A Guide to Biblical Fasting

Though I’ve recorded a video you can watch, I’m doing a post as well for those that prefer to read and take their time to meditate upon what is written.

I truly hope this post is an encouragement to you and may your faith be strengthened.

image of plates and pitcher on a table.

Video Recording for Biblical Fasting.

For those of you that learn better by listening, I’ve made a short video of this post. It’s the first video of this kind so please have grace on me. Ignore all of my unnecessary “ums, ands, and you knows” and the unprofessional recording of editing – we are learning.

Subscribe to our personal YouTube Channel for more videos like this one.

What is Fasting?

Biblical fasting is abstaining from food for a specific time for spiritual growth. 

King David said, “I humbled myself with fasting” (Ps 35:13). Fasting is humbling yourself before the Lord and crucifying your flesh and presenting it as a living sacrifice before the Lord. Fasting allows your spirit to be more sensitive as your flesh is quieted. 

If Jesus, a sinless man saw a need for fasting, how important should it be for us? He is our ultimate example of how we should live and walk out our Christian life. 

Fasting in January:
Fasting is especially powerful in January as we set the tone for the rest of the year.
•Scripture tells us to first seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt 6:33) and to offer him our first fruit (Exod 34:26).
•How powerful is it then to take a lengthy fast in January as we offer Jesus our first days of the new year in fasting shaping the entire year?

Why Fast?

We see throughout Scripture that fasting is key to spiritual growth, breakthrough, and victory in different areas of our lives. Let’s look at some Bible verses where fasting played a vital role:

  • Breakthrough needed (Joel 2:12)
  • Blessing in ministry (Acts 14:23, Matt 4, Acts 13:2) 
  • Before a journey (Ezra 8:21-23)
  • Repentance (Jonah 3) (1 Sam 7:6)
  • God to fight our battles (Esther 4:3)
  • Seeking God’s will (Judges 20:2)
  • Victory over the enemy (Judges 20:26)

Fasting disciplines your physical body. Your spirit becomes more alive, is hungry and desires more of God.

Spiritual Benefits of Fasting:

They are so many spiritual benefits and it would take me an entire post to go through them all in detail, here are some of the benefits:

  • Your spiritual channel will become cleansed, allowing you to hear from God clearly.
  • Your faith is built as Jesus strengthens you supernaturally (especially in lengthy fasts).
  • Prayers are often times answered more quickly.
  • You are able to experience God on a deeper level as He is our reward.
  • A deeper time of praise and worship with the Lord.
  • Breakthrough and deliverance will take place. 

Fasting really puts into perspective the things you truly need compared to the things you want. A shift in focus is made from flesh to spirit is made. 

Physical Benefits of Fasting:

There are so many different health benefits to fasting as well. Our body is able to reset during this time and function as it was initially designed. We won’t talk about the physical benefits as this isn’t the focus of the post.

  • You should NEVER fast with the motive to lose weight. God sees our true motives and he will never be deceived. 

Now that we understand why it is so important to fast, let’s keep going!

Identity Purpose of Fast:

Once you’ve decided to fast, decide on the purpose of the fast and let your request be known.

  • Come in bold declaration as a child of God in faith that Jesus is able to hear your request.

Different Lengths Fasts:

So, let’s go over some of the different lengths of fasts (and this is not all of them). Here are the lengths of fasts that are recorded in the Bible:

  • Partial Day Fast
  • One Day Fast (2 Samuel 1:12, Judges 20:26)
  • Three-Day Fast (Esther 4:16)
  • Seven-Day Fast (1 Samuel 31:13)
  • Ten-Day Fast (Dan 1:12)
  • Two Weeks (Acts 27:33-34)
  • Twenty-One Day Fast (Daniel 10:3)
  • Forty-Day Fast (Matt 4:2)

Preparing for a fast!

Prepare yourself for the fast, especially if you are taking a lengthy fast.

  • If you are a mom, meal prep ahead so you spend less time in the kitchen.
  • Or, try to budget ahead of time so you can order out more or just do something simpler for meals.
  • Don’t get your favorite food the day before so you are tempted (especially if you are new to fasting.

Start Small:

If you are new to fasting, start small! Don’t start fasting for 7 days or take a 21-day fast as your very first fast.

  • Start by skipping one meal. Next time you fast, skip two meals. Then fast a partial day from when you get up to dinner time and so on.

