A quick resource guide
prayer + Fasting
“58:6 Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?..8Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard…11And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” ~ Isaiah 58:6/8/11 ESV
Everyone of importance in the Bible seemed to practice 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.
Here is a great resource from Gospel Coalition on Fasting if you want to read more on “why,” we fast.
3 FASTING TYPES
Drink only liquids (you establish the number of days)
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 in this: Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food. (i.e. -bread/chocolate/etc.,)
Eat no meat, no sweets, and no bread. Drink water and juice. Eat fruits and vegetables.
“1The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” ~ Psalm 23 ESV
“8We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 ESV
HOW TO START
Be specific. Why are you fasting? Do you need direction, healing, restoration of your marriage or family issues? Are you facing financial difficulties? Are you asking God to heal someone? Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance.
Confess your sins to God. Ask God 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 worldly desires that may try to hinder you (Romans 12:1-2).
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, Bible study and seeking God.
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.
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 mindset on seeking God’s face.
Don’t overeat when the time comes to end your fast. Begin eating solid food gradually; eat small portions or snacks.