Thrive Pathway Activity 60

Fast and Pray

Fasting is a Christian’s voluntary denial of a normal function of life for spiritual purposes. Most often it is the abstention of food, but it can be abstinence from social media, media, telephone or computer. The Bible distinguishes between different kinds of fast including: 1) Normal fast (from food), 2) Partial fast, 3) Absolute fast (food and liquid), 4) Private fast, 5) Corporate fast, and 6) National fast. Fasting is always voluntary and a person who is not healthy, on medication, or pregnant should not enter a fast without medical supervision and a medical doctor’s approval. The Bible offers no instruction on how often or how long one should fast, but it is always for a purpose. The most common are: 1) To strengthen prayer life, 2) To seek God’s guidance, 3) To move to greater maturity, 4) To express submission to God, or 5) As a means to confess, repent, and worship.


Matthew 6:16-18
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”


  • Decide what type of fast you need in order to lead you toward your spiritual goal. Determine how long you will fast and clear your calendar so there are no interruptions. Set a time to begin and pray for God’s direction and help.
  • Do not proceed if you have medical issues as discussed above.
  • Fasting must always have a spiritual purpose. Prayerfully consider how a fast can help you refocus on God. As you face the challenges associated with giving up a normal part of your life, allow the desire to prompt you to pray. Start small and with manageable goals, then grow in practice as God’s spirit directs.

For more Thrive Pathway activities on this topic

#15 Pray for non-believers
#18 Pray for Share Directory ministries
#30 Pray with your family
#34 Develop a daily prayer life
#48 Choose ministries to consistently pray for

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