Questions About Fasting You Need To Know But Won’t Hear In Church

As the year slowly winds out, it is a tradition for many organizations and individuals to take out time in fasting. This act of fasting is done for the purpose of setting oneself ready for the journey ahead in the new year. It is usually a time to refresh, refocus and recalibrate.

Rev. Victor Adeyemi and Bishop Alonge, alongside Rev. Laurie Idahosa of Church Unusual, Benin, took the time to note out some frequently asked questions about fasting on her Instagram page.

Some say to refrain from sex while fasting. Does the “6pm rule” apply to sex like it does food?

Rev. Victor Adeyemi: This is regulated by 1 Corinthians 7.15 and the key rule is ‘mutual consent’. Whatever husband and wife agree together should be it. Whether to abstain totally or apply the ‘6pm’ rule.

Pastor Kingsley Agho: If a fasting ends at 6pm, then the person is at liberty to do due marital duties with their spouse. I think the only case that abstaining from sex applies to is on the basis of a long fast with approval from the spouse. Paul addressed this in some of his letters to the church.

What if a couples decides that forgoing sex is not a part of their fast. They only choose to forgo food. Is their fast less effective, since technically they aren’t fasting from all forms of pleasure?

Rev. Victor Adeyemi: I believe there are benefits to self denial but I believe how much is behind what we do has more to do with the benefits than the intensity of the self denial. Adding forgoing sex does not automatically mean more blessings.

If someone is sick and takes drugs that require food, should they forgo their medication so that they can fast? Or… take it on an empty stomach?

Pastor Kingsley Agho: My advise will be go on fruit fast or do the fast that the body can hold.

Bishop Alonge: Nothing should be by compulsion in the new creation. It should always be an outward manifestation of an inward experience. However, we all place markers on time to help us recalibrate, take stock and revive for the journey ahead. January is a great time to do that because the season is already loaded with anticipation and faith. It is universally accepted as a restart season so many of us take advantage of that added motivation as a leverage. There is also the added dimension of doing this with other brethren, it releases a multiplied level of effectiveness. Corporate fasting achieves a corporate anointing and it’s a great thing to take advantage of. The problem sometimes is that some folk appoint themselves as fasting police and start to judge and attack others and that defeats the whole purpose. So keep your heart in the right place.

blesssings53: Someone who takes medication, I believe should do the fast that will allow them to take medications. Or better still, if they have a relationship with the Holy Spirit, then the Holy Spirit will tell them what they need to do.

Which kind of fast is more effective… a water fast, a fruit fast, a dry fast, a Daniel fast, an information fast or another kind of fast?

Rev. Victor Adeyemi: Answer to this will be better handled by medical experts but from experience and what I’ve read from fasting experts, water fast is the most beneficial health wise because the more rest you give your body from the task of digestion, the more concentration it gives to self repair and healing as God has designed it to do. However, under expert supervision, certain properties in some fruits and vegetables might be helpful in healing. Also, fruits and veggies can supply energy for prayer that a water fast will not give you. I advise divine direction should be sought to decide each time.

Pastor Kingsley Agho: I do not think anyone is more effective than the other. What makes it effective is the level of understanding of Gods word. On the other hand, when one is doing this for other health issues, water is needed to clean out the system why fasting, for weight loss doing a fruit fast works as well as dry fast etc.

How often can one drink water during a fast.

Rev. Victor Adeyemi: Drinking water is very good so your body can flush out toxin during a fast. The frequency should be according to convenience.

What if you are on a fast, and mistakenly taste the food you are cooking just to know if the ingredients are adequate but you didn’t eat the food, does it mean you have automatically broken your fast? Or should one ask God for forgiveness and continue with the fast?

Rev. Laurie Idahosa: Fasting is not legalistic. It is a matter of the heart.

What do you think about night fast? Does God really value it as much as day? It also seems so easy as u really can’t feel hunger since u are fast asleep.

Rev. Victor Adeyemi: Really fasting at night in my opinion is valid although it shouldn’t mean having an early dinner at 5pm. It should mean not eating after regular lunch till the following morning. Sleeping through a so called fast is not a fast.

Why do people have bad breath when they fast?

blesssings53: Politely reject the food. You must not say the reason for why you reject the food.

iam_krissy7: When you fast , its important you drink water(as you would normally). Clean water . Water is cleansing. You cant go too far without drinking water but the body can do without food for a long period. By the time the toxins come up (because you are thirsty, your saliva tries to make up for fluid but is filled with toxins), hence mouth odour. you need water to flush , flush , flush. Bad breath should not be a part of fasting. Water is not food.

How do I handle people offering me food or drinks while I am fasting? Do I tell them why I can’t partake? Doesn’t that make me sound proud?

blesssings53: People have bad breath because there is no activity with our test buds when we fast. It’s a time we try to talk less and focus more on prayers and meditation. And also a period we try not to be defiled through our words or create a room to be defiled by what we hear.

Why fast at all? Is there a difference between fasting in the new testament and fasting in the old? Does fasting move/change God?

wrapagamiarts: If I may, fasting does not move or change the essential character of God, His love, power, mercy or goodness. Fasting changes you, subdues the flesh and heightens the sensitivity of the spirit to receive directions from God. Man’s spirit is God’s candle. As this spirit searches the inward parts

According to one of the comments by @francheska_diva on the essence of fasting:

Firstly, I sincerely believe Fasting is one of the many actions of Worship and Love we can offer to God.. I got this revelation, largely from my fellowship with God. It’s strictly Personal and NOT A DO OR DIE AFFAIR! We fast to seek changes and clear directions from God (although these can also be gotten by simply believing God and prayer)but we sometimes include fasting because we want to stay away from distractions(food, sex, tv and even people) of any kind that could hinder our hearing clearly from God. 


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