Types of Fasts


I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food ~ Job 23:12


Excerpt from Jentezen Franklin’s Book “Fasting”:

What is fasting? Since there are so many misconceptions about it, I first want to clarify what fasting, biblical fasting, is not.  Fasting is not merely going without food for a period of time.  That is dieting, maybe even starving, but fasting it is not.  Stated simply, biblical fasting is refraining from food for a spiritual purpose and replacing that time you spend eating with praying. Fasting has always been a normal part of a relationship with God.  As expressed by the impassioned plea of David in Psalm 42, fasting brings one into a deeper, more intimate and powerful relationship with the Lord. When you eliminate food from your diet for a number of days, your spirit becomes uncluttered by the things of this world and amazingly sensitive to the things of God.


Scriptural References to Fasting:

  •       Matthew 6:16-18 says “when” you fast
  •        Matthew 9:13-15
  •        Matthew 17:21
  •        Joel 1:14, 2:12
  •        Acts 13:2-3
  •        Acts 14:23
  •        Isaiah 58:4-8
  •        2 Chronicles 20:3
  •        Hannah seeking the Lord 1 Samuel 1:7
  •        Nehemiah 1;4, 9:1
  •        David Psalms 35:13, 69:10, 109:24, 2 Samuel 12:16
  •        84-year old widow – Luke 2:37
  •        Paul – Acts 27:9


There is not a real formula to help determine which type of fast or the length of the fast that is right for you.  This is determined between you and God depending on your circumstances and what you’re seeking Him for.  Don’t get crazy & bogged down in the details!  You may want to begin with a one-day fast from sunrise to sunset.  You will be amazed at the difference a one day partial or normal fast will make in your life.

There are three types of fasts found in the Word; the absolute fast, the normal fast and the partial fast. 

  •       The absolute fast is where you take in nothing – no food or water.  *this is extreme and should be done only for very short periods of time.  Please always take into consideration your health
  •        The normal fast is where you typically go without food of any kind for a certain number of days.  You should drink water and plenty of it!  *Depending on the length of the fast, you may also choose to take clear broth and juices in order to maintain your strength.
  •        The partial fast can be interpreted in many ways – usually involves giving up particular foods and drink for an extended period of time.  *most common partial fast is the Daniel Fast

 Examples / References of Fasts:

40 Day Fast:

  •        Moses when he received the 10 Commandments Exodus 34:27-28
  •        Joshua fasted 40 days
  •        Jesus fasted 40 days Luke 4:1-2

21 Day Fast:

  •        Daniel

14 Day Fast:

  •        Paul

7 Day Fast:

  •       Valiant men of Israel – 1 Chronicles 10:12

3 Day Fast:

  •        Esther called the Jews of her city to join her for a 3 day fast Esther 4-7
  •        Peter fasted 3 days
  •        Paul