The goal of fasting is to draw nearer to God. Biblical fasting always has to do with eliminating distractions for a spiritual purpose; it hits the reset button of our soul and renews us from the inside out! It also enables us to celebrate the goodness and mercy of God, and prepares our hearts for all of the good things God desires to bring into our lives. Remember, your personal fast should present a level of challenge, but it is very important to know your own body, know your options and most importantly, seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do.
There are several types of fasts. How you choose to fast is between you and the Lord!
Types of Fasts
- Complete Fast
- This fast calls for drinking only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.
- Selective Fast
- This type of fast involves removing certain elements from a diet. One example of a selective fast is the Daniel Fast, during which you remove meat, sweets, or bread from your diet and consume water and juice for fluids and fruits and vegetables for food.
- Partial Fast
- This fast is sometimes called the Jewish Fast and involves abstaining from eating any types of food in the morning and afternoon. This can either correlate to specific times of the day, such as 6:00 am to 3:00 pm, or from sunup to sundown.
- Media Fast
- This fast is common for those who do not have much experience fasting foods, who have health issues that prevent the fasting of food, or who wish to refocus certain areas of their life that are out of balance. For instance, someone might select to abstain from using social media or watching television for the duration of the fast—and then choosing how to carefully bring that element back into their life in an orderly fashion.
Timing of a Fast
At Highlands, we encourage fasting corporately for 21 days each year in the month of January. This is part of a season of high-intensity prayer as a church family. You may also opt to fast at other times during the year for your own spiritual development. It's very typical to fast a single meal, or a whole day, or three days—even more. The timing of your fast is not as important as the strength of your focus on Him as you fast.
|Fasting||Prayer and Reading the Word||Corporate Fasting|
|Matthew 6:16-18||1 Samuel 1:6-8, 17-18||1 Samuel 7:5-6|
|Matthew 9:14-15||Nehemiah 1:4||Ezra 8:21-23|
|Luke 18:9-14||Daniel 9:3, 20||Joel 2:15-16|
|Joel 2:12||Jonah 3:5-10|
|Luke 2:37||Acts 27:33-37|
|Acts 10:30||Nehemiah 9:1-3|