As you build up your spiritual muscles so to say, fasting will become easier. 

Seasons in Life:

If you find yourself in a season of life that absolutely restricts you from fasting, this doesn’t mean you should stop fasting, just do a different kind of fast.

  • Nursing
  • Pregnancy
  • Time of mourning in unexpected loss
  • Moving
  • If you have a serious illness
  • And so on..

Take a partial fast-

If you cannot take a complete fast due to health issues, or if you are nursing or with child, do a partial past.

  • Juicing (we purchased this JUICER and will take a juice fast)
  • Cut out what you enjoy most.
  • Take a sugar fast, and cut out ALL sugar for 3 days, or 5 or 7, as you feel the Holy Spirit is leading you.
  • Remove carbs.
  • Daniel’s fast.
    • Daniel’s fast is great, that is how God initially created us, to eat healthy! You are allowed fruit, vegetables, unleaved whole wheat grain, quinoa and brown rice are just some of the foods allowed.

Other fasts:

  • Social media
  • Shopping
  • Eating out (take a 40-day restaurant fast)
  • Talking on phone
  • Watching movies

How you will feel:

As you’re taking a lengthy fast, on the 2nd and/or 3rd day your body will send you all kinds of signals that you aren’t giving it the attention it wants. Fight through these, don’t quit and tell your flesh that the spirit will overpower the flesh. It will quit down and submit.

            -Headache as your body is detoxing.

            -The second day is the worst for cravings and not feeling good.

            -If taking a lengthy fast you may feel fatigued and not have as much energy as you normally do.

Lastly, let’s answer your Questions:

The most popular question I got from you guys was when I asked if you have fasting questions. Remember, this is strictly OUR personal view after searching Scripture and the Lord.

Your personal conviction may be different as the Bible isn’t black and white on any of these topics.

  1. For married couples, what do you do about intimacy during a fast?
    • We decided as a couple that this is a pleasure to the flesh, therefore, we abstain from that as well during fasts. UNLESS we are doing a long fast of 21 days or more. If it is a lengthy fast, then we set the days we will abstain and then continue to live as husband and wife as we finish our fast.
    • If you are not fasting together, PLEASE inform your husband in advance so he is prepared and this is not an issue for arguments and fights. This is the last thing you want during a fast.
  2. Can I fast on my menstrual cycle?
    • In the Old Testament, there were strict orders during this time of the month. They DID NOT have the hygiene and products we have. It was HOT and yucky, I can just imagine. We live in a completely different time.
    • This time of month DOES NOT hinder or stop me from fasting. I continue with my fast without change even though it’s harder than regular days as your body
    • We sometimes “cannot fast” during this time but we will continue with our lives as regularly. We go shopping, visit friends, and do everything else but fast. The Lord revealed to me that is very hypocritical. I was raised in an atmosphere that encouraged skipping fasting and communion during this time, which is NOT a Biblical stance. I do not judge anyone for this belief but we decided with my husband we will not follow this. 🙂
    • If we don’t fast during this time, then we should also stay home and be an outcast as the women were in the Old Testament as they were considered “unclean”. We can’t pick and choose one part and have grace on the other. They couldn’t be in the same bed as the spouse, etc.

Okay, that was uncomfortable but needed. :/

Let’s Close!

Okay, I need your feedback! Was this a blessing to you? Would you like more of these? If so, what topics do you want to be covered? I am already working on Prayer and How to read the Bible, which will be next to accompany Fasting as all three overlap.

If your question still wasn’t answered, leave it in the comments below and I’ll try to get to it (if I am able).

Also, do you have any advice, or testimony or share your story of how God has worked in your life through fasting for you?

Well, I hope this post was a blessing!

Fondly, Valentina

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  1. Valentina I am just in AWE! This by far has been one of the BEST posts and videos I’ve read on fasting. Where were you 15 years ago? I am sitting down today and making a plan and will rewatch the video with my husband.
    You have such a gift for teaching, wow!

    1. Lina, sister thank you for the words of encouragement. The internet is a scary place sometimes and it’s not easy to be open and vulnerable. It’s comments like yours that are such an encouragement.

  2. Valechka I am so blessed by this post and you are such a natural and so beautiful. Is there anyway you can make this into a PDF study like you have other things? I would love to study this with some friends.

    1. Mary, thank you for the sweet comment. That is an idea I will pray about and if this would be a blessing, I’ll for sure see if we can make it happen.
      Thank you for taking the time to comment, they are always so encouraging.

