The Basics of Fasting
Discover how to start Fasting
Fasting is abstaining. It’s going without food and drink or something else in your life that you’ll miss. However, it’s not only going without. The goal of Christian fasting is breakthrough in your life which requires prayer. Prayer and fasting go together. Abstaining always serves some greater end and purpose. Christian
fasting is abstaining for the sake of some specific Christian purpose. Without a spiritual purpose, it’s not Christian fasting. It’s just going hungry or without. So why should we fast?
STEP 1: THE WHY (P.S. THIS IS NOT A DIET PLAN)
Why are we fasting? We are hungry for spiritual renewal. We all need a fresh revelation of who God is and when that happens collectively, we experience revival. Ask the Holy Spirit to clarify the specifics of this fast as it applies to your life and our church family.
Through fasting and prayer we humble ourselves before God so the Holy Spirit will awaken our soul, awaken our church and heal our land according to 2Chronicles 7:14. Make this a priority in your fasting.
Fasting requires reasonable precautions. Consult your physician first if you’re doing an intense food fast, especially if you take prescription medication or have a chronic problem. Some people should never fast without professional supervision.
STEP 2: THE WHAT
Pray about the kind of fast you should undertake. Jesus implied that all of His followers should fast (Matthew 6:16-18; 9:14,15). For Him it’s a matter of when believers would fast, not if they will do it. Before you fast, decide the following up front:
• One meal, two meals, 3 meals a day, a week?
• The type of fast God wants you to undertake. Just liquids? Daniel Fast?
Social Media fast? sugar fast? junk food fast? meat fast? entertainment fast?
• How much time each day you will devote to prayer and God’s Word. This goes with fasting.
Making these commitments ahead of time will help you stick with your fast when physical temptations and life’s pressures push you to abandon it.
STEP 3: THE HOW
The very foundation of fasting and prayer is repentance. Here are several things you can do to prepare your heart:
• Ask God to help you make a list of your sins.
• Confess every sin that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind and accept God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
• Seek forgiveness from all whom you have offended, and forgive all who have hurt you (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3,4).
• Make things right as the Holy Spirit leads you.
• Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit according to His command in Ephesians 5:18 and His promise in 1 John 5:14,15.
• Surrender your life fully to Jesus as your Lord and Master; refuse to obey your flesh (Romans 12:1,2).
• Meditate on the attributes of God – His love, sovereignty, power, wisdom,
faithfulness, grace, compassion, and others (Psalm 48:9,10; 103:1-8, 11-13).
• Begin your time of fasting and prayer with an expectant heart (Hebrews11:6).
• Do not underestimate spiritual opposition. Satan sometimes intensifies the natural battle between body and spirit (Galatians 5:16,17).
EVERY DAY ASK YOURSELF:
What did I learn, what must I do, what did I pray today? What is happening in my life? List the miracles.
Food fasts require the following:
• A doctors approval if you have a medical condition.
• Limit your activity.
• Exercise only moderately.
• Rest as much as your schedule will permit.
• Prepare yourself for temporary mental discomforts such as impatience, crankiness, and anxiety. You may get hangry.
• Expect some physical discomforts, especially on the second day. You may have fleeting hunger pains, dizziness, or the “blahs.” Withdrawal from caffeine and sugar may cause headaches. Physical annoyances may also include weakness, tiredness, or sleeplessness.
The first two or three days are usually the hardest. As you continue to fast, you will likely experience a sense of well-being both physically and spiritually. However, should you feel hunger pains, increase your liquid intake.