how -to-fast-as-a-christian

Many Believers Want To Know – How To Fast As a Christian?

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  • Post category:Fasting
  • Post last modified:February 20, 2024
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Let’s Explore How to Fast as a Christian!

This How to Fast as a Christian Guide refers to the short fast, the twenty-four hours, or shorter fast.

So let us explore how to fast as a Christian.  There are many fasting paradigms out there these days. 

People are fasting to lose weight and they are imposing their own opinions on the Christian fast but the Bible is our sole authority for the Christian fast. 

How we fast is not for us to decide, it’s either we are going to abide by what the Bible says or we are not.

So, are we going to fast according to the Bible or are we going to fast according to someone’s opinion?

Today, I want to explore how to fast according to the Scriptures.  Thus, I’m going to itemize ten steps that we utilize as we execute our fast.

If you would rather watch the video Bible Study, click this link.

But, if not, read on! 

how -to-fast-as-a-christian
How To Fast As A Christian?

Step #1 – Prepare For The Fast

Prior Preparation Fasting Tips!

Should you prepare for an imminent fasting? First, is this biblical or necessary? Secondly, who, in the Bible, prepared before fasting?

Today, there is much noise about prior physical preparation for fasting.

The supporters of it claim that it reduces the onset and the intensity of hunger pains, and

being able to deal with them.

They also encourage us to perform various tasks before fasting.

These include but are not limited to:

  • Drink lots of fluids, including water and fruit juices.
  • Gradually reduce the portions of each meal as your fast day approaches.
  • Consume less bulky foods and
  • Focus more on fresh fruits, vegetables, and juices.
  • Eat softer foods.
  • And this list goes on and on…..

On the one hand, this is great advice. As you learn how to fast as a Christian. If you are so inclined, feel free to adopt any of these fasting tips. There is no harm in following them.

Prior Preparations And Christian Fasting


On the other hand, is prior physical preparation required for Christian fasting?

I’m not a nutritionist nor am I a Medical Doctor, but speaking from personal experience it does nothing for you during your fasting.

After the first twenty-four hours of your, say, three days and three nights fast, all your efforts to prepare for the fast are consumed by your body already.

Mentally, however, you need to prepare yourself for the task of fasting. This we must accomplish long before we begin fasting.

There is no doubt that a fast, which is twenty-four hours or less, requires no physical preparations beforehand.

Which Bible Character prepared before fasting?

Did Moses, Daniel, Job, David, Esther, Jesus, or Paul make any prior physical preparations for fasting? No! None of them did.

We see Jesus undertaking a long fast. He fasted for forty days and forty nights. But he made no previous preparation for this extended fast.

Did Jesus Prepare For Fasting?

Jesus immediately after his baptism by John the Baptist was “led by the Spirit” into the desert to be tempted of the Devil (Matthew 4:1; Luke 4:1, Mark 1:12).

Consequently, he couldn’t have prepared for this fast. It wasn’t planned.

Therefore, the Bible is silent on this. So, don’t feel pressured into preparing.

If you want to, go ahead but if not, don’t. It has no impact on the outcome of your Christian fasting.

Step #2 – Determine The Objective of Your Fasting

Before you begin your fast, establish what you will be fasting about.

First, we need to decide on the goal of our fasting. Why are we fasting?  What is the objective of the fast? 

What do we wish to achieve through your fasting? 

A fast can have many goals.

But a very successful Christian fast usually has one defined goal, which keeps us focused on the thing we are trying to accomplish during the fast. 

So, are you fasting to break a bad habit; develop or maintain mastery over your soul, or to be a better Christian?

Never Engage In Christian Fasting Unless This Is In Place!

You should never engage in Christian fasting unless your fasting goal or goals are clear.

It’s not unheard of to have goals for a fast. But most should have a single well-defined objective for the fast duration (Nehemiah 1:2-3, 11; Esther 4:16; 1 Samuel 1:20).

An effective fast is focused.

This is when you approach God and heaven to realize the fasting objective.

Direct all your efforts towards that one goal. Focus all your prayers on it.

Read scriptures relating to it. Meditate on it.

But fasting goals evolve. When I was about seventeen, one of my fasting goals: stop chasing girls.

