Fasting

How many types of fasts are there? Tom Ascol lists at least nine  in his blog. They are:

  1. A Normal Fast involves abstaining from all food, but not from water. (Mt. 4:2
  2. A Partial Fast is a limitation of the diet but not abstention from all food. (Dan. 1:12; Mt. 3:4)
  3. An Absolute Fast is the avoidance of all food & liquid, even water. (Ezra 10:6; Esther 4:16; Acts 9:9).
  4. A Supernatural Fast which require God’s supernatural intervention into the bodily processes and are not repeatable apart from the lord’s specific calling & miraculous provision. (Deut. 9:9; 1 Kings 19:8)
  5. A Private Fast is the one referred to most often by Jesus, and should be done without calling attention to oneself. (Mt. 6:16-18)
  6. Congregational Fasts involve the church participating together. (Joel 2:15-16; Acts 13:2)
  7. A National Fast is a call to the nation to fast. (2 Chron. 20:3; Neh.9:1; Jonah 3:5-8) (The US Congress has called 3 national fasts, under John Adams, James Madison and Abraham Lincoln)
  8. There was one Regular Fast under the Old Covenant. (Lev. 16:29-31)
  9. Occasional Fasts which occur on special occasions as the need arises. (Mt. 9:15)

The article in its entirety is worth reading.

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