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14th December 2022

The Power of Fasting: Drawing Near to Christ

14th December 2022
Written by Andrew Copsey

What is fasting? 

In a nutshell, Biblical fasting is going without food for a spiritual purpose. Ultimately, that is to draw near to Christ, but can have a multitude of different, more specific reasons or focuses that fall within that. 

Fasting can be hard. It almost always is and that’s ok. 

It being hard means we can clearly see our desperate need for God’s help to do it, and are reminded of our own weakness compared to Him as we experience hunger and weakness without food. We also can become aware of some unhealthy dependence on things other than God to feel ourselves. 

The physical pain of hunger can be a good (and sometimes constant!) reminder to pray and allow our hunger for God to grow. 

As we prepare to fast, here are some helpful questions to ask yourself:

What am I going to fast? Decide and then stick to it. 

Why am I fasting? Having a clear, God-centred reason is so important, (even if it is as simple as seeking God above anything else) as we are not looking to go hungry. 

What am I going to do when I would have been eating? It’s so important to have prayer in place of food. We are not starving ourselves, but seeking God. 

Am I fasting alone or in a group? Although Jesus gave some clear instructions about the secretive nature of regular fasting, there are also times of corporate and national fasting in the Bible, so it’s ok for someone to know what you’re doing, or be doing it together, to support you as we fast together as a Church. 

What will I do when I feel hungry? 

Have I told my family/housemates? If you know you are likely to get grumpy or impatient then it might be kind to give some forewarning! Then pray for His presence to help you!

Here are some ways you can fast. 

  • Full food fasting.
  • Missing one/two meals a day
  • Cutting out certain types of food (like in Daniel 10)
  • Only eating certain foods (Daniel and his 3 companions only ate vegetables and drank water)
  • Fasting caffeine 

For those unable (or for whom it would be unwise) to fast wholly from food, we can also give up other things such as:

  • Social media
  • TV
  • Gaming
  • Anything you will miss!


Heavenly Father, we want to have you as our deepest desire and we ask you to draw near as we pray and fast. Strengthen us by your Holy Spirit and please give us grace to fast: we need your help. Come Lord Jesus.