A Guide to
Everyone of importance in the Bible practiced fasting: Moses, David, Elijah, Esther, Daniel, Anna, Paul, Jesus, just to name a few. When Jesus taught on fasting, He would say “When you fast” not “If you fast”. He assumed that we would fast. We were created with fasting, think about it, if you sleep 8 hours a day, then you are sleeping 1/3 of your life. If you live, say, 75 years, that’s 25 years asleep, or 9,125 days. When you sleep, you are fasting, that’s why morning meal is called breakfast – its when you break your fast.
Fasting is abstaining from food for spiritual reasons.
BENEFITS OF FASTING:
1. Helps us overcome the calamities of life.
Fasting is the Biblical way to humble ourselves (Psalm 35:13; 69:10). Esther fasted when faced with danger (Esther 4:16). Ezra fasted for protection (Ezra 8:21-28). Jehoshaphat fasted in the time of the invasion of the confederated armies of Canaanites and Syrians (2 Chronicles 20:3).
2. Renews our connection with God.
JESUS said that His disciples will fast when He is gone (Mark 2:20). When we fast, we get our hunger back for the presence of GOD.
3. Empowers us to fulfill God’s calling in our life.
Most of the people in the Old Testament fasted in a crisis; JESUS fasted for HIS calling. We should not fast only during problems, but also for our purpose. Anna was fasting for the coming of the redemption of Israel. (Luke 2:37).
4. Defeats the devil.
Once, the disciples of JESUS could not cast out a demon. JESUS said, This kind does not leave, but by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21). Fasting helps to break the bonds of wickedness, undo heavy burdens, and empower us to break every yoke (Isaiah 58:6).
We should not fast only during problems, but also for our purpose.
1. Twenty-four hour fast: This fast lasts from sunset to sunset. Abstain from solids.
6 pm - 6 pm Ex: Monday 6 pm -Tuesday 6 pm
2. Partial fast (12-hour): Abstain from pleasant foods. Partake only of clear broth and water, OR give up one meal a day for prayer. (See Daniel 1:8-16; 10: 2,3.)
6 am - 6 pm
3. Three-day Fast: Total abstinence of food for three days (See Esther 4:16). Water, clear broth and herbal teas are acceptable.
72 hours Ex: Monday 12 noon – Thursday 12 noon
4. Extended Fast (3-day, 7-day, 21-day or 40-day Fasts):
Before an extended Fast, it is recommended that you stop drinking caffeine and using caffeine products. Please exclude rich foods from your diet also.
Those new to Fasting should start with missing one meal a day and work up to a 12-hour and 24-hour Fast before attempting any Extended Fast.
Members taking medication or Diabetic should consider a partial Fast, unless otherwise advised by personal Physician. Please consult your physician before attempting a Fast longer than 12 hours. Please use sound judgement and Fast as you are led by the Holy Spirit.
HOW TO BEGIN:
1. Start With a Clear Goal.
Be specific. Why are you fasting? Do you need direction, healing, restoration of your marriage or family issues? Are you facing financial difficulties? Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance.
2. Preparing Spiritually. Preparing emotionally.
Confess your sins to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of weakness. Forgive all who have offended you and ask forgiveness from those you may have offended. Surrender your life fully to JESUS CHRIST and reject the worldly desires that try to hinder you (Romans 12:1-2).
3. Deciding What to Fast.
The type of fasting you choose is up to you. Remember to replace that time with prayer and Bible study.
4. Deciding How Long.
You may fast as long as you like according to the dictates of the Holy Spirit. Some can fast from one to three days, but you may feel the grace to go longer, even as much as 21 to 40 days. Use wisdom and pray for guidance. Beginners are advised to start slow.
5. What to
Expect. Preparing Physically.
When you fast, your body detoxifies and eliminates toxins from your system. This can cause mild discomfort such as headaches and irritability during withdrawal from caffeine and sugars. And naturally, you will have hunger pains. Limit your activity and exercise moderately. Take time to rest. Fasting brings about miraculous results. You are following JESUS’ example when you fast. Spend time listening to praise and worship music. Pray as often as you can throughout the day. Get away from the normal distractions as much as possible and keep your heart and mind set on seeking GOD'S face.
* Used with permission of hungrygen
If you yield to hunger and eat during your Fast, Do not impose condemnation on yourself. Repent to the LORD and start over.