Skip to main content

Do Christians need to fast?

Short Answer: Do Christians need to fast? If so, why do Christians need to fast? Some teach that fasting is required for spiritual growth, yet this is not Biblical. In the days of the early church, eating food was the main form of entertainment. So, believers might fast in order to regain focus on God’s grace. But this was not a spiritual mandate that made prayers get answered or helped believers get closer to God. Fasting was employed merely to avoid distraction.

Diving Deeper: Some believe fasting is required for spiritual growth, but this is not Scriptural. In fact, if you survey the New Testament letters, you’re hard-pressed to find anything at all about fasting.

So, what do we do with fasting? In the days of the early church, long before television, movies, and the internet, eating food was a popular form of entertainment and could easily become a distraction. In 1 Corinthians 11, for example, some believers were eating and drinking so much that they became “weak” and “ill” (1 Corinthians 11:30). In this context, food was a distraction from Christ. For reasons like this, some in the early church fasted in order to refocus on the finished work of Jesus.

Are Christians supposed to fast today? We are certainly free to fast from whatever we would like as long as we do so to focus on what we enjoy in Christ (2 Peter 1:3-4). But we should never fast to become more spiritual or to get closer to God or to get prayers answered. Fasting is simply a brief time of avoiding distraction in order to remember God’s amazing grace towards us (Titus 2:11-14).

Let’s Make It a Conversation!
1. What is your opinion of fasting? Do you fast?
2. React to this statement: Fasting is not prescribed in the New Testament.
What distracts you at times?

Have more questions about the Christian life? Check out:
101 Bible Questions - Book101 Bible Questions: And the Surprising Answers You May Not Hear in Church is now available on Amazon!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,