According to the Bible, Jesus sometimes fasted (Matthew 4:2), and He assumed that His followers would also fast on occasion (Matthew 6:16-18; Mark 2:20). If fasting is something that Christians do, what is the proper way to fast? What does the Bible say about how to fast?

Fasting is voluntarily going without food — or any other regularly enjoyed, good gift from God — for the sake of some spiritual purpose. The Bible mentions different types of fasting. There is limiting yourself to a certain type of food (Daniel 1:8–14) or fasting from food entirely (Daniel 10:2–3). There is also fasting from food and water (Luke 4:2; Acts 9:9). The last type is “fasting” from a certain activity, such as a husband and wife abstaining from sex for a predetermined period (Exodus 19:15; 1 Corinthians 7:5). With the different types of fasting in mind, how to fast depends greatly on what type of fasting you are doing. It is markedly counter-cultural in our instant-gratification loving society.

Fasting can turn you more towards God, and help you realign your focus on Him. While our bodies are being deprived for the purpose of drawing near to God, He has promised in return to draw near to us.

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