How To Prepare
Preparation and training are essential to successful fasting. It is helpful to train the body for a long fast by fasting regularly and gradually increasing the lengths of your fasts. Physical preparation also includes having a medical evaluation to rule out the possibility of any condition that may be aggravated by fasting. It is also essential to prepare spiritually for your fast. To prepare for a longer fast, speak with and Elder who will assist you in the preparation.
How To Fast
We know the prospect of going without food for and extended period of time may be of concern to some. But there are ways to ensure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs so you can remain safe and healthy during your fast.
For an extended fast, we recommend water and fruit and vegetable juices. The natural sugars in juices provide energy, and the taste and strength are motivational to continue your fast. Try to drink fresh juices if possible. Off the shelf products are acceptable and beneficial as long as they are 100% juices with no sugar or other additives.
If you are beginning a juice fast, there are certain juices you may wish to avoid and certain ones that are especially beneficial. Because of their acid contents, most nutritionists do not advise orange or tomato juice (these are better tolerated if mixed with equal portions of water). The best juices are fresh carrot, grape, celery, apple, or cabbage. They also recommend “green drinks” made from green leafy vegetables because they are excellent “detoxifiers”.
Results Of Fasting
As a result of fasting and truly seeking God’s face you can expect:
*A new refreshing intimacy with God
*A renewed sense of His presence and love for you
*A sense of humility and awe before God
*A rejuvenated desire to reach those around you
Millions around the world who practice fasting and prayer tell of how it changes their life, how their personal witness to others is impacted, how those around them are drawn to the Lord, how dramatic reconciliation’s occur, even how people are miraculously healed!
A renewed closeness with God and a greater sensitivity to spiritual things are usually the results of a fast. But do not be disappointed if you do not have a “mountaintop experience” as some do. Many people who have successfully completed fasts tell of feeling a nearness to God that they have never before known, but others who honestly sought His face report no particular outward results at all. To others, their fast was physically, emotionally, and spiritually grueling, but they knew they had been called by God to fast, and they completed the fast unto Him as an act of worship and God honored that commitment.
Types of Fast
Fasts during which a person abstains from all food and drink, including water.
Note: Due to the dangers of dehydration, absolute fasts are not recommended for extended periods of time. (Esther 4:13-17)
Fasts during which a person eliminates some or all foods from their diet. The juice fast is particularly popular. (Remember that it is important to take in plenty of liquids to remain safe and healthy) The Bible itself includes examples of these different types of fasts. A type of partial fast is described in the book of Daniel. Although the water fast seemed to be the custom of the prophet, there was a three-week period in which he only abstained from “delicacies) meat, and wine (Daniel 10:3) (Daniel 1:8-15).
Who should not water fast: Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, anyone diabetic or hypoglycemic, those with liver or kidney problems, and anyone who is malnourished. (For these folk fasting from a particular favorite food would be and alternative option)
The other fasts mentioned in the Bible are the “absolute” and “supernatural absolute” fasts. These are total fasts – no food (solid or liquid) and no water. Paul went on an absolute fast for three days following his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:9). Moses and Elijah engaged in what must be considered a supernatural absolute fast of forty days (Deut. 9:9) (1 Kings 19:8) (Ex. 34:28).
Many powerful Christians personally practice and recommend water and juice fasting, especially if you are going to fast for and extended period of time. This type of fast will provide you with more energy than absolute or water only fasts and still lead you into the humbling experience of denying yourself for solid food that you can chew.
Water-only fasts that last for more than several days need to be undertaken with complete rest and under medical supervision because of the extreme danger of over detoxification, breakdown of vital body tissues, and loss of electrolytes.
In terms of length, there are many types of fasts. Some people fast one meal, some one-day, some three days, some forty days! There is no “formula fast” that is the only “right” way to do things. For the Christian, fasting is about the condition of the heart, not the number of days.
Fast from Food
Start by missing one meal a day
Take time to rest
Expect to feel hungry
Drink plenty of water, diluted fruit juice, herbal tea
Abstain from tea and coffee
Consider fasting one day or part of a day every week
Your motive in fasting must be to glorify God, not to have an emotional experience, not to attain personal happiness. When your motives are right, God will honor your seeking heart and bless your time with Him in a very special way. Fasting is not about what you get out of it, fasting with the right motives is a selfless act of worship and an expression of obedience and love for God.
Fast From TV
*Consider missing a favorite TV or radio program
*Watch no TV for a day
*Only listen to Christian music for a day
*Fast from people
*Half an hour
*Half a day
*Make time in your diary with God
*Drink plenty of water (2 liters or more a day)
*Fruit juice-try to drink fresh juices. The best juices are carrot, grape, celery, apple, or cabbage
*Also try “green drinks” made from green leafy vegetables
*keep off orange and tomato juice
*Fruit juices are “cleansers” and are best taken in the morning
*Vegetable juices are “restorers” and they are best taken in the afternoon
*Do not drink milk because it is a pure food
*Any product containing protein or fat, such as milk or soy-based drinks should be avoided
*Stay away from caffeine such as coffee, tea, or cola. Caffeine is a stimulant
Guideline for Daniel Fast
Whole Grains: Brown Rice, Oats, Barley
Legumes: Dried Beans, Pinto Beans, Split Peas, Lentils, Black Eyed Peas, Butter Beans etc.
Fresh Fruit: All
Avoid-canned fruit full of syrups and added sweeteners…can fruit in their natural juices are okay…but fresh fruit is better
Avoid-adding sugars, cheese and other sauces
Protein: Seeds, Nuts, Sprouts
Liquids: Spring Water, Distilled Water, 100% All Natural Fruit Juices, 100% All Natural Vegetable Juices
Hot liquid-Decaffeinated Herbal Teas are ok
(FOODS TO AVOID)
Foods Containing Preservatives or Additives