PRACTICAL TIPS FOR FASTING
The Purpose of Fasting:
Fasting is described simply as a discipline that the Bible calls us to do to neglect our flesh of food and to use the time that we would normally be eating to give our hearts some extra time, attention, and devotion to seeking Jesus. People can also fast from other things such as: watching TV, social media, exercise, or anything that is a normal part of their routine in order to set aside extra time to seek the Lord. We see many places in Scripture where the Lord blessed His people radically as they approached Him in prayer and fasting. Jesus said that fasting should be a regular part of the Christian’s life. Fasting helps build spiritual discipline and increases our sensitivity to hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit.
If you have never tried fasting,
we recommend that you start small.
Don’t go from never having fasted to attempting a week-long fast. Start with one meal a day and perhaps gradually move to two meals a day, and then a full day.
Plan what you’ll do instead of eating.
Fasting isn’t merely an act of self-deprivation, but a spiritual discipline for seeking more of God’s fullness. Without a purpose and plan, it’s not biblically based fasting; Have a plan in place for seeking the Lord during the times that you would normally be eating. Create a prayer list for the week of things you want to pray for each day.
Find a quiet place to pray and seek the Lord.
A key to seeking the Lord is freeing ourselves from things that can so easily distract us. During this week, find a few places where you can go and talk to the Lord and meditate upon His Word. And remember, part of prayer is listening, being still, and allowing the Lord to speak to your heart!
Drink lots of water!
No matter what type of fast you choose, it is important to drink enough water. During a fast, it is recommended to drink a total of eight 8 oz glasses of water per day.
TYPES OF FASTS
I. Partial Fast
This consists of giving up a part of your regular diet for a time.
Daniel 10:3, “I did not eat any tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth, nor did I use any ointment at all, until the entire three weeks were completed.”
II. Complete Fast
Many people skip breakfast and/or lunch, then take dinner during their fast.
III. Total Food Fast
This often consists of only drinking water and juices for a fast. No food.
IV. Total Fast – No Food or Juice
This consists of only drinking water. It is essential to drink water.
V. Fast from Something Other Than Food
Fasting from food is not necessarily for everyone. Some health conditions keep even the most devout person from the traditional course. However, fasting is not limited to abstaining from food. As Martyn Lloyd-Jones once said, “Fasting should really be made to include abstinence from anything which is legitimate in and of itself for the sake of some special spiritual purpose.”
If the better part of wisdom for you, in your health condition, is to not go without food, consider fasting from television, computer, social media, or some other regular enjoyment that would then bend your heart toward a greater enjoyment of Jesus.