Digital Fast

A Guide to Fast Our Digital Devices

Why a Digital Fast?

Through this season of Lent, we are corporately engaging with the practice of fasting. Together, for 40 days, we are challenging ourselves to fast from our digital devices.

Lent is a significant time in the Christian Liturgical calendar. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, this is an opportunity for us as a congregation to prepare our hearts and minds as we fix our eyes on Jesus through this fasting practice.

As we abstain from media, this Digital Fast is meant to help us silence the noise and distractions of our digital devices so that we can pursue greater intimacy with Jesus. The result being to get our spirituality into our bodies. Moreover, this fast is meant to reset our nervous system, help us bring greater awareness to how we relate to our digital devices, and see how we can be more present to God and to those around us.

Why do we fast during Lent?

Fasting is a great practice to keep year round, and at Reality, we encourage our church to fast once a week. Lent is a particularly special season in which we are unified with other Christians around the world and across time to practice fasting together.

How to participate in this Digital Fast

We encourage our whole community to prayerfully consider participating in one of the two fasting options: a full digital fast or a modified fast. No matter the option chosen, we believe that it will be life-giving through this season.

Option 1: Full Digital Fast

This option involves eliminating screens for personal use and enjoyment and embracing your device purely as a tool for utility. It is important to commit to staying off social media, shopping apps, and any other digital entertainment that distracts you.

Option 2: Modified Digital Fast

In this modified version there is freedom to adjust the parameters of this fast.

Engaging with the Digital Fast

We are excited about what we will discover during this fast, both individually and communally, during this intentional time to abstain from screens and our various devices. As we engage with this fast, it can be expected that it will be difficult at first. This is a detox of sorts, and it will impact the nervous system. 

As we are tempted to grab our phones to scroll on social media, turn on the TV, or check our email, we have some resources to turn to so that we can redirect our attention to Jesus. The season of Lent is unique in the fact that to properly engage in the practice of fasting, one will have to incorporate the other practices of prayer, scripture reading, and Almsgiving.


Recite this prayer in moments where the practice of fasting proves difficult.

Redirect my wandering attention to You, God, even in my distraction and discomfort. Usher me into the peace of Your presence, to be truly known, fed, and satisfied. Heavenly Father, as I disconnect from my device, help me to reconnect with the people in my life. 

In these quiet moments away from the world’s noise, Lord, I seek Your presence. As I draw nearer, let Your love and wisdom fill my heart, guiding my thoughts, words, and actions. In this renewal, help me to see Your hand in all things and to walk more closely with You each day. 

Lord, I confess my need for distraction, entertainment, and my tendency to avoid my feelings, and even You. Jesus, be with me in this moment, and strengthen my spirit, so I may stay present with You. You alone truly satisfy my soul.

Help me, Lord, as I feel the need for distraction found on my phone and social media. Anxiety, fear, and busyness rob me of my true identity and the peace that comes from You alone. Help me turn my attention to You, Lord, to satisfy my desires.

BREAD Reading Guide

Turn to scripture throughout this season of Lent. Our BREAD Reading Guide has scriptures curated to follow us through the liturgical year, specifically through Lent. Each day the readings are meant to give encouragement, hope, and wisdom as we fast. We recommend keeping up with the Reality BREAD reading plan here.


When reaching for the phone or tablet, count the cost, and consider giving alms.

In addition to fasting, another way to engage in Lent is through the giving of alms (donating to the poor). Giving alms is also a practice during the season of Lent in order to not just focus on self-denial (an inward practice), but also to show love to our neighbors and tangibly care for them (an outward practice). 

This year, our Almsgiving Fund supports Mobilize Love and their monthly mobile outreach. Mobilize Love provides support to under-resourced communities in SF to serve its children, families, and residents. They meet physical needs by providing hot-meals, haircuts, new clothing, new shoes, seasonal goods, household necessities, wellness services, and more.

Consider what it looks like to both withhold (fast) and give generously (almsgiving) through these next forty days. 

To participate in Almsgiving, donate to the fund: Almsgiving Fund

How to Prepare

In preparation for Lent, browse through these best practices. These are here to aid in planning for how best to engage with the Digital Fast. Here are some things to consider:


Below are helpful resources meant to aid and encourage in the fasting journey: