WHAT IS FASTING?
Fasting is giving up food or another source of personal gratification for a determined period of time in order to focus on God. Fasting allows us to take our focus and our reliance off earthly things to focus and rely on God.
Fasting is powerful when it is combined with other spiritual disciplines: prayer and Bible reading.
When we deny our physical needs, we feed the spiritual and grow closer to God. Biblical fasting heightens our awareness of God’s presence and power, feeds our faith and empowers our spirit. Fasting opens the door to the supernatural power of God in our lives.
This spiritual discipline is a physical way for uis to slow down, tell God how much we need Him, listen to what He has to say, and then act on how He leads me.
You can pray and fast for a number of reasons: to dedicate the year to God, increase faith, family and financial breakthrough, guidance, spiritual breakthrough, deliverance, salvation, healing and more.
You may choose to make a plan for regular fasting throughout the year. For example: one day a month, one meal a week, etc. There may also be unexpected times when you feel led to fast.
DECIDING WHAT TYPE OF FAST
The type of fast you go on is between you and God. You could go on a full fast in which you only drink liquids, or you may desire to fast like Daniel, who abstained from sweets and meats, and the only liquid he drank was water. It is important that the fast you choose will physically challenge you, but is also realistic based on your fasting experience, physical and medical needs.
Remember to replace that time with prayer and Bible study.
Example options for fast.
• Full fast – water or fruit juice only
• Fast for a meal (pray instead)
• Daniel fast – partial fast
• Abstain from a certain activity
WHAT TO EXPECT
When you fast your body detoxifies, eliminating toxins from your system. This can cause mild discomfort such as headaches and irritability during withdrawal from caffeine and sugars.Naturally, you will have hunger pains.When you feel hunger pains, spend time praying or reading the Bible. Limit your activity. 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. Pray often throughout the day.Get away from the normal distractions as much as possible and keep your heart and mind set on seeking God.
HOW TO END
Don’t overeat when the time comes to end your fast. Begin eating solid food gradually; eat small portions or snacks.God will honour your best. You may want to include a combination of fasts. For example,you may want to participate in full fast for 1-3 days and then continue with a Daniel fast.
THE DANIEL FAST
The Daniel Fast is longer than one day. These men fasted for tendays.The Daniel Fast is a partial fast. Only vegetables and water (nomeat and junk foods).
GUIDELINES FOR DANIEL FAST
Foods We May EatWhole Grains: Brown Rice, Oats, BarleyLegumes: Dried Beans, Pinto Beans,Split Peas, Lentils, Black EyedPeasFruits: Apples, Apricots, Bananas, Blackberries, Blueberries, Boysenberries, Cantaloupe, Cherries, Cranberries, Oats, Figs, Grapefruit, Grapes, Guava, Honeydew Melon, Kiwi, Lemons, Limes, Mangoes, Nectarines, Papayas, Peaches, Pears, Pineapples, Plums, Prunes, Raisins, Raspberries, Strawberries, Tangelos, Tangerines, WatermelonVegetables: Artichokes, Asparagus, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chili Peppers, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Garlic, Gingerroot, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Mushrooms,Mustard Greens, Okra, Onions, Parsley, Potatoes, Radishes, Rutabagas, Scallions, Spinach, Sprouts, Squashes, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress, Yams, Zucchini Seeds, Sprouts
Foods to Avoid
Meat, White Rice, Fried Foods, Caffeine, Carbonated Beverages, Foods Containing Preservatives or Additives, Refined Sugar, Sugar Substitutes, White Flour and All Products Using It, Margarine, Shortening, High Fat Products
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
CAN CHILDREN FAST?
If children would like to fast or if you want to participate in a family fast, you could consider giving up dessert, soft drinks or lollies together. You may also choose to give up television and spend that time instead doing family devotions or discussing Bible stories.
I HAVE A MEDICAL CONDITION. CAN I STILL FAST?
It is important you consult your doctor before starting a fast. If your medical condition does not allow you to fast food, you could fast something else (such as television) and use that time instead for prayer and Bible study.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I START FASTING, BUT CANNOT COMPLETE IT?
Any time fasting and seeking God is valuable. If you cannot complete a fast you could try modifying the type or length of a fast next time.
CAN I EXERCISE WHILE FASTING?
It is best to consult your doctor about fasting and exercise. If you are doing a complete fast, moderate exercise might be more appropriate than a high level of exercise. It is important you have adequate rest while fasting.
I HAVE A PHYSICALLY DEMANDING JOB. CAN I STILL FAST?
If you have a physically demanding job, you may consider doing a partial fast, rather than a complete fast, so you are able to still perform your duties.
WHAT ABOUT JUICE?
Juice fasts are often done with broth also. You can even buy powdered broths to make up as you go now. Broth provides so many important minerals.