Finding Time to Fast as a Student

Let’s be honest most people don’t fast: Their god is their belly.

They would rather indulge in a sundae dessert than spend time seeking the face of the Lord. We don’t usually fast because we’re preoccupied with school, however, we always have time to eat. If you don’t fast, you don’t sin but when you do fast, it leaves you blessed and renewed. Fasting is an essential practice of the Christian life which will help SSU stand firm in Christ throughout their college journey. We’re quickly going to go through the what, why, when, and how of fasting before we address the core of this article. Fasting is “abstaining from food, drink, sleep or intimate intercourse to focus on a period of spiritual growth. Specifically, we humbly deny something of the flesh to glorify God, enhance our spirit, and go deeper in our prayer life” (allaboutGod.com). When to fast is up to you, I have personally set up a schedule during the year to fast and also fast if I feel spiritually weak or am under attack. The Bible has several examples of different kinds of fast: The people of Israel usually just fasted from food for a day (Ezra 8:21, 2 Chron 20:3), Esther fasted three days without food and water, Daniel fasted for three weeks eating light meals (Daniel 10:2-3), etc. Again, this is another area where it all depends on you.

In order to find time to fast as a student, it’s important to recognize its value, otherwise, you will be doing it out of obligation or condemnation. Sometimes, we are so bombarded by our busyness that prayer and studying the Bible alone cannot do, there’s a need to set aside time to really be in the Lord’s presence and focus on Him. We need to hear clearly from God, perhaps change our ways, break a bad habit, or take a stand against demonic attack. The Bible tells us of an incident where the disciples were unable to deliver an epileptic boy: “Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, ‘why could we not cast it out?’ So Jesus said to them, ‘because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” — Matt 17:19-21. Fasting renews weary spirits and blesses us to grow in the Lord. For instance, if the doctor says you have to dedicate 30 minutes a day to run in order to lower your cholesterol, I guarantee that you’ll do it because your health is significant to you. Then how much more your spiritual health! I can definitely attest that fasting helped me be a stronger person in my university dorms in order to run against the wind blowing there (Philip 4:13, Luke 10:19).

In school, I took one day week (Saturday) where I didn’t touch any books; it was my Sabbath day, a period to rest and refresh. I used that day to also fast from 6am-6pm. You can start with small beginnings maybe fasting from entertainment or social media first then slowly transitioning to food/drink, and beginning by few hours a week. Whatever suits you, go for it. The most important is to take time to seek the face of the Father. I encourage you ladies to seriously consider fasting, your spiritual life is more valuable. Don’t let food, school, or other occupations get in your way of moving ahead (of course, if you have medical attention, consult your doctor). The Lord is with you and will strengthen you.

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