1. Total/Complete Fasts


These fasts are characterized as being done without taking in any food or liquids. It is the truest method of fasting by technical definition. Most physicians warn against this type of fasting citing that our bodies require a certain amount of water daily to function properly.

While these types of fasts are indeed a jolt to the system, to say the least, they are also highly beneficial spiritually, when done in conjunction with the leading of Holy Spirit. Note that Jesus’, Moses’, and Elijah’s intense 40 day fasts without food or water were prompted by the Lord. They didn’t embark on such strenuous and possibly physically damaging fasts without knowing that God was with them in it.

The bible records Moses’ account as follows:

“So he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights. He neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments”

– Exodus 34:28


Shorter fasts of this sort are recorded in scripture as well.


“Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish. 

-Esther 4:16 ESV

Complete Fasts are found in Matthew 4:2 (Jesus), Deuteronomy 9:9-18 (Moses), 1 Kings 19:8 (Elijah), Esther 4:16 (Corporate Jewish Fast) among other passages as well.

Again the participants are recorded as eating and drinking nothing. These fasts are also recorded as being done at varying lengths. Scripturally they are as short as 3 days and as long as 40 days. Typically modern day participants of this form of fasting will drink water as a part of their fasting regimen.

Note: Complete fasts deprive the body of all outside sources of energy and hydration (unless drinking water). Careful planning and prayer will have to go done before attempting a complete fast of significant length (over 5 days).





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