Fast Facts on Fasting
By Shelly Radic
I am certainly no expert, but I have seen God do extraordinary things when I have answered His call to fast and pray. You might enjoy reading Bill Bright’s book, The Transforming Power of Fasting and Prayer. Much of the information I’m sharing with you is gleaned from this book. Another excellent resource on fasting is Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline.
- Fasting sharpens and sensitizes our spiritual faculties to become more in tune with what God is doing throughout the world and in our own ministry.
- Fasting brings a greater intimacy with and a deeper enthusiasm for God, which will in turn spill over into every other area of our lives.
- Fasting prepares us for a spiritual harvest.
- Fasting assists us in turning from the “things” that daily grab our attention and allows us to focus instead on God.
- Fasting reminds us of our dependence on God.
How to Fast
- Consult your physician before undertaking any form of fast.
- Decide how you want to fast. You can fast for a month, a day, a meal, a specific food or even from an activity.
- Consider following a “juice fast” instead of a total fast. Christian nutritionist Pamela Smith recommends drinking 12 ounces of juice at mealtime and six ounces of juice every two hours between meals. Choose a variety of sugar-free and salt-free juices.
- Drink 2-3 quarts of cool or lukewarm water throughout the day to prevent dehydration. Herbal teas and vegetable broth can be used as well.
- Dedicate as much time as possible to communing with God: pray, listen to God, read God’s Word, worship God.
- As your stomach reminds you of your hunger, use that signal to remind you to pray.
- Ask God to give you the strength and discipline to complete your fast. You may need to do this several times during your fast.
A Few Verses on Fasting
And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. 1 John 5:14-15
Focus on praise. Praise reminds us of the awesomeness of God.
Focus on confession. Confession allows us to stand clean before God before we present our petitions.
Focus on thanksgiving. Thanksgiving allows us to thank God for all He has done. It reminds us of what God can accomplish.
Focus on intercession. Intercession allows us to bring our petitions before God.
"Fasting helps us tear down the box we’ve put Him in - as well as the box we have put ourselves in - thereby helping us find new ways to worship Him and submit to Him on a higher level." Bill Bright