • FACE-TO-FACE CONTACT WITH OTHERS – Avoid this!

    • REFRAIN FROM GOING ON WALKS: Instead, preserve your energy to finish your fasting.

    • ELECTRONIC ENTERTAINMENT: stay away from TV, Cable, the Internet, Social Media, and Video Games, etc while fasting.

    • Minimize time spent on your telephone talking with others.

Do’s And Don’ts of Fasting And Prayer

There are no hard and fast rules for these. Many of the do’s and don’ts of fasting and prayer are personal, situational, and based on individual preferences and practices.

So, there are not many biblical don’ts and all of which I have listed above.

However, for them to be Christians they must follow Bible principles, and other Christians, in the Bible, should have done them.

FAQ About The Dos And Don’ts of Christian Fasting


Things Not To Do When Fasting And Praying

You are fasting “to the Lord”. You have devoted the fasting duration to Him. Therefore most of your daily routine, during fasting, should be different from your regular day-to-day activities.

For example, if you call your friends regularly, or daily, at a certain time and discuss the happenings in your lives, then don’t do this while you are fasting.

Things Not To Do When Fasting

Since there is no Christian fasting without praying! Therefore, the answer to this question is identical to the one above.

What To Do While Fasting For God?

What this reader is really asking is, What to do while you are fasting to the Lord God? There are many things one could indulge in, but I list the most important ones above.

Can a Christian Watch Movies While Fasting?

Yes, but that is not an ideal or biblical activity associated with Christian fasting. However, it also depends on the type of movie too. What if the movie were “The Passion of Christ“? Watching it could definitely be beneficial to you during fasting. It could assist you in maintaining your focus on your fasting goal!

In Christianity – Can You Watch TV While Fasting?

Yes, you could but I wouldn’t recommend that you do. Recall that we desire that our fasting be acceptable to God.

To fulfill that requirement then we must stay focused on our fasting goal. One way to do this is to restrict our activities to those the Lord Jesus instructed us to do.

Watching TV during fasting is a distraction. Stay focus!

More FAQs About The Dos And Don’ts of Christian Fasting

What to Avoid During Fasting and Praying?

The things that we should avoid as we fast and pray are mainly situational and circumstantial, but contingent on each Christian’s day-to-day activities.

What Should You Not Do While Fasting?

The things that Jesus and His Church taught us not to do.

What Are Some Things Not To Do While Fasting?

Don’t tell others that you are fasting unless they need to know.

Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.” Matthew 6:16.

Other Things to Avoid While Fasting as a Christian

On that note too, avoid eating gums and candies or sweets while you’re fasting.  Many Christians, I know, while they’re fasting, to prevent their foul breath from embarrassing them, they would chew on gums. 

That’s not good.  It’s not good for your stomach because you are tricking your stomach to believe that you have eaten.

Then your stomach will secrete gastric juice to digest the food and that will hurt your stomach because there is no food in your stomach.

Moreover, by eating candies and sweets and stuff you’re breaking the fast.  So avoid doing that.

Conclusion

If you desire to unleash the resurrection power of fasting, please consider all the do’s and don’ts of Christian fasting above and practice them.

They have their origins in the true Word of God!

These are not things that I just thought about or researched and wrote about, but these are the very habits that I practiced over the years, and they have gotten me to where I’m today!

Christian fasting is powerful!

Through it, we could break every spiritual stronghold and every bad habit that we desire to eliminate from our lives and we will grow spiritually simultaneously.

All the do’s and don’ts of Christian fasting above are important because we are devoting our fasting to the Lord God and not to man.

Fasting is a one-way street. No vehicle enters the street except at a designated entry point.

Similarly, nothing enters the body via the mouth. The only thing that should enter the body during fasting is spiritual and through the spirit.

What’s Next?

Now that you understand some of the dos and don’ts of Christian fasting, what are you going to do next?

→Think and decide on a habit that you desire to break then fast about it!

→ Select a short fast. Don’t fast for a day. Fast only for a few hours, say for four to six hours.

Then do it!

→ As you become more comfortable and competent in fasting gradually increase your fasting time to your desired length.

In closing, may your Christian fasting be effective and successful!