Fasting for Lent: 5 Ways to Stick It Out

5 ways to fast for lent

Image Credit: By Nastyaofly on shutterstock.

During the 40 days leading up to Easter, Christians often give up some things they enjoy in order to remember how much of a sacrifice it was for Jesus to give up His life. Think about it. Christ died on the cross for sins He did not commit. Somehow, when we consider what He did, giving up some desserts or time on the cell phone pales in comparison, right?

Why Do Christians Fast for Lent?

Traditionally, believers in Christ fast during Lent for several reasons. The first is because it follows Jesus’s example. When we first see Jesus as an adult in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, He is baptized by his cousin John, often referred to as John the Baptist. These same Fasting for Lent: 5 Ways to Stick It Outptation-of-jesus-bible-story.html” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>temptation of Christ.” After the 40 days was up, Jesus came out of the desert and began preaching, healing, and ministering to people.

Jesus venturing into the desert for 40 days and nights

Fasting for Christians today echoes the 40 days Jesus spent preparing to serve others. Another reason we fast during Lent is to recognize and honor Jesus’s ultimate sacrifice of his life on the cross. Finally, we fast to show God that we want to be renewed from sin and ready to share the gospel and serve others for another year.

Using Lenten Fasting to Deepen Your Relationship With God

Fasting offers some tremendous benefits for believers today. It sets time apart from our busy schedules for God. It helps us be intentional towards Him. Whenever we feel a hunger pang from fasting a meal or miss the television show we like to watch, we are reminded of Him. We can be mindful of all He gives us and has done for us. When we take that 30-minute period to pray, worship, praise and read the Bible, we get to know our God better. We feel more up-close-and-personal in our relationship with Him. It’s also good self-discipline for us to sacrifice. Let’s face it. In American society, we get most – or at least a whole lot – of what we want. We do not have a lot of needs. Most of us know where we will sleep tonight and have a myriad of choices for meals. Not to mention running water, in door plumbing, and electricity. We have so few needs, in fact, that it’s hard to acknowledge our need for a Savior. Fasting takes our focus from ourselves and gives us the opportunity to renew our appreciation for the Lord.

Why Not to Give Up Social Media for Lent

While there are many things you can give up for Lent, consider keeping social media. Why? Through social media, you can teach others about Lent through your own posts, Tweets, and stories. You can encourage other believers and support each other during your fast. You can join groups on social media who are also fasting for Lent and learn what others are doing and how they are going about it. Social media can help renew the tradition of Lent and advance the gospel message.

5 Ways to Stick to Your Fast

  1. Prepare for fasting to be hard. Get your head in the game for Lent. It’s supposed to be hard. It’s not supposed to feel good. Every time you feel a pang or a pinch, a craving or a longing, remember what Jesus did for you. When it feels tough, pray, take deep breaths, and be mindful of the grace and forgiveness you have been given. Grit your teeth and prepare for spiritual battle. Not all of life has to be easy. Do the hard.
  2. Plan ahead. Prepare for your fast. Mark it on your calendar or set alarms on your phone as reminders to pray, read, and praise. Stick yourself up with water bottles; extra activities to keep your mind off of food, sweets, or media; make sure non-fasting meals are nutritious; find some new healthy recipes to try; and treat yourself to a new Bible, study book, or journal
  3. Empty your calendar. For whole-day fasting, choose days that have fewer demands. Try not to full fast on the day a big project is due at work, your kids have a field trip you need to chaperone, or a day when there is strenuous physical or mental work to do. Inevitably, unexpected stressful events will occur (See No. 1.), but don’t build them into your schedule. Set a realistic pace. Jesus went alone to the desert to fast. Try to quiet your life so you can hear the still, small voice of the Lord.
  4. Fast with someone else. Everything is better together. Fast with your Bible study group, small group, or with your spouse or best friends. Even elementary kids are old enough to be able to participate. Fasting can be a great family activity. Instead of videos or screen time, have corporate times of prayer and put on some praise music to worship together.
  5. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Water is a crucial element for life, not something to fast. Yes, Jesus called Himself “Living Water.” But God also had Moses strike a rock so clean water could pour out for the Israelites to drink. He provided an oasis for Hagar and Ishmael. Our bodies need water to live, and water also helps regulates our moods. When you are hungry from a fast, drink an extra glass of water.

Remember, fasting is not a law or requirement for Christians since Jesus covered all of our sins on the cross. We do not fast to punish ourselves but in honor of God and to renew our relationship with Him. How will you be fasting for Lent? Let us know below.

Natalie Gillespie
Latest posts by Natalie Gillespie (see all)
Natalie Gillespie
Natalie Gillespie
Natalie Gillespie is an author, journalist and editor who has published more than 2,000 articles in the last 20 years in magazines and websites such as HomeLife, Guideposts.com, and Publishers Weekly. You can reach Natalie with article ideas, personal testimonies, theological thoughts, or just to say “hello” at [email protected]

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