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Types of Fasts

Broad Types
Corporate

This is a call to fast by the pastor or leader of a church or group of people (see 1 Kings 21:9, Ezra 8:21, Esther 4:16). This type of fast requires that the people be of one accord about the fast and will comply to what the pastor or leader, by the leading of the Holy Spirit, has called them to do.

     Private

This is a personal fast for an individual or husband and wife, lead by the Lord (see Matthew 6:18)

Specific Types
Daniel Fast
– No meat, sweet foods, or strong drinks (see Daniel 10:2-3). This can be done for an extended period. This could also be considered a vegetarian diet because there is no meat eaten. Foods to avoid and eat while on this fast.

Partial Fast – This would be not eating one main meal you would usually eat on a daily routine, such as breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This meal would be skipped until the fast is over.

Half-day Fast – Fast from 6 am* (dawn) to 3 pm* (ninth hour or dusk). This is the fast that Cornelius, the centurion of Caesarea participated in (see Acts 10:30-31).
*Time adjusted to EST

Complete Fast – This fast would require you to abstain from all solid foods, but drink liquids only. When Jesus fasted in the wilderness, the Bible says, “After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry.” This verse does not mention Jesus being thirsty (see Luke 4:1-2).

Total Fast – This is a full and complete fast, no food or drink. Acts 9:9 describes when Paul went on a full fast for three days following his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. Esther also called for this type of fast in Esther 4:15-16. This type of fast should be done with extreme caution and not for extended periods of time.

Juice Fast – This is a fast where only fresh fruits and vegetables are juiced in a juicer. If you can’t juice your own fruits and vegetables, try buying juices with out sugar or additives. When using fruits that are acidic, such as lemons, limes, oranges, and even tomatoes, dilute them with water for your stomach’s sake!

Fasts can last anywhere from half a day to forty days. The length of your fast should be dependent on three things – your health, God’s leading, and the type of fast. Use wisdom!

Half day – Judges 20:26, Acts 10:30
One day – no scriptural example found but inferred
Three days – Acts 9:9, Esther 4:15-16
Seven days – 1 Samuel 31:13
Fourteen days – Acts 27:33
Twenty-one days – Daniel 10:3
Forty days – 1 Kings 19:8, Luke 4:1-2

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