What are some types of spiritual fasting? This simple 21 day fast for spiritual growth is one that our church does each year, and includes a media fast, Daniel Fast, and a “build your own” fast.
The month of January is paved with good intentions. We want to start the new year off right; after all, it’s a clean slate and a fresh start.
We set goals and resolutions, make plans to purge the mess from our homes, reorganize rooms, attempt to make healthy food choices and exercise, and commit to grow deeper in our walk with the Lord.
Many of us try a new Bible reading plan or resolve ourselves to more consistent prayer time.
One thing we personally do is use the month of January as a focused time of prayer and fasting.
Often, when my husband was the pastor, we’d encourage the whole church to fast together in various ways. We’d spend extra time every January praying and fasting together as a church body.
Did you know fasting doesn’t have to be about ONLY abstaining from food for a set time period? There are many types of spiritual fasting, and how you choose to fast is between you and God.
One purpose of fasting is to deny our fleshly desires and, instead, increase the focus on growing our spiritual man. If your time of fasting accomplishes that purpose, it’s a wonderful feeling!
Here is a creative 21 day fasting plan for you to try as you seek to hear from Him in a more powerful way.
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- “God, Please Help Me Through This” – How To Pray When You’re Hurting
- How To Grow Closer To God & Really Enrich Your Faith
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Spiritual Fasting Plan
Week 1: The Media Fast
Refrain from personal (not work-related) use of media, such as social media, TV, movies, and radio. Instead, use that time to read your Bible, pray, contemplate on God, encourage someone else, etc. Shut out some of the outside noise and listen for Him.
Doing this helps ease anxiety. It calms your soul. We’re bombarded with bad news on social media and our bodies weren’t built to carry the weight of the world. It’s time to shut it all out and give it to God — He wants to carry the weight of the world on His shoulders! He never intended for his children to carry such a heavy burden.
Week 2: The Daniel Fast
This is a fast (inspired by a passage in the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament) where you don’t avoid all foods, just rich and heavy foods. No animal products, no added sweeteners… just simple, plant based foods.
I’ve written several detailed posts about this fast. Here are a few posts about the Daniel Fast to get you started:
- Daniel Fast Breakfasts
- Daniel Fast Dinner Recipes
- Daniel Fast Desserts
- Daniel Fast Snacks
- 21 Daily Prayers for the Daniel Fast
Week 3: “Build-Your-Own” Fast
Use your prayerful discretion here; you may choose to fast from all food for a 24-hour period, fast from your favorite food for the week, fast from food from sun-up to sundown for five days, fast from sugars and other sweeteners, continue the Daniel Fast, continue the media fast, etc.
Many people choose to do some form of intermittent fasting during this third week. Prayerfully consider your schedule and what God wants to accomplish in you.
This is entirely between you and God! Do whatever you think will be meaningful to your spiritual life, trusting that God will honor your effort.
Have you ever integrated a time of fasting into your spiritual life? Have you tried any other spiritual fasting plans? The benefits are not only spiritual growth, but increased focus on the things of God, greater awareness of His purpose for your life, and more peace in your heart.
Often, you’ll find physical benefits as well, such as decreased anxiety and possible weight loss. Of course, this isn’t a reason for spiritual fasting, but it’s an extra, and often welcome, result of this 21 day fast.
Go in grace today,
P.S. For more encouragement during your Daniel Fast, be sure to check out my printable Daniel Fast scripture cards.