Should I Fast During Lent?

March 15, 2022 | Written by Hannah Eads

For many, participating in Lent means fasting from something. The purpose of fasting is to give up something that is enjoyable, not as a punishment, but instead to pay more attention to God and make space to hear from Him. 

Fasting from things that bring comfort, things that are unnecessary or things that are distracting and numbing can be a great way to remind us, many times a day, to go to God for His comfort and allow Him to have space to work. 

Below are a few thoughts and ideas to help you in your decision making about fasting during Lent. These questions and ideas are all adapted from Erin Moon’s Lent Guide, Memento Mori.

What gives you comfort?

Have you been turning to something else instead of God? Consider fasting from:

  • your favorite tv show or that game on your phone
  • coffee, soda, or that favorite beverage
  • fast food or that delicious dessert

What is a distraction? 

If you’re a part of the social media hamster wheel, maybe Lent is the perfect time to quiet that distraction in your brain and heart. Consider fasting from:

  • social media
  • news feeds
  • all those streaming services

What is unnecessary?

Do you find yourself filling gaps of time by mindlessly scrolling on social media, watching tv, or seeking instant gratification through impulse buying? Consider fasting from:

  • purposeless scrolling
  • mindless screen-watching
  • unnecessary shopping

None of the things above are bad; it’s what we do with them that matters. What’s something that if you didn’t have it, or do it, you would miss?

Fasting from something can also create space for us to add something else in. Thus, Lent can also be a time of feasting. Here are some things you can feast on during this season that will focus your attention on Jesus…

What makes me uncomfortable? 

What gets you out of your comfort zone in a healthy way? Consider feasting on:

  • volunteering
  • striking up spiritual conversations with those in your life who aren’t believers
  • actively disengaging from gossip

What makes me feel aware? 

What’s something that heightens your awareness to God working around you? Consider feasting on:

  • intentionally setting aside time to spend in prayer
  • journaling
  • memorizing Scripture

What is necessary? 

Often the things that matter the least are at the mercy of the things that matter the most. Consider feasting on:

  • purposeful time with your family
  • daily time spent in Scripture
  • encouraging words to others

Find even more ways to engage in the season of Lent by checking out our Lenten Experience Guide!

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