Beginners Guide to Fasting
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.
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 OT 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).
1. Full Fast.
Drink only liquids (you establish the number of days)
2. Partial Fast.
A partial fast is from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm or from sun up to sundown. You can select from three types of fasting: Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food. (Chocolate)
3. The Daniel Fast.
Eat no meat, no sweets, and no bread. Drink water and juice. Eat fruits and vegetables.
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.
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. 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. Remember to replace that time with prayer and Bible study.
4. Deciding How Long.
You may fast as long as you like. Most can easily 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.
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. Pray as often as you can throughout the day. Get away from the normal distractions as much as possible and keep your heart and mindset on seeking God’s face.
6. How to End.
Don’t overeat when the time comes to end your fast. Begin eating solid food gradually; eat small portions or snacks.
Join Life Church Staff for 2023 Prayer and Fasting
January 8th- Launch Sunday- “Plan to Pursue”
January 9th- Auditorium Prayer 8-9am, 12pm-1pm
January 10th- Auditorium Prayer 8-9am, 12pm-1pm
January 11th- Auditorium Prayer 8-9am, 12pm-1pm
January 12th- Auditorium Prayer 8-9am, 12pm-1pm
January 13th- Auditorium Prayer 8-9am, 12pm-1pm
January 15th- Sunday- “Plan to Pursue”
January 16th-Auditorium Prayer 8-9am, 12pm-1pm
January 17h- Auditorium Prayer 8-9am, 12pm-1pm
January 18th- Auditorium Prayer 8-9am, 12pm-1pm
January 19th- Auditorium Prayer 8-9am, 12pm-1pm
January 20th– Auditorium Prayer 8-9am, 12pm-1pm
January 22nd- Sunday- “Plan to Pursue”
January 23rd– Auditorium Prayer 8-9am, 12pm-1pm
January 24th- Auditorium Prayer 8-9am, 12pm-1pm
January 25th- Auditorium Prayer 8-9am, 12pm-1pm
January 26th- Auditorium Prayer 8-9am, 12pm-1pm
January 27th– Auditorium Prayer 8-9am, 12pm-1pm
January 29th- Sunday- “From Fasting to Feasting” Breakfast together
• Spotify Playlist: Prayer Room by Life Church – Hartselle
• Live in the Prayer Room by Jeremy Riddle
• Love Note by UPPERROOM
• Faith of My Father by Steffany Gretzinger
• Arbor by UPPERROOM (Instrumental)
• Without Words: Synesthesia by Bethel Music (Instrumental)
• Instrumental Albums by William Augusto
• Reflections by Highlands Worship (Instrumental)
• Prayer First app developed by Church of the
Highlands. This incredibly useful resource
contains information about prayer and fasting,
guided prayer tours, devotionals, and more.