The goal of fasting is to deepen your relationship with God. Biblical fasting always has to do with eliminating distractions for a spiritual purpose (in the Bible, this meant food), as it hits the reset button of our soul and renews us from the inside out. When we fast, it deepens the intimacy we have with God. Remember, your personal fast should present a level of challenge, but it is very important to know your body, your options, and, most importantly, to seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do.
At Manna, we encourage fasting for 21 days each year in the months of January & August. This is part of 21 days of prayer and fasting, a season of focused prayer as a church family. You may also choose to fast at different times throughout the year for your own spiritual development. It’s very typical to fast for a single meal, a whole day, or three days or more. The timing of your fast is not as important as the strength of your focus on God as you fast. Scripture references: Matthew 6:16-18 Matthew 9:14-15 Luke 18:9-14 Acts 27:33-37 Nehemiah 9:1-3
The spiritual discipline of fasting helps us to quiet our own voice so that we can hear the voice of God more clearly, and to move from hearing to obeying. There is power in fasting and praying together. As we fast and pray together in January 2024, we expect God will equip and guide us for the year ahead.
Fasting is refraining from physical gratification, setting aside earthly pleasures to focus on the spiritual. Fasting is intentionally denying ourselves of those things that satisfy us, in order to gain a response from the spirit. When we deny our flesh, we increase a dependency on God.
We are inviting you to take part in some type of fast and to commit to praying daily. The type of fast is up to you, but here are several options including fasting from something other than food.

Complete Fast: In this type of fast, you drink only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.

Selective Fast: This type of fast involves removing certain elements from your diet. One example of a selective fast is the Daniel fast, during which you remove meat, sweets, and bread from your diet and consume water and juice for fluids and fruits and vegetables for food.

Partial Fast: This fast is sometimes called the “Jewish fast” and involves abstaining from eating any type of food in the morning and afternoon. This can either correlate to specific times of the day, such as 6am to 3pm, or from sunup to sundown.

Soul Fast: This fast is a great option if you do not have much experience fasting food, have health issues that prevent you from fasting food, or if you wish to refocus certain areas of your life that are out of balance. For example, you might choose to stop using social media or watching television for the duration of the fast and then carefully bring that element back into your life in healthy doses at the conclusion of the fast.

If you are someone with a specific physical condition, a history of unhealthy behavior patterns, or an eating disorder, you should check with a health provider to determine if it’s safe for you to fast. In general, fasting is safe to do within limits. People can fast from all food and drink for a limited amount of time, but only while also limiting activity. If you have never fasted before, it’s best to begin with a meal or with a shorter period of time, 24 hours for instance. The suggestion for partial fasts, as noted on the previous page, offer several ways for you to practice the spiritual discipline of fasting if it is new to you.
Generally, the time spent not eating is time we use to meet with God in prayer. The more fully you can simplify and adjust your daily routine to make space for fasting and prayer, the more available you are to be changed by God’s word and his grace.
We encourage you to fast and pray with us for these 21 days. If you have a day where you get off-track, there is grace! Don’t give up and you will still benefit from the effort to do this for 21 days. You might experience challenges as you seek to learn this discipline of saying “no” to your flesh, but everyday you do keep the fast, adds strength to your spirit and establishes this discipline.