Fasting: How to Begin
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24
It is no secret that denying the flesh is difficult. Paul talks about it in Romans; What we want to do we don’t do and what we don’t want to do, that we do. Fasting may not be easy but the presence of God is more than worth it!
Don’t get so focused on how and what to fast that you lose sight of why you’re fasting. It is a time of denying your flesh and feeding your spirit—pray and read the Word daily!
Get your plan prepared. Be sure you have a clear goal for your fast. Is it direction, restoration of a relationship, healing or financial breakthrough? Moses fasted before receiving the Ten Commandments (Exodus 34:27-38). Hannah fasted and prayed to have a child (1 Samuel 1). Jesus fasted forty days in the wilderness. Why are you fasting?
Get your spirit prepared. Confess your sins to God. Ask the Lord to search your heart and reveal areas of your life that need to change (Psalm 139:23-24).
Get your body prepared. If you have health concerns, consult your doctor. If you have poor eating habits or addictions, this is your chance to create a healthy change. Seek the Lord and get freedom!
Prepare your menu. What you fast is up to you. You do not have to follow any specific diet to join the corporate fast. Some choose a full fast in which they only drink liquids. Others fast like Daniel, abstaining from breads and meats and only drink water. Some people fast their favorite coffee drink, abstain from all sweets, or fast one meal a day. There are many types of fasts. God will honor your best sacrifice.
Remember when you fast, it is common to experience headaches and irritability as your body detoxifies and experiences withdrawals from caffeine and sugar. And naturally, you will feel hunger. Take advantage of these moments as a reminder of why you’re fasting and pause to pray and seek the Lord.
Don’t wait for the perfect time to begin and don’t quit if you stumble. Remember, it is the attitude of a heart sincerely seeking Him to which God responds with a blessing (Isaiah 58:6-9). May God greatly bless you as you begin your fast!