Lent: Day 1 – How to fast

Subject: LENT – DAY 1 – 14TH FEBRUARY 2024

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which falls on February 14, 2024, and ends on Thursday, March 28, 2024.

Lent is a Christian religious observance that lasts for 40 days in commemoration of the time when Jesus Christ fasted for 40 days and was tempted by Satan in the desert (Mark 1:13; Matthew 4:1–11; Luke 4:1–13). 
The duration of Lent is based on the length of time that Jesus, Moses, and Elijah fasted during their ministries.

(The Bible References can be clicked on and link the relevant text)

DAY 1 – 14TH FEBRUARY 2024

HOW TO FAST PROPERLY – the words of Jesus

In Matthew 6:16-18, Jesus gives us an example of how to properly fast. He advises us not to look sad or gloomy like the hypocrites who disfigure their faces to show others that they are fasting. Such people have already received their reward. Instead, when we fast, we should apply oil to our head and wash our face so that we do not look like we are fasting, but only our Heavenly Father, who sees everything in secret. And when we fast in secret, our Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward us.


The practices of praying and fasting had become a form of self-worship. The religious leaders did those acts to be seen and praised by men instead of honouring God and receiving his approval. It is appropriate that right after teaching about proper prayer, Christ focuses on fasting. One can pray without fasting, but one cannot fast biblically without prayer. They go together. Therefore, in one sense, Christ is continuing his teaching on prayer. Fasting means “not to eat.” It is giving up food to focus on seeking God over some matter. It is to be so consumed with this matter that it becomes more important than food. Fasting is a way to enhance our prayer life and our relationship with God. Fasting was a common practice in Israel, but the only required day of fasting was the Day of Atonement. On that day, people were called to “deny” themselves (Lev 16:29, 23:27). During the Lent period, you can choose to deny yourself something that often diverts your attention from God and focus on Jesus instead.

Application Question:

1.    When fasting, it is important to maintain a positive attitude and not appear sad. How do you feel during fasting?

2.    During fasting, it is recommended to keep it a private matter. Why? Is it because fasting is a personal and intimate act that should not be flaunted for personal gain or attention?

3.    When fasting, it is important to maintain a normal routine and not engage in any extravagant practices. What do you think when Jesus advised His disciples to put oil on their heads and wash their faces?

4.    When fasting, we should focus on our relationship with God and not what others think or say about our fasting. Why? Is it the fact that fasting is a personal journey that outside opinions should not influence it?

5.    Fervent prayers should also accompany fasting. While one can pray without fasting, fasting is meant to be done with prayer. What do you think about this statement?


Dear Lord, as I begin my journey towards spiritual growth, please help me to deeply reflect on my old ways and let go of them. May I embrace the new life that comes from You, Amen.

Father, please help me to see this holy season of Lent as an opportunity to renew my spirituality rather than a time of deprivation. Motivate me to reach a new level of experiencing your grace. Amen.

Heavenly Father, please give me a new and broader perspective on my life during this Lenten season. Help me to live with faith and find hope in the face of adversity. Amen.

My soul waits silently for God alone, for He alone is my salvation, rock, and fortress. I shall not be shaken. Amen. (Psalm 61:1-2)

Remember to take all your petitions to the Lord.

Rev Michael Anokye: February 14th 2024

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