Say, forty years later, if I were still fasting about that, I certainly wouldn’t be writing about how to fast as a Christian, now!

Over time, all that I have fasted for I have attained. Fasting works! However, for Believers, it must be biblical.

Step #3 – Establish The Length of Your Fast

The third step is to decide on the length of our fast. 

Seeing that the Bible is silent on the length of Christian fasting, we must decide on the duration of it.

The scripture is very lenient in this regard. It does not impose any time frame on us.

We must decide on how long we’re going to fast. 

As you learn how to fast as a Christian, you will realize that establishing this third step is as crucial as the first to your fasting success. 

Many Believers fail at fasting because they didn’t establish these steps at the start.

Christian Fasting Spectrum

The Holy Bible provides a spectrum of Christian fast durations. These range from an evening to forty days and forty nights.

Therefore decide if you are going to fast for a few hours; 24 hours; three days, or overnight? 

Whatever your need is, you need to decide,  before you commence your fasting, how long you are going to fast and stick with that decision. 

So, if you’re going to fast from sunrise to sunset, stick with it. But please, establish this before you commence the fast. 

If you are a “newbie” to fasting, start with the shortest time segment.

Do a twelve-hour Christian fast then gradually increase it as your confidence, knowledge, and fasting skills improve.

Step #4 – Remove Distractions

The next step is to remove all distractions; therefore, turn off your cell phone, the radio, and the TV.   

You should probably go into a room. Whatever you can do to minimize distractions will help you in your fasting.

It will keep you focused on your task at hand and those usually require that your efforts are not helter-skelter, but focus on what you’re going to do. 

You’re going to fast so you must pray. Fasting is seeking God. So, you’re going to spend time with the Lord, seeking the Lord in prayer, and reading your Bible. 

Removing distractions will assist us to give ourselves to fasting and prayer as Apostle Paul said in (1 Corinthians 7:5). 

That’s one of the ways we accomplish this, by removing distractions.

Step #5 – Start Your Fast

Step five is to commence your fasting. Having decided on your fasting goal and length, while you have removed all distractions, now do two other things.

Begin to read your Bible and to pray. Set aside time to repeatedly accomplish these two tasks during the entire length of your fasting.

The order is insignificant. You could start by reading the Scriptures or by praying. Do first whichever one you are comfortable with.

When I fast, I usually read scripture verses relating to what I’m fasting to accomplish.

For example, if I’m fasting to eradicate lying from my life, then I would find and read scriptures addressing this. 

“And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

Revelation 21:27

If you emulate me in this area you will see fantastic results, guaranteed!

Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;”

Colossians 3:9

Step #6 – Read Your Bible & Pray

Since, in this Bible Study my focus is sharing with you how to fast as a Christian, I will not spend much time on reading and praying.

But as your fasting progresses you should continue to read your Bible and pray as often as possible.

What two things do Christians do while they fast?  Do they exercise and drink water?

Do they take walks and meditate or do they pray and read their Bible?  They always pray and read their Bible.

Yep, those are two things that Christians do when they fast.  Could we fast and go to work?  

Of course, we could. Where we fast is only important to the extent that it helps us to afflict our souls, and give ourselves to fasting and prayer to achieve our fasting objective. 

Step #7 – Afflict Your Soul

Many Christians, (when they fast), take walks, and desire to bond with nature.  Some of them would go into the mountains. 

Some, sit by the seaside and others go into the forest. 

But they do these things for the wrong reasons. When Jesus and his Twelve Leaders did this it was for one purpose: to be alone to afflict their souls.

As I mentioned, this Bible Study is to share the steps you could take to accomplish an effective Christian fast.

But, elsewhere on this site, I have written what it means to afflict one’s soul and the reason for it.

Without the affliction of our souls, there is no Christian Fasting!

Step #8 – Memorize a Scripture (Optional)

During the fast, it’s important that we always find time to read our Bible, meditate on the Word, and pray, and it’s also a good time to memorize a scripture verse.  

However, this step is not mandatory for effective Christian fasting.

Many Christians don’t memorize scripture, but memorizing scripture is very powerful.