  3. Valentina THANK YOU! This is exactly what I was looking for as an answer ‘how to fast’ you answers are so good. I’m really planning to start fasting every Friday (as we have prayer church on Friday’s) and this will keep me more motivated to go to night church, pray and end my fast.
    Or what hours do you usually do when you do a one day fast?

    1. Sister, that just puts the biggest smile of encouragement on my face! We fast until 6 or 7 in the evening once a week. I definitely encourage you to do that and go to prayer. You will see mighty changes in your spiritual growth!

  4. When you are fasting, how do you go about daily tasks like homeschooling and getting kids fed/ laundry and housework all while staying in constant prayer. Or do you just make time in the morning and then whenever there is down time in the day? I’ve never been taught to fast and don’t know how to juggle everyday distractions while fasting. Can you please explain how you do that in detail?

    1. Hi, Lenochka. 🙂
      I just go about all of my duties as normal. It really is more of a mind battle than a physical battle. Your flesh will battle you but the more often you fast, the more your spirit will grow and the flesh will yield to the spirit.
      If you are new to fasting, I recommend you start small and build up. So, the first time you can fast until noon or 2:00. Then, when fasting just make the kids something simple so you aren’t in the kitchen the entire morning. I don’t publicize fasting to everyone around me but I do tell my kids and husband. My husband and I normally fast every Monday so our kiddos are already used to it. It is MUCH easier to fast with your spouse (this took a lot of work, I used to do it by myself all the time).
      When you get to fasting lenghty fasts, then I plan those in advance. So my meals will be crockpot meals, instant pot or I’ll allow myself to order pizza or something out for the family. Or just heat a frozen meal. I will also make food that the kids love that’s simple so I don’t have to try it and for temptation purposes, I won’t make my personal favorite dishes.
      As a mom you can’t just leave everything and pray all day. It’s more of a posture of prayer.
      My kids already know when I am fasting I need more quiet time, so I’ll pray as normal with the kids in the morning and they know I am fasting (and learn from that). So at our family morning prayer I’ll address whatever it is I am bringing before the Lord. Same with lunch time. If the kids are younger, just allow them to play by you as you are praying, there is so much power in that. Evening is my biggest pray and quiet time but I do try to make sure my kids see it. My kids should know where I read the Bible and pray.
      If your kiddos are older and are able to be alone, then ask them to give you some time in prayer. Then all day I just posture my heart before the Lord. I try to stay off phone/electronics and just listen to worship music or a sermon.
      So, seek the Lord and decide what you will do and stick to it. So let’s say you say Lord I want to fast every Monday, stick to it.
      The only thing I will not do is workout when I am fasting.

      The beauty of allowing your kids to see you fasting and answered pray builds their faith. We fast as a family as well. We often do Daniel’s fasts and kids will just do fruits and veggies all day. We’ve fasted as a whole family for a day and the kids do just fine.
      My oldest son went to Israel on a mission trip and he said he felt the Lord lead him into a 7-day water fast. I know that is ONLY possible if we lead by example.
      A few weeks ago my daughter (12) came to me and said mom there is a girl at school that really needs the Lord, I want to fast for her tomorrow. This is only possible if we show them an example.

      I hope this is a blessing to you, sister. Fasting will bring so much breakthrough in your life! Start and don’t give up easily.

  5. This was good! However, I’m not sure when my fasting start and end time are? Does it start directly after my last meal, say dinner? Or would you suggest fasting starts the next morning when you would have ‘breakfast’ once the previous meal has had opportunity to digest? **Then, when does fasting end? Eg; you’re doing a 3 day fast… would it end directly at the 72 hour mark of your last meal or the next morning as mentioned above?

    Thank you for your wisdom and insight sister.

    1. Great questions, Hroque.
      If it’s a short one or two-day fast, from dinner to dinner.
      If I’m doing a 3-day fast or longer, I normally do it when I go to sleep the day before the fast starts to dinner on the third day, some prefer to do dinner the day before the fast starts to dinner on the third day. (Ex: Sunday going to bed and no more anything until Wed dinner. Or Sunday dinner and nothing until Wed dinner.)
      Thanks so much for being a part of our online community.

  6. I so much enjoyed the teachings regarding fasting. This is an eye opener as I learned alot about fasting that I’ve never knew before.
    God will continue to bless your generation