Understanding Biblical Fasting
Fasting is the sacrificial, voluntary, abstinence from physical nourishment or food for a set
time. Fasting is done to devote oneself to seeking God. Fasting enables one to redirect
attention back to the things of God and refrain from activities that our flesh love. Fasting
should not be an activity called on by the Pastor, but a lifestyle choice. The key to fasting is
to discipline your body and focus on God.
The Bible describes three types of fasting.
• Normal Fast – involves abstinence from food from sunset of one day to sunset of the
next as noted in Leviticus 16:29-32, and Leviticus 23:29
• Partial Fast – involves dietary restrictions as described in Daniel 1:12-15.
• Radical Fast – involves a total abstinence from food or drink for three days and
nights as noted in Esther 4:15-16.
While conflicts related to your flesh and the enemy can be challenging during a fast,
steadfastness strengthens the sprit. In Luke 4, we read about Jesus, who fasted forty days,
and being tempted by Satan. Verse 14 and 15 say that afterwards, Jesus returned in the
power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding
region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.
Synagogues were built in territories were the Jewish people had been exiled. They remained
a part of Jewish culture even after the temple was re-built. Visiting rabbis, like Jesus, were
always welcomed to read the Scriptures and teach. Wherever He was, Jesus went to the
synagogues weekly, as was His custom. Hence, fasting strengthens one spiritually and
makes one hunger for the tings of God. Fasting should include the following intentional
F = Focusing on spending more time with God
A = Abstaining from certain foods to regain mastery over what the flesh wants
S = Speaking the Word over your circumstances and believing God will respond accordingly
T = Trusting God to strengthen you when you are weak
I = Increasing your dependence on God and His Word
N = Never doubting that fasting is an integral weapon for the believer
G = Greater understanding that good things come to those whose mind is centered on God.