40 Days of Prayer

A Guide to Fasting

Why should we fast? Jesus fasted and instructed us to do so as well. Fasting reminds us of our dependence upon God and his grace and helps us to develop intimacy and fellowship with God, spending more time in prayer.

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What is fasting?

Fasting is a spiritual discipline that Jesus taught us. You can find biblical evidence for fasting in Matthew 6:16-18 and Matthew 9:14-15.

In our modern culture fasting is one of the most neglected means of grace, but it is a way by which the Holy Spirit enables believers to receive Christ and the benefits of redemption and to see as God sees.

The New Testament word which is translated as “fasting” literally means one who has not eaten, one who is empty. Fasting is a physical self-emptying that connects us with Christ and opens our hearts to his grace.

John Wesley practiced a weekly fast from sundown on Thursday to sundown on Friday. He refrained from eating food while drinking water and tea during the day. On Friday evening he broke the fast with a light meal (broth, bread, and water or tea). During the fast Wesley spent much of the time in prayer and reading Scripture.

How does fasting work?

Three types of fast are generally recognized: normal, in which there is no intake of food for a prescribed period of time, though there may be an intake of liquids; partial, in which the diet is limited, though some food is allowed; and absolute, in which there is total abstinence from food and liquids in all forms.

If you have a physical condition that is not conducive to this kind of fasting you can do another kind of fasting known as abstinence. Refrain from eating a favorite food for a time. When you miss the food or drink or habit, take time to pray. This is the type of fasting many do during the season of Lent.

Our fasting plan

5 Sundays of Congregational Fasting during the “40 days of Prayer”

As you seek the Spirit during this time of discernment, we invite you to fast for five Sundays during the “40 Days of Prayer.” On these days, we, as a church body, will fast from sundown on Saturday to sundown on Sunday. You are welcome to do normal, partial, or absolute fast depending on your health. Remember, your fast actually begins the evening before these dates, at sundown.

The dates for fasting are:

  • September 4
  • September 11
  • September 18
  • September 25
  • October 2

On these Sundays, Covenant’s facility will be open from 6-9a (come and go). We invite you to visit The Summit gathering space where you will find a prayer guide for each fasting Sunday and can spend time with the Lord.



832.868.4575 (español)

8555 Creekside Green Drive,
The Woodlands, Texas 77389

Covenant Methodist Church

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Take your next step at covenantconnects.life our connection hub and one-stop shop for life at Covenant.

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832.868.4575 (español)


8555 Creekside Green Drive,
The Woodlands, Texas 77389

the connects life center

Take your next step at covenantconnects.life our connection hub and one-stop shop for life at Covenant.