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I was just meeting with someone last week who mentioned that her church is doing a 21 day focus on prayer and fasting. She's the children's ministry director so she'll be looking for ways to help the children engage in this all church endeavor. Have you come across something or developed something to help kids learn about and experience the spiritual habit of fasting? By fasting, I don't necessarily mean fasting from food, but abstaining from something for a specific period of time for the sake of seeking God more fully. I haven't come across anything specific on this topic--your ideas would be helpful!  


I am a sixth grade teacher and a few months ago I led my students in a poverty awareness activity that involved a form of fasting.  This is how it worked:

For one month I had my students consider giving up something they were used to in order to have a better understanding of others living in poverty.  It was up to them to decide the duration and the extent of their "fast."  Incidentally, I did not call this activity "fasting" until after the month was completed.  At that time, I showed them the connection between what they had given up and the traditional food-related fasting.

Choices of duration: one day, one week, one month

Choice of fast: 

Sleep on the floor or sleep without a pillow   [having a bed and a pillow is normal to us but not to every child in the world]

Use bar soap to wash your hair  [In North America, our soaps are specialized, but in areas of poverty, bar soap becomes versatile]

Watch no television or use no device  [Electricity and ready entertainment are not available 24/7 around the world]

Drink only water (not juice, milk, pop)   [Imagine if you had to boil that water first...]

Eat no dessert or snacks after supper  [Three meals a day plus grazing on snacks is not typical around the world]

Wear a shirt that is too small or too big for you  [When you're poor you wear hand-me-downs until you can afford something better]

Wear the same outfit (you are allowed to wash it in between)   [Wearing the same thing every day will help you appreciate your closet full of clothes]

Every student chose to participate.  As a teacher I modeled wearing the same outfit for the month.  Maybe some of these ideas can be useful to others.

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