21 DAYS OF
We are so excited to start off the new year with 21 Days of Prayer as we get into alignment with what the Lord has in store. Join us January 7th - 28th as we prepare our hearts and connect with God as a church family.
What is fasting?
A biblical fast can be defined as simply abstaining from food for spiritual purposes. It was encouraged and expected by Jesus that believers would fast (Matt. 6:17-18, Matt. 9:15). Many abstain from food, television and other forms of entertainment during this time and spend that time drawing closer to God instead. What makes this time of fasting rich is by using the time to pray, read the Bible and worship God. Simply said – if fasting is not coupled with prayer and Bible reading it’s simply a diet.
Prepare Yourself Physically:
Fasting requires reasonable precautions. Consult your physician first, especially if you take prescription medication or have a chronic ailment. Some persons should never fast without professional supervision. Physical preparation makes the drastic change in your eating routine a little easier so that you can turn your full attention to the Lord in prayer. Do not rush into your fast. Prepare your body. Eat smaller meals before starting a fast. Avoid high-fat and sugary foods. Eat raw fruit and vegetables for two days before starting a fast. Avoid drugs, even natural herbal drugs and homeopathic remedies. Medication should be withdrawn only with your physician’s supervision. Limit your activity. Exercise only moderately. Walk one to three miles each day if convenient and comfortable. Rest as much as your schedule will permit. Prepare yourself for temporary mental discomforts, such as impatience, crankiness, and anxiety. 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.
End Your Fast Gradually
Begin eating gradually. Do not eat solid foods immediately after your fast. Suddenly reintroducing solid food to your stomach and digestive tract will likely have negative, even dangerous, consequences. Try several smaller meals or snacks each day. If you end your fast gradually, the beneficial physical and spiritual effects will result in continued good health.
If you sincerely humble yourself before the Lord, repent, pray, and seek God’s face; if you consistently meditate on His Word, you will experience a heightened awareness of His presence (John 14:21). The Lord will give you fresh, new spiritual insights. Your confidence and faith in God will be strengthened. You will feel mentally, spiritually, and physically refreshed. You will see answers to your prayers. A single fast, however, is not a spiritual cure-all. Just as we need fresh in-fillings of the Holy Spirit daily, we also need new times of fasting before God. A 24-hour fast each week has been greatly rewarding to many Christians. It takes time to build your spiritual fasting muscles. If you fail to make it through your first fast, do not be discouraged. You may have tried to fast too long the first time out, or your may need to strengthen your understanding and resolve. As soon as possible, undertake another fast until you do succeed. God will honour you for your faithfulness.
4 Ways to Fast
As you choose a way to fast, enjoy the closeness you find with God when you set aside time in His presence.
Complete Fast - In this type of fast, you drink only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.
Selective Fast - This type of fast involves removing certain elements from your diet. One example of a selective fast is the Daniel Fast, during which you remove meat, sweets, and bread from your diet and consume water and juice for fluids and fruits and vegetables for food.
Partial Fast - This fast is sometimes called the “Jewish Fast” and involves abstaining from eating any type of food in the morning and afternoon. This can either correlate to specific times of the day, such as 6:00 am to 3:00 pm, or from sunup to sundown.
Soul Fast - This fast is a great option if you do not have much experience fasting food, have health issues that prevent you from fasting food, or if you wish to refocus certain areas of your life that are out of balance. For example, you might choose to stop using social media or watching television for the duration of the fast and then carefully bring that element back into your life in healthy doses at the conclusion of the fast.