Q and A on Fasting
Q: How should I fast?
A: Start with a clear goal. Why are you fasting? Do you need guidance, healing, restoration of marriage or family issues? Are you facing financial difficulties? Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Pray daily and read the Bible. Fasting brings about miraculous results. You are following Jesus? example when you fast.
Q: What should I fast?
A: That is up to you. It may be a full fast in which you drink only liquids, or you may desire to fast like Daniel and eat no sweet breads, no meat and nothing but water to drink. Perhaps you only want to eat vegetables. If nothing else, you can fast watching television or anything else which would be a sacrifice from you normal day to day activities. Remember to replace that time with prayer and Bible study.
Q: How long should I fast?
A: You may fast as long as you like. Most people can fast easily from 1-3 days, with some mild discomfort, but you can extend your fast to 21 days or even 40 days! Use wisdom and prayer for guidance. Beginners are advised to start slow.
Q: Isn’t fasting supposed to be private?
A: Most of the fasts mentioned in the Bible were public fasts called by the priests, but Jesus gave us the model for private fasts in Matthew 6:16-18; 9:14, 15.
Q: How do I prepare myself to fast?
A: Confess your sins to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of weakness. Forgive all who have offended you and ask for forgiveness from those who you may have offended. (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3,4) Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ and reject the worldly desires that try to stop you. (Romans 12:1, 2)
Prepare yourself physically. If you have health concerns, consult your doctor prior to fasting and explain what you plan to do. This is especially important if you take prescription medications of have a chronic ailment. Some people should never fast without professional supervision. While on your fast, limit your activity and exercise only moderately. Take time to rest. Be ready for some physical discomforts especially early in the fast. Your body is detoxifying and you may be having withdrawal from caffeine and sugars. You may have headaches, hunger pains and even become irritable! Spend time listening to praise and worship, pray as often as you can throughout the day. Get away from the normal distractions as much as possible and keep your heart and mind seeking God’s face.
End your fast slowly. Don’t overeat when the time comes to end your fast. Begin eating solid foods gradually and eat smaller portions or snacks until your body is re-accustomed to eating solid foods.