Fasting: How to Avoid Waste of Energy and Time!

Fasting involves depriving your body the regular enjoyment for a special spiritual meeting with the Lord. Fasting is not an easy task for the body, because it involves starvation, abstinence from sex (for married couples) and seclusion from social gatherings.

I chose to write on this topic, because my findings in the mission field reveals that seven in every ten Christians who claimed to fast suffered ‘hunger strike’.

Understand the act of fasting

The reason for fasting is to humble the flesh. It allows strict discipline to the body during your special meeting with the Lord. Fasting disallows distraction from your five senses and it quickens your spirit and soul.

Wrong Impression about Fasting

1. Fasting is not a Bribe

Your fasting does nothing to the Lord. Your fast is not a sacrifice to the Lord. I searched through the Bible, and I saw no verse where fasting is an acceptable sacrifice to the Lord. The benefit of fasting is strictly for you.

2. Fasting should not be a Doctrine

You can’t get it right if your church leaders compel you to fast for three, seven, forty or ninety days in a year. The Jews who practiced fasting as a doctrine end up becoming hypocrites.

Jesus says in Mathew chapter 6 verse 16: “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.”

It’s good you decide the starting period, and get prepared for it.

I felt uncomfortable when I saw the way some church leaders impose fasting on their church members. Jesus did not make His fast for forty days an annual event. And He did not recommend any specific number of days for fasting to His disciples.

Is it compulsory to fast?

You have no cause to fast if you are comfortable. But, if you go through one or more of the conditions below, then I recommend you fast. Seeking God’s face for;

1. Child birth

2. Miracles

3. Direction of life

4. Healing

5. Anointing and authority

6. Divine power

7. Restoration

How to prepare for fasting

1. List your requests

Write your prayer requests, and use the word of God to confirm that the requests are not against God’s will. For instance; a drug trafficker praying to God to blind fold the officers at the airport during his next trip is wasting his time. God does not support such illegal act.


2. Choose the type of fasting that suits your status

The full fast involves total abstinence from food and water. An example is Moses on the mountain with God for forty days. The partial fast involves intermittent sipping of water/natural fruit juice. I recommend you consider your health status before making your choice. There is no strict rule in the Bible as regards this.


3. Choose the number of days

This depends on your free days, such as holidays or weekends. The number of days you choose must be free from secular activities. For example, Jesus retired from His carpentry job before embarking on His fasting. And the disciples did not go fishing when fasting for the arrival of the Holy Spirit. (Acts chapter 1)


The number of days depends on your strength, so don’t over-work yourself to avoid hunger strike and ulcers. The number of days is not directly proportional to the number of response the Lord will give to your request. Our God is not a robot; He can answer more than one thousand requests in a single day of fasting…


4. Choose your daily down-time

The popular practice is morning till dawn. But, if your strength or health cannot take you till dawn, then break the fast in the afternoon. Don’t deceive yourself, because God cannot be mocked! You have not sinned if you obey my frank advice, because neither a law, nor an instruction from Jesus that compels you to break the fast every 6pm.


Many years ago, I fasted according to the church’s doctrine slated for 12am to 6pm. When it was 3pm, I did not find the fasting funny. I suffered severe headache, dizziness, and my tummy churned me badly.


I could not help myself, because my pastor said that the only way for my requests to be answered by God is to break the fast 6pm. I must confess to you that I lost total concentration from 3pm till 6pm… I suffered a hunger strike of three hours… My fast changed to punishment that day!


The pastor’s statement forced me to study the Bible, and I am happy that God is not as strict as my pastor described Him in the case of fasting.


5. Choose the right Place

If you want a fruitful fasting, then follow the practices of the great people in the Bible. Moses fasted on the mountain, (Exodus 24:18). Elijah and our Lord Jesus Christ fasted in the desert, (First King 19:8). So, choose a place of ‘zero’ distraction.


If your room is the only available location, then switch off all the electronics and lock the door. No audience for family, visitor, or friend!


Your office or business area is a wrong place during fasting, because your devotion to God is incomplete. I studied the Bible carefully, and I discovered that every great men and women who fasted in the Bible did not go to their office or business center. They fasted in a secluded location.


When you fast in a noisy environment, then the purpose of fasting is jeopardized. When your heart is not fully connected to God in fellowship, then such fasting is referred to as a hunger strike.


What to do during fasting

At this stage, you must have prepared adequately for the special meeting with the Lord. So, follow the steps below:

  • Marathon Prayers

Fasting without intensive prayers is simply a hunger strike. Thus, every hour of your fasting period must be devoted to prayers. Jesus never said that the disciples can heal and do miracles by fasting only. I don’t support praying indirectly to the Lord through the use of prayer books or tapes.

But, open your heart to the Lord, and speak to Him directly. Make your request known to Him. Don’t impress God by forcing yourself to speak in tongues. There is no specific minute for prayers, so pray until you need a break. Matthew chapter 17 verses 21 say: “However, this kind (miracles, authority and healing) does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

Your break periods from prayers are meant for Bible studies. Read passages that explain the mighty works of God in the life of people. And passages that highlight the plan of God for your life. Don’t join the bandwagon of people who read the book of psalms only.

  • Meditate on the Word

Analyze the word of God you read, and write down the lessons you learn.

  • Songs of Worship

The Lord dwells in the midst of praises and worship of His people. After meditating on the word of God, accompany your prayers with songs of praise and worship. This step invites the presence of the Lord to your place.


If you follow the steps above with a humble heart, the Lord will speak to you. And you will never remain the same. This is the secret of the true men of God you know. So, obey these processes, and you will become great in the salvation of the Lord.

Fasting disciplines your body for intensive fellowship with the Lord. But fasting without aggressive prayers and Bible study in a secluded area is tantamount to hunger strike, waste of energy and time.

About Ekundayo

I am an evangelist in the vineyard of the Lord since 2000 moving from one place to another to spread the gospel of Jesus.

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