Fasting is one of the essential spiritual disciplines that most believers overlook.
However, with the new year just around the corner, many churches are gearing up for their annual fast.
Those posts cover all of the basics about biblical fasting.
Now that you’ve got the basics down maybe your wondering what you should be doing while you are fasting.
In today’s post, I’m going to share with you 5 things you should do during a fast.
Top 5 Things To Do While You’re Fasting
One of the key differences between dietary fasting and biblical fasting is what you do while you’re fasting.
During a Biblical fast your day-to-day activities should not be the same as when you’re not fasting. Biblical fasting is more than just turning down your plate, it’s turning your attention toward God.
It’s focusing on those things that will help you grow and build up your faith as a believer.
With that being said what should you do during a fast?
1. Read & Study Your Bible
Periods of fasting are a great time to get back to the basics of the faith. One of which is reading and studying your Bible.
If you don’t have a regular devotional or Bible reading time this would be a great time to start one.
Bible Reading Activities:
- Writing out Bible Verses.
- Memorizing Scripture.
- Meditate on a specific scripture throughout the day.
- Read using multiple translations.
- Try Bible journaling.
- Try a different bible study method.
- Read and study the Bible with your family.
These are just a few reading activities that you can do during your fast. If you’re looking for more ideas I have a list of 23 ways to read the Bible.
Even though it’s not listed first, prayer and praying should be at the top of your to-do list during a fast. Jesus prayed so much and so often that his disciples asked him to teach them how to pray.
Prayer is your direct line of communication with God the Father.
During your fast make sure to schedule multiple times to pray throughout the day. If you normally only pray in the morning add a prayer session during lunch. Instead of watching your favorite tv show spend that time in prayer.
What to do during prayer:
- Start a prayer journal.
- Pray for a different topic each day.
- Spend time praising and thanking God for who he is.
- Pray the scriptures.
- Practice the art of waiting for God to speak.
- Go on a prayer walk.
- Repent & Confess your sins
3. Praise and Worship
I mentioned praise and worship in the last section as part of prayer, but you can also spend part of your time fasting just worshiping and praising God.
In a previous post, I discussed the key differences between praise and worship, but for the sake of this post, we’ll stick with the traditional meaning of worship.
This is a great way to practice mindfulness and gratitude throughout the day. Especially, when you are doing something you don’t enjoy or don’t want to do.
For example, I don’t like washing dishes or folding the laundry. Instead of complaining about it, I focus my mind on thanking God instead.
Lord, I thank you for having a sink with running water. I thank you that my family has dishes that we can use to eat our food. Lord, I thank you for all of the clothes that you have provided for my children to wear. I thank you that we have shirts to wear and clothes to put on our backs. I thank you that we have the money to purchase these items.
This takes my mind off of my issues and focuses it back on God and all that he has done for me.
Praise and Worship Activities:
- Write down what you’re thankful for
- Listen to your favorite praise and worship music while your walking, driving, etc.
- Have a praise party with your kids.
4. Declutter Physically & Spiritually
We put a lot of junk into ourselves spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Fasting is a great time to declutter and remove as much physical and spiritual junk from your life as you can.
When you fast your body goes through a natural detoxification process because you’re not eating the same foods you would normally eat. Biblical fasting allows you to detox yourself spiritually. As you begin to take in less of the world and put in more of the things of the spirit all of that old junk starts to get pushed out.
Remember one of the purposes of fasting is to draw closer to God. How do you do that? By limiting outside distractions.
Ways to Declutter Physically, Spiritually, & Emotionally
- Get rid of old items in your house that you no longer use including clothes, movies, appliances, etc.
- Reduce the amount of time you spend watching tv, youtube, or using your phone.
- Do a brain dump and write down everything that’s been weighing you down or worrying you.
- Write down a list of complaints and disappointments and give them over to God.
- Get outside and enjoy nature.
- Spend time talking to your kids or your spouse. Give them your full attention.
As Christians, we tend to forget that God can handle all of our emotions and junk. It’s ok for us to dump all our emotional baggage on him. He is the one who gave us these emotions and he understands us better than anyone else in the world.
His word says,“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30
All he wants us to do is to turn to him and trust in him.
5. Have a plan.
Remember, the goal of the fast is to spend more time with God and to draw closer to him.
If you normally only spend 15 minutes of quiet time in the morning reading your Bible and praying, then you want to increase that.
Instead of just 15 minutes in the morning shoot for 15 minutes in the morning, afternoon, and evening.
If you normally spend your lunch break watching youtube videos and TikTok, spend it reading your Bible or praying.
If you want to have a successful fast the best thing you can do is to plan out your day.
You don’t have to come up with a detailed schedule. Something simple like the routines below will suffice.
Fasting Routine Day 1
Morning- read Psalms 23 and pray for 15 minutes
Lunch- do a prayer walk during lunch break
Evening-Bible journal on Psalms 23
Bedtime-Work on memorizing Psalms 23:1-3
Fasting Routine Day 2
Morning- 15 min Praise & Worship
Lunch-Work on memorizing Psalms 23:1-4
Evening-Declutter kitchen counter & pray
Bedtime- Read Psalms 24
As you can see you can vary your routine and change it up for what works best for you.
Before I end this post I had a reader ask me if they should avoid people during a fast. There are a lot of things to consider when answering this question.
While I don’t believe that you have to be a shut-in while you’re fasting. I would definitely avoid social gatherings that are not going to help you grow spiritually.
When in doubt pray about whether you should go or not and follow the leading of the holy spirit.
I hope I was able to answer a few of your questions and that you found these tips valuable.
If you have any other fasting tips, questions or suggestions share them in the comments section.
As always keep Jesus in the center of everything you do.
Your sister in Christ,