It removes the words from the Bible pages and rewrites them on our hearts. And what better time to do this than while fasting?

So we have the Word of God on demand.  When we need it we can access it, but, if we don’t have the Word within us, we can’t retrieve it. 

So while we’re fasting, that’s a good time to memorize a scripture.

Because a Believer whose heart is replete with the Word of God is a formidable foe of Satan. He or she is powerful!

Step #9 – Ending a Christian Fasting Episode

Thus, you should continue fasting and praying until your stop time comes.

The next step is to break the fast. How do you break the fast?   Before I break my fast I would spend some time reading the scripture again and I would spend some time praying and then I would break the fast. 

Now, to break the fast all you need to do is to eat or drink something, and that breaks the fasting.  Whatever you eat or drink breaks that fast. 

I’m Jamaican, so, to break my fast when I was back home, I would eat a few joints of sugarcane,  but you could eat a slice of melon, eat an orange, a mango,  or drink a glass of water.   

Many Christians I know, break their fasting by having a warm cup of tea. It could be mint tea, or whatever tea you like you could have. 

There are many different ways to break your fasting but the important thing is, even though it’s a short fast, you should avoid foods or fluids that are harsh on the stomach and that should be fine. 

Is It A Sin To Break Your Christian Fasting Before The Set Time?

End your fasting at the time you decided before you began your fasting. Not before.

However, exercise great care and sound judgment in breaking your fast.

Many Believers do more damage to themselves when breaking their fasting than at any other time.

For this reason, learning how to correctly execute and break your Christian fasting is crucial to your physical and spiritual health.

If your fasting was for twelve hours your body may not have changed significantly.

However, for fasts longer than twenty-four hours approach them with wisdom and caution. Your body would have changed significantly.

No eating or drinking after that time has taken a toll on your body.

Your stomach has gotten much smaller and more sensitive. It has become especially sensitive to spicy and acidic foods.

How to Break Your Christian Fasting?

I have also discovered, through my love for this plant, the sugar cane, that it is very helpful in breaking a fast.

Eat one or two “joints” (nodes) of it and they will work magic.

Similarly, the water from the green coconut, or the “Jelly-water”, as it’s locally known in my home country, Jamaica, West Indies, is equally as effective in breaking your fast.

Drink a glass of it and it will re-energize and replenish your body with its natural electrolytes. However, this will break your fasting.

Foods to Avoid Immediately After Fasting

  • Orange juice,
  • Ripe bananas (yellow bananas) and
  • Pineapple juice.

The orange juice that you make a home is OK, but the OJ that you purchase in stores and supermarkets is not. Avoid it.

It’s too harsh on the stomach because it is too acidic.

However, if you are unable to source any of those foods, make use of what you have. Any soft fruit is good.

Fruits to Use

  • Pawpaw or papaya are wonderful.
  • So too are naseberries or sapodillas
  • and most ripe mangoes.

Any tea, porridge, soup, broth, fruit juice, drink, or plain old water is okay, as long as it’s not hard on the sensitive stomach.

Despite the foods or fluids, you use to break your fast, consume small portions.

Again, as soon as you eat or drink any food or fluid respectively, you break the fast.

Step #10 – How to Eat After the Fast?

Now after the fast, many people get into problems because of what they do immediately after the fasting.  They started to eat and eat too much.

For a short fast, that is one twenty-four hours or less the following is not as impactful as for longer fasts.

Eat small portions slowly. This could prevent you from ingesting a lot of air into your stomach.

And if you’re drinking,  do the same. Drink small amounts slowly. You could ingest small quantities but frequently. You don’t have to drink a whole lot all at once.

Finally, consuming softer foods and fruits is a good practice after fasting. They are usually easier on the stomach.

Conclusion

For a Believer in Jesus Christ, knowing how to fast as a Christian is empowering. If you correctly fast, according to the Bible, and not people’s opinions, you will always see results.

The World could do whatever it wishes during fasting. But with the Church it’s different. To see spiritual results, we must fast according to the Bible’s directives and Jesus Christ’s and His Church.

In closing, how to fast as a Christian is not for us to decide but to obey and conform to the Lord’s instructions concerning it!