Agape 1 Church of Christ

12 Points When Fasting

1. Seek the advice of your physician before you fast.

Make sure you have regular health check-ups and a release from your doctor to go on a fast.

2. Make your commitment and determine the length.

A total fast, also called an Esther fast, is without food and water. This takes special preparation, and grace from God. Don't go beyond three days with this fast.

A water-only fast is especially challenging, but very effective. Depending on weight and metabolism, it is possible for some individuals to fast for forty days on water alone.

A fruit or vegetable juice fast allows a person to enter into fasting but still gives enough energy to function. Most people can do a 40-day juice fast. Out of consideration for their health and metabolism, active individuals and teenagers may opt to use juice and protein drinks to sustain themselves.

A Daniel fast with vegetables and water is good for those carrying a heavy workload. Fasting "meats and sweets" can be done by athletes who can get protein from other food sources.

Seek the Lord beforehand as to the type and duration of the fast. There are no "rules" or formulas as to types of fasts to follow. Fasting is very individual and personal. It has much more to do with "relationship" with God, than with legalism.

3. Have a clear target for prayer focus.

Without a vision (a clear, prophetic prayer goal) the people perish. During a fast, it is good to have four or five prayer goals that are clearly articulated. Write down your vision, so you can run with it. (Habakkuk 2:1-2)

4. Prepare physically.

Two days before you fast, limit your intake of food to fruit and vegetables. Fruit is a natural cleanser and easy to digest. Stop drinking coffee before the fast. Prepare yourself for mental discomforts such as impatience, crankiness and anxiety. Expect physical discomforts. You may experience dizziness, headaches and different kinds of pains. The headaches are not a sign to stop fasting. Your body is working to cleanse itself of impurities.

5. Fast in secret.

Don't boast about your fast but let people know you won't be eating, if you need to, out of courtesy and consideration for others.

6. Fast and pray in order to humble yourself and purify your worship.

God does not owe us anything because we fast. In fasting we are not trying to get something from God, but rather seeking to realign our hearts' affections with His. We do holy violence to the "pleasures which wage war against the soul," opening the way for a greater submission to the Holy Spirit. In fasting we can more readily say, "I love you Lord, more than anything in the world." Lust of any kind is perverted worship, but fasting enables us to cleanse the sanctuary of our hearts from every other rival.

7. Prepare for opposition.

On the day of your fast you can bet donuts will be at the office or in class. Your spouse (or your mom) will suddenly be inspired to cook your favorite meals. Press through. Many times you may feel more tension build up at home. Satan tempted Jesus on the fast, and we must expect the same. Discouragement may come in like a flood, but recognize the source and take your stand on the victory of Christ (James 4:7-8).

8. Make "Quiet Time" a priority when fasting.

This may seem obvious, but busyness and distractions can keep you from devotions. Schedule time each day of your fast to be alone to pray and read your Bible. Take time to journal each day. Reading books with testimonies of victories gained through fasting will encourage you as well.

9. Expect to hear God's voice through the Word, dreams, visions and revelations.

Daniel prepared himself to receive revelation through fasting (Daniel 10:1-2). There is a fasting reward (Matthew 6:18).

10. If you fail, don't give in to condemnation.

The "to fast or not to fast" dilemma can be a major tool of the enemy. Even though you may fail several times, God always extends grace.

11. Break the fast over several days with fruit juice or light soups.

On a light juice fast or a water fast, the digestive system shuts down. This can be dangerous if one eats too much too soon. Break the fast with several days of diluted, On a On a light juice fast or a water fast, the digestive system shuts down. This can be dangerous if one eats too much too soon. Break the fast with several days of diluted, non-acidic juice, then regular juice, followed by fruit and vegetables. Be kind to your body, and be wise.

12. Breakthroughs often come after, not during, a fast.

Do not listen to the lie that nothing is happening. It