Home Youth Leaders Articles for Youth Leaders How to Fast for God: A Guide to the Spiritual Discipline of...

How to Fast for God: A Guide to the Spiritual Discipline of Fasting

7. Fill Time with Other Activity

People are often surprised by how much time they spend preparing food, eating, and cleaning up. During a fast, all that time becomes open. Before your fast, decide how you will fill some of that open time. You may engage in prayer, meditation, or spiritual reading.  For example, pray for the hungry. You may plan an act of service, such as serving at a pantry or shelter. Again, we return to the theme of filling that which has been made empty —in this case, time.

The Blessings of Fasting

I highly recommend determining a purpose for your fast. Be intentional about this, and do it beforehand. That way, your activity during your fast can be in alignment with the purpose. In other words, the more intention you have before the fast, the more fruitful it will be. Intention is key behind how to fast for God.

Without intention, one can fall into the temptation of sitting around feeling bad for oneself. One might think, “If I am fasting, I am supposed to feel bad.” But no, feeling bad is not the purpose of fasting. That’s just a side effect that happens as your body gets used to it. The main purpose of fasting involves the question: “What I am desiring to be filled with?”

In my experience, fasting has led to some wonderful surprises. I am often surprised that, when fasting, I feel energized. Or at the very least, filled with enough energy to maintain my usual activities. In addition, I often feel serenity while fasting. I invite you to try fasting for yourself, and find surprises of your own.

This article about how to fast for God originally appeared here. It was based on Matthew Kozlowski’s interview with Jacques Hadler in 2016.