According to Luke 4:2, Jesus was driven into the wilderness by the Spirit and ate nothing for 40 days. He drank only water. A 40-day fast on water is the most physically difficult fast and should be undertaken with complete rest and under medical supervision because of the extreme danger of over-toxification, breakdown of vital body tissues, and loss of electrolytes. We encourage you to be led by the Spirit into a water-only fast.
A juice fast is a fast where you drink only juice and water (primarily water) and do not eat any food. This type of fast will provide you with more energy than a water-only fast. This is an excellent type of fast, because you will lose all hunger cravings while still maintaining a certain level of energy that allows you to function. On a juice fast, we recommend drinking only fresh-pressed juices, which you can make at home with a juicer, or (if you don’t have a juicer) cold-pressed juices which you can buy at a store. You want to avoid juices with high acidic content, added sugars, and pulp. Drinking juices with pulp causes your metabolism to start back up, bringing back all of those difficult-to-deal-with hunger pangs.For a great resource on fasting, one of our fasting heroes, the late, great Bill Bright, compiled an entire fasting guide found here.
A smoothie fast allows you to still get all the necessary nutrients you need to function, just in liquid form. You still deprive yourself the pleasure of chewing and eating solid foods. Smoothie fasts allow you to still get lots of servings of fruits, vegetables, protein powders, and whatever else you choose to include in your fast.
The Daniel Fast is the most well-known type of fast and is done according to the pattern revealed in Daniel 1:12 and Daniel 10:2-3. On this type of fast, you will be able to still fulfill all of your life’s requirements while denying yourself some of your typical diet’s pleasures. This type of fast is very healthy for your body as well. A Daniel Fast is essentially a vegan eating plan with more restrictions. It is a plant-based diet where the only beverage is water. You can read more about the Daniel Fast here.
If you are unable (or do not feel led by the Lord) to do any of the food-related fasts, consider doing a social media, video game, or movie (Netflix or other streaming service) fast. In 2018, the average American spent 1 hour and 57 minutes on social media every day. It takes only about 71 hours to read the entire Bible at an out-loud reading rate. If the average American replaced their time spent on social media with reading the Bible, they would be able to read the entire Bible in 37 days!
For 40 days, you could fast a certain favorite food, coffee, or one thing that you usually spend time doing. You can be creative. Ask the Lord what He would want you to fast during these upcoming 40 days.
*With water-only, juice, and smoothie fasts, consider taking a few days before your fast to detox your body in order to prepare it for your liquid fast. You can find more tips to prepare for your fast as compiled by our friends at IHOPKC here.Regardless of which type of fast you choose, in place of your normal eating (or social media) times, set aside much time to pray and read the Word. Fasting creates a vacuum in your soul. Fill that void by feasting on God during your fast. When you would have gone to social media, pray. When you would have eaten a meal, feast on God’s Word. When you would have gone to a favorite food for comfort, go to God for comfort.Our hope is that these options have given you a faith and confidence that there is a type of fast that you can do! As you choose your fast, we look forward to you joining us for the 40-day Global Jesus Fast. God Bless!
In Fasting we are not trying to get something from God; we are seeking to realign our hearts’ affections with His. We do holy violence to the “pleasures which wage war against the soul,” opening the way for a greater submission to the Holy Spirit. Lust is a perverse form of devotion. Fasting enables us to cleanse the sanctuary of our hearts from such idols.
This may seem obvious, but busyness and distractions can keep you from devotions. Reading books with testimonies of victories gained through fasting will encourage you. Register at TheJesusFast.com to schedule your fast and receive encouragements by email.
Without a vision (a clear, prophetic prayer goal), the people perish. During a fast, I have four or five prayer goals I have clearly articulated. When I am not deeply motivated by a clear goal, I usually fast until break-fast! Write down your vision so you can run with it.
Two are better than one! We encourage young people to talk this through with their parents before starting the fast. Parents and kids should consider fasting together.
The “to fast or not to fast” dilemma can be a major tool of the enemy. Even though you may fail several times, God always extends grace. Hit reset and resume right where you left off.
• A total fast is without water. This is extremely hard on the body. Do not go beyond three days.• A water-only fast is a very challenging but deeply spiritual experience. Many people can endure forty days on water alone, though this is dependent on one’s weight and metabolism.• A fruit and vegetable juice fast allows you to enter into fasting but still gives enough energy to function. Most people can do a forty-day juice fast. Out of consideration for their health and metabolism, I encourage teenagers to drink juice and protein drinks to sustain them.
Two days before your fast, limit your intake of food to fruit and vegetables. Fruit is a natural cleanser and easy to digest. Stop drinking coffee before the fast. Prepare yourself for mental discomforts such as impatience, crankiness, and anxiety. Expect physical discomforts. You may experience dizziness, headaches and different kinds of pains. The headaches are not necessarily a sign to stop fasting. Your body is working to cleanse itself of impurities.
On the first day of your fast, you can bet doughnuts will somehow show up at the office or in class. Your spouse (or mom) will suddenly be inspired to cook your favorite meals. Take this as encouragement from God to press ahead! Many times you may feel increased emotional tension at home. My fasts are just as difficult on my wife as they are on me. Satan tempted Jesus on His fast, and we must expect the same. Discouragement may come in like a flood, but recognize the source and take your stand upon the victory of Christ.
Do not boast about your fast, but do not go to extraordinary lengths to mask it when people inquire; if necessary, just let them know you will not be eating. The bigger deal you make of it, the more attention you draw. Be discreet, be transparent, then move humbly along.
On a light juice fast or a water fast, your digestive system shuts down. It can be dangerous if you eat too much too soon. Break such a fast gently with several days of diluted, nonacidic juice, then regular juice, followed by fruit and vegetables. When breaking one of my early water fasts, I ate too much too quickly and almost needed hospitalization. Be careful!
Daniel prepared himself to receive revelation through fasting (Daniel 10:1-3). Scripture also speaks of a fasting reward (Matthew 6:18). Expect God to fellowship and communicate with you in special ways.
Do not listen to the lie that nothing is happening. It is my conviction that every fast done in faith will be rewarded.