Is Fasting Important?

Why do Christians fast– particularly during seasons like Lent? Valid question. Fasting isn’t always about giving up something that we need to survive (like fasting from food/water). Fasting is all about giving up something we typically rely on (maybe our morning cup of coffee) to refocus our attention on how much we need God. It’s important to remember: we don’t fast to try to earn love from God– we don’t have to try for that, he’s already given it to us. But, fasting should remind us that we need God more than anything else.

If you think you want to try fasting to connect with God, but don’t really know what it looks like, take a bite (get it?) out of this devotional below and get an idea of how fasting can bring you closer to God.


“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10).

Written by Reclaim Today

Six years ago, I moved across the country for a job I believed God had opened up for me to take. Six months after that, the department I was working for was disbanded and I was out of a job. I was unemployed, in a new town, and I was terrified. To find direction for my next step forward, I did something I had never done before—I fasted.

I didn’t grow up in a church that participated in or even really spoke of fasting. But, I knew it was a biblical practice, modeled by firm believers in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. I knew the basic idea was to go without food in order to pray and focus and listen to God alone, and I knew that was exactly what I needed.

James 4:10 encourages people of faith to “humble themselves before God,” and this is what fasting is ultimately about. It’s an active way to take the focus off of self and put it back on God. The result we’re offered at the end of this verse is that God will “lift you up.” If we want to be transformed from scared and confused to clear-minded and at peace, then a position of humility is a good place to start.

Why It Matters

Fasting isn’t only about withholding food. It’s about giving something up, so focus can be shifted back to God and prayer. The act of humbling oneself in this way is the beginning of transformation. And Lent is all about waiting for and anticipating God’s promised transformation.


  1. Do you have positive or negative ideas about fasting? What’s led to those feelings?
  2. Have you had any past experiences with fasting? If so, how did this time go?
  3. What type of fast might be the most helpful to you?
  4. What might you hope to accomplish from this type of fasting?

Disclaimer: For anyone who has struggled with disordered eating, or those who have underlying medical conditions, we’d strongly encourage you to look into an alternative to giving up food during a season of fasting such as social media, idle conversation, unnecessary spending, etc…


These short simple devotions are a great way to connect with God each day. Visit this page to find more good Bible verses to reflect on!