Guidance on Fasting
Fasting is voluntarily going without food or any other regularly enjoyed, good gift from God for the sake of some spiritual purpose. It is markedly counter-cultural in our consumerist society. One significant part of fasting is the time it creates for prayer and meditation on God’s word. The time we would normally spend eating is given over for prayer.
- Fasting and prayer can help us hear from God.
- Fasting and prayer can reveal our hidden sin.
- Fasting and prayer can strengthen intimacy with God.
- Fasting and prayer can teach us to pray with right motives.
- Fasting and prayer can build our faith.
There are different types of fasts.
- full fast – no food just water.
- Partial fast – fasting during daylight hours but having an evening meal of basic food – nothing too rich and no alcohol.
- Meat fast – no meat or fish during the time of the fast
- Juice fast – drinking only juice and water.
- Daniel Fast – eating no meat, no sweets, and no bread. Drink water and juice. Eat fruits and vegetables.
Fasting from food is not necessarily for everyone. Some health conditions keep even the most devout from the traditional course. However, fasting is not limited to abstaining from food. As Martyn Lloyd-Jones 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.”
So, for health issues, if fasting from food is not possible, consider fasting from television, computer, social media, or some other regular enjoyment that take your mind from prayer and away from Jesus.
When the fast is at an end, don’t overeat. Begin eating solid food gradually; eat small portions or snacks.
- Fast from dinner to dinner
- Drink water constantly.
- Use your hunger or cravings as prompts to pray.
- Be open to prayer “tangents.” – thoughts that fly into your mind – word from God and write them down.
- Expect spiritual and physical opposition.