What is Fasting? Why Do It?


I consider myself a "rookie" when it comes to fasting. Recently I gave message called "Fasting: Awakening a Hunger for God" for others who are new to the spiritual discipline of fasting and want to understand what scripture teaches about how fasting functions in the lives of God's people. Watch/Listen here.


I started fasting when I first began my walk with God. It was taught in my church. I started with no food or water at all. So that is an absolute fast. Then over the years I read in a book by Jentezen Franklin named "Fasting". It encouraged me to fast every year and more often.

I began to weep for God and about the things I had not really talked to God about. He really touches my heart. I also go to him in prayer during my fast!

I encourage you to fast.

Thanks my sister. That's real encouragement and motivation to engage in fasting again after nearly 3 years away from it.

Great idea, it is good to fast from time to time. I got into it as a healthy nut, when I was kind of agnostic, and I have fasted on only water (and lots of rest) for up to 8 days, and many shorter ones. I don't recommend that anymore at all for this reason if you only have "chronic" conditions (and I didn't really have any of these, but just wanted to detox and "be pure"). Fasting can be great I think for acute health conditions, and healthy living should take care of the chronic ones that are capable of being solved. Now I eat more, with pleasure, but wholesomely

But that is just health. This is about spirit and faith, and I fast now whenever I am deeply grieved. I actually just follow my body's lead, as the emotions dictate, and it usually doesn't last more than a day or two, just a few times a year, though often I eat less, or sometimes very little. Fasting is good for concentrating your mind. it is not just about not eating, but it is about withdrawing from worldly concerns and exposure to stress and distraction. Really, that is what the original purpose of the Sabbath was, to focus on God and truth. I therefore suggest taking time out to rest and pray (fasting is essentially resting) before you engage in an attempted fast although it could be fun. One or two days of no food, even while active, should not hurt you if you are fairly healthy, but I shall not be responsible for anyone who gets hurt. I remember my first fast. i had not read a thing about it, I just was going by intuition. I was in college, and I just decided to not eat one day, on purpose. I had probably read it in the bible, but this was purely instinctive drive, and it was ok! Was interesting. Just remember, fasting is means to an end, not end in itself.

Peace be with you

I used to fast, when I was younger, to lose weight rapidly.

Now that I am a believer, I have never fasted. I just can't do it. Nor can I read the Bible as much as I ought or pray as much as I ought. And when it comes to worrying about stuff, I'm second to none. Jesus tells us not to worry. So much for my obedience and trust.

When it comes to being a steadfast, obedient Christian, I am pretty much a failure.

I really do need a Savior. I'm banking on the fact that I have One, who loves and forgives me in spite of all my shortcomings.

Thank you.

Thanks for this post. I listened to it yesterday, taking notes. I live in Hong Kong and our church does a 21-day fast at the beginning of each year. Everyone in the congregation is encouraged to participate and we choose what we want to fast. I did my very first fast at the beginnning of this year - I did the juice fast. It was very, very difficult but the spiritual rewards were worth it. :)

I've recently been thinking about fasting routinely or more regularly as a way to seek God whole-heartedly ....have been looking for books and sermons on fasting and this was perfect. Thanks, Pastor Josh! :)

Hi Pastor Harris,

i have passionatly being following your teaching since the first day i stumble upon one of them on the internet. these message on fasting is have given me insight and deep knowlegde about how to fast. u are throughly a blessing to our generation. I pray that the spirit of teaching and deep understand in word of God in ur life be released upon m life in double portion dimension.
am writing from nigeria. God bless u

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