How to Fast
What is Fasting
The first time I heard about fasting, I was not a Christian, yet, and my parents mentioned in some other situation and said it was REALLY BAD FOR YOU. But they called it fasting, and I sincerely thought it had something to with moving fast. For those of you who may not know any better than I did… Biblically, it is going without food or water for a prescribed period of time to devote yourself to seeking God or as a means of seeking God. You will often hear of fasting connected to prayer in the expression “PRAYER and FASTING.”
Ways to Fast
- An ABSOLUTE FAST is defined as a fast with no food or water. An absolute fast should be no longer than 3 days. I do NOT recommend you do this fast unless God speaks to you audibly.
- A COMPLETE FAST is defined as only drinking water.
- A JUICE FAST is juice only. If it’s liquids, it’s game. 🙂
- A “DANIEL FAST” is eating only vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc. If it grows on a plant or in the ground, it’s game. Many vegetarians would say this is their ordinary diet.
- A MEDIA FAST – In today’s world, I would add abstaining from the Internet, email, texting, Facebook, TV, movies, game consoles, etc.
The standard disclaimer is: Ask your doctor if this will be safe for you and your health.
Practical Preparation for Fasting
- Hold topics, struggles, and burdens out to the Lord in your mind in prayer. Ask Him what you should focus on during the fast. I have fasted for everything from financial breakthrough, business decisions, ministry decisions, family decisions, breaking strongholds, to simply fasting for greater friendship with God.
- Seek the Lord about this fast. “Lord, what will you give ME grace to during this 21-day fast?”
- Maybe you will be led by God to do 3 days of fruits and vegetables, then 15-days of juice, and another few days of vegetables.
- Maybe you will be led by God to do a 21-day Daniel Fast where all you do is fruits, vegetables, nuts… if it grows it is game… fast.
- Maybe you will be led by God to fast one meal a day.
- Maybe you will simply be led to give up sweets: Desserts, chocolates, candy, etc. Whatever you fast will be a cross to your flesh. 🙂
- Maybe you will be led to do one of the previous with a media fast from TV, Movies, Internet, etc.
- Bottom line is ask God!
- Agree with God about the fast.
- Tell your mind you WILL fast and HOW LONG you will fast.
- “Okay, mind, we are fasting for 21 days…” This helps mentally prepare for it.
- It would not hurt to write a “fasting plan” for each day or each week of the fast.
- On the first day of your fast, consciously surrender yourself to the Lord with a declaration, “Lord, I surrender myself to you in this fast. At the end of it all, I want You, I want whatever it is You have for my life, and I want to do with my life what You desire for my life.”
- On the first day of your fast, open up the fast with a declarative prayer, “I am fasting 21 days for ___________________________.” Be clear on what you are fasting for.
- Keep a journal each day or week to record the things that come to your mind as you fast. Some of it might end up being the word of God.
- You will be tempted to eat. Jesus was and so will you. Prepare yourself for that. Tell yourself each time you are tempted, “I can eat whatever I want AFTER this fast, but for now, I am fasting. I am focused on what I am gaining in the power of God, not what I am losing in some meals or entertainment.”
- Read your Bible when fasting. Read Isaiah 58 about fasting and learn more about the right motives and ways to care for others while fasting.
- Set apart times to pray when fasting.
- If you cannot pray when fasting, know this, fasting is a type of ‘prayer’.
- If you cannot pray much during the fast due to your life’s schedule, God understands all that, and He does not forget on day 20 why you started fasting on day 1.
- Simply re-declare your purpose for fasting each morning, do your fast, and do it each day for the fast.
Do not be concerned with whether you EXPERIENCE much DURING the fast. Many answers come later. Let God be the “Lord of the Fast” and trust Him with the time, meals, and prayers given. Let Him align your heart in this. Some things that you started out declaring a fast for, you may not want after fasting anyway. He often adjusts our priorities as we fast.
This is a fantastic fasting website if you want to learn more about fasting in general: http://www.freedomyou.com