Types of Fast

As we draw closer to the 40-day Jesus Fast, you may be asking yourself, “What kind of fast should I do? How can I do a 40-day fast or any extended fast? How can I climb this 40-day mountain?” We understand. We are writing to talk to you about a few different types of fasts that you could choose to do during this 40-day fast. As always, make sure to seek medical advice if you have health challenges.

“This kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” – Matt. 17:21


The Original Jesus Fast: Water-Only

According to Luke 4:2, Jesus was driven into the wilderness by the Spirit and ate nothing for 40 days. He drank only water. A 40-day fast on water is the most physically difficult fast and should be undertaken with complete rest and under medical supervision because of the extreme danger of over-toxification, breakdown of vital body tissues, and loss of electrolytes. We encourage you to be led by the Spirit into a water-only fast.

Juice Fast

A juice fast is a fast where you drink only juice and water (primarily water) and do not eat any food. This type of fast will provide you with more energy than a water-only fast. This is an excellent type of fast, because you will lose all hunger cravings while still maintaining a certain level of energy that allows you to function. On a juice fast, we recommend drinking only fresh-pressed juices, which you can make at home with a juicer, or (if you don’t have a juicer) cold-pressed juices which you can buy at a store. You want to avoid juices with high acidic content, added sugars, and pulp. Drinking juices with pulp causes your metabolism to start back up, bringing back all of those difficult-to-deal-with hunger pangs.

For a great resource on fasting, one of our fasting heroes, the late, great Bill Bright, compiled an entire fasting guide found here.

Smoothie Fast (Liquids-Only)

A smoothie fast allows you to still get all the necessary nutrients you need to function, just in liquid form. You still deprive yourself the pleasure of chewing and eating solid foods. Smoothie fasts allow you to still get lots of servings of fruits, vegetables, protein powders, and whatever else you choose to include in your fast.

Daniel Fast

The Daniel Fast is the most well-known type of fast and is done according to the pattern revealed in Daniel 1:12 and Daniel 10:2-3. On this type of fast, you will be able to still fulfill all of your life’s requirements while denying yourself some of your typical diet’s pleasures. This type of fast is very healthy for your body as well. A Daniel Fast is essentially a vegan eating plan with more restrictions. It is a plant-based diet where the only beverage is water. You can read more about the Daniel Fast here.

Media Fast

If you are unable (or do not feel led by the Lord) to do any of the food-related fasts, consider doing a social media, video game, or movie (Netflix or other streaming service) fast. In 2018, the average American spent 1 hour and 57 minutes on social media every day. It takes only about 71 hours to read the entire Bible at an out-loud reading rate. If the average American replaced their time spent on social media with reading the Bible, they would be able to read the entire Bible in 37 days!

Other Types of Fasts

For 40 days, you could fast a certain favorite food, coffee, or one thing that you usually spend time doing. You can be creative. Ask the Lord what He would want you to fast during these upcoming 40 days.


*With water-only, juice, and smoothie fasts, consider taking a few days before your fast to detox your body in order to prepare it for your liquid fast. You can find more tips to prepare for your fast as compiled by our friends at IHOPKC here.

Regardless of which type of fast you choose, in place of your normal eating (or social media) times, set aside much time to pray and read the Word. Fasting creates a vacuum in your soul. Fill that void by feasting on God during your fast. When you would have gone to social media, pray. When you would have eaten a meal, feast on God’s Word. When you would have gone to a favorite food for comfort, go to God for comfort.

Our hope is that these options have given you a faith and confidence that there is a type of fast that you can do! As you choose your fast, we look forward to you joining us for the 40-day Global Jesus Fast. God Bless!


Lou Engle Ministries exists to mobilize fasting and contending prayer, to envision and empower Stadium Christianity, and to mobilize justice prayer movements into the nations of the earth. 


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