Fasting helps us to draw nearer to God. It is a natural discipline for a spiritual purpose. It’s not that God is more willing to speak when we are fasting, but we are more capable of hearing because our attention is off what would normally distract us. God has something He wants to say to us and help us with every day and fasting is a great way to tune in and hear exactly what that is. Remember, your personal fast should be a bit of a challenge, but only you know your body and your options, so it’s important that you pray about this fast, use wisdom and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
FOR THE DURATION OF THE FAST AND SECTION ONE January 8th - 28th -No fast foods -No fried foods
-No pork, beef, or shellfish of any kind (i.e. shrimp, lobster, crab etc.) -No white bread (use wheat bread, Ezekiel bread or whole grain breads as a substitute) -No desserts and no white sugar (sugar substitutes are acceptable) -No carbonated drinks or carbonated water -No caffeine -Drastically limit tv and internet time for entertainment purposes (not necessary to eliminate entirely) -Purpose to make God’s Word and His presence the first and last thing on your mind daily -Commit to not miss a church service (midweek & Sundays ) and arrive on time
SECTION TWO January 15th - 21st -While adhering to the above guidelines begin a PARTIAL FAST of liquids only from 6am until 1pm daily -Spend the additional time in prayer, worship, and/or meditating on the Word of God -Spend a minimum of 30 mins a day in prayer, especially time praying in the Holy Ghost (other tongues) -Evaluate your relationships. Seek to strengthen those that need it and minimize those that aren’t bearing fruit
SECTION THREE January 22nd - 28th -While adhering to the above guidelines, continue your PARTIAL FAST of liquids only from 6am to 3pm daily. -Spend the additional time in prayer, worship, and/or meditating on the Word of God. -Spend a minimum of 45 mins each day in prayer, especially time praying in the Holy
Ghost (other tongues). -Look for at least one opportunity this week to “deal your bread to the hungry” (Isaiah 58:7), giving your food, or the money you would have spent for food, to someone else in need. -Remember to gradually reintroduced food into your system (i.e. fruits, juices, small portions, etc.)
TYPES OF FASTS
CompleteFast: This is liquid only. Typically, water with light juices as an option.
SelectiveFast: This type of fast involves removing certain elements from your diet. Ex: Daniel Fast
PartialFast: Sometimes called the “Jewish Fast”, which involves abstaining from eating any food in the morning and afternoon. This can correlate to specific times of day. Ex: 6am-3pm or sunup to sundown
SoulFast This option is great if you have little to no experience fasting food, if you have any health issues that prevent you from fasting food, or if you wish to refocus certain areas of your life that are not food related but can tend to be distracting/time consuming. Ex: Fasting television or social media Scripture References: Matthew 6:16-18 Matthew 9:14-15 Luke 18:9-14 Nehemiah 9:1-3
TIPS FOR FASTING
1. How To Begin:
Start with a clear goal and be specific. Why are you fasting? Do you need direction, healing, restoration of your marriage or family? Are you facing financial difficulties? Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance, pray daily, and stay in the Word. 2. Prepare Spiritually:
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of weakness that need strengthening. Forgive all who have offended you and ask for forgiveness from those you may have offended. (Mark 11:25, Luke 11:4 & 17:3-4) 3. Corporate Guidelines:
Take the time to understand the corporate guidelines and determine how your normal routines may be impacted by your commitment to fast. Plan to ensure that you are not violating the guidelines unknowingly. 4. Fasting is for YOUR benefit, so do it with GRACE:
“Cheating” on a fast hinders only YOUR spiritual progress and potentially limits YOUR expected results, So, be honest with yourself and commit to as many of the fasting guidelines that you can handle.
Fasting is PERSONAL. Don’t allow others to put you into bondage and also refrain from judging the commitment of those around you by your spiritual standard. If you have a special occasion (birthday, anniversary, etc.) that falls during the time of the fast, it is acceptable to adjust your eating for that time and resume your fasting commitment afterwards, if you so choose.
*The Purpose of fasting is to discipline your flesh, not to leave you miserable or ill. Therefore, please feel free to alter the guidelines according to your tolerance and add a healthy snack at any point if necessary.
5. What To Expect:
When you fast, your body eliminates toxins from your system. This can cause mild discomfort such as headaches and irritability during the withdrawal from caffeine and sugars. Naturally you will have hunger pains. Limit your activity, exercise moderately and take time to rest.
6. How To End:
Don’t overeat when the time comes to end your fast. Begin eating gradually.
Believe that God will do a miraculous work in your life that will translate into miraculous results around you. Keep the switch of faith turned on. God has great things in store for you in all areas of your life.