TIPS - PHYSICAL
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. DISCLAIMER: These tips were not prepared by a medical professional, and any advice given here is not meant to take the place of medical advice.
1. If you have never fasted before, start slow with either a partial fast (one or two meals a day) or for only one full day.
2. Drink lots of water, herb tea, or juice (juice will help to give you energy and keep your bowels moving). Homemade vegetable soup broth with no fat and little salt is also very energizing and cleansing.
3. It is wise to cease taking tea or coffee a few days before a longer fast, to help prevent the possibility of a caffeine-withdrawal headache.
4. If you are going on a long fast (3 days, a week, or longer) some advise to eat only fresh fruit on the last day before fasting. It is much harder to fast if you overeat just before starting the fast.
5. Go off the fast wisely - it often takes more discipline to come off a fast properly than to actually fast. The first day of eating, after fasting for 3 days to a week, should be fresh fruit and easily digested foods - be very careful with fats or spices which can cause stomach discomfort. If you fast for longer than a week it is advised to consult a good book on fasting.
6. When fasting, one’s energy is obtained from body reserves which are slow in breaking down, instead of from the normal food which is eaten daily. Because of this, people may feel cold when fasting. This can be prevented by wearing extra clothing.
TIPS - SPIRITUAL
1. Expect some attack from the enemy. Discouragement and irritability are two of his weapons - guard against them by maintaining a spirit of praise. It is wise to spend extra time in the word to both enable God to speak to you and to have the word in your heart to use against the enemy as Jesus did.
2. Don’t judge the effectiveness of your prayers by what you feel - sometimes praying while fasting actually seems harder.
3. Realize that fasting is not because you are spiritual, but because you are not spiritual. One often finds that fasting causes the worst in us to come out. This should cause us to see how much more we need the Lord and lead us to cry out more for Him.
MOTIVES FOR FASTING:
(quoted from GOD’S CHOSEN FAST by Arthur Wallis)
1. Am I confident that this desire to fast is God-given? Would He have me undertake a normal or just a partial fast? “Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness.”
2. Are my motives right? Is there any hidden desire to impress others? “Your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
3. What are my spiritual objectives in this fast?
- Personal sanctification or consecration?
- Intercession? Special burdens?
- Divine intervention, guidance, blessing?
- Spirit’s fullness for self or others?
- To loose the captives?
- To stay the divine wrath, bring revival?
- “I press on toward the goal.”
4. Do my objectives tend to be self-centered? Is my desire for personal blessing balanced by genuine concern for others? “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
5. Am I determined above all else to minister to the Lord in this fast? “They were worshipping the Lord and fasting."
- Nehemiah 1:4 By Nehemiah, for the restoration of Jerusalem.
- Nehemiah 1:9 By people of Jerusalem, confessing their sins.
- Esther 4:16 Called by Esther before meeting with the king.
- Psalm 35:13 David on behalf of others who were sick.
- Isaiah 58 The kind of fasting which pleases God.
- Daniel 9:3 Daniel praying for Jerusalem.
- Joel 1:14 After pronounced judgement.
- Joel 2:12 When returning to God with all the heart.
- Matthew 4:2 By our Lord for forty days.
- Matthew 6: 16-18 Not to be practiced as the hypocrites do.
- Matthew 9:14-15 By John’s disciples and the Pharisees.
- Matthew 17:21 Release from spiritual bondage.
- Acts 10:30 By Cornelius when an angel appeared to him.
- Acts 14:23 At the appointment of elders in the churches.
- 2 Corinthians 6:5 An ingredient of the apostolic ministry.