“Why do people fast? How often should I fast?”
Answer given by Sharon Platt-McDonald,
director of Health department in the British Union Conference,
30 November 2022, Watford
Why do people fast?
People generally fast for 2 key reasons:
- Spiritual nurture and enhanced connection with God
- Health improvement and maintaining wellbeing
Fasting is a personal decision and not one that is either directive or prescriptive. Therefore, fasting will vary from person to person depending on their perceived needs.
Fasting can be undertaken in a range of different ways varying from skipping one or two full meals a day, drinking water or fluids only for a specific period of the day, or eating fruits and/or vegetables only during a period of fasting from rich foods.
Spiritual reasons for fasting:
Fasting for spiritual nurture and deeper connection with God takes varying forms.
Some people fast as part of enriching their prayer life with God, with a dedicated focused time of petitions. Others fast to increase time spent focussing on the Bible and understanding Scripture. Additionally, people fast to listen to God’s promptings (directing their thoughts) and impressions from the Holy Spirit, in order to make important life decisions.
People generally fast for two key reasons:
– spiritual nurture and enhanced connection with God;
– health improvement and maintaining wellbeing.
I found this interesting short article on the spiritual focus for fasting, and the pitfalls to avoid:
And here are some researched based reports on the health benefits of fasting:
- https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fasting-benefits (see pdf)
- 10 Important Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting – Gilmore Health (see pdf)
How often should you fast?
Importantly, regularity of fasting is often dictated by an individual’s health status, current diagnosis, and specific health conditions. Therefore, it is important to speak with your GP or health practitioner, for professional advice, if you intend to undertake fasting on a regular basis.
Some people undertake fasting regularly (e.g., once per week) as part of their intense prayer routine to connect with God, for a duration of time, without the distraction of having to prepare meals. Others fast occasionally, as various needs arise in their lives, for which they need special direction from God.
Fasting – general overview
Here is another article that explains fasting and gives an overview of why fasting is undertaken. It concludes with some suggestions for nutritional benefits, and suitable menus, as you contemplate undertaking a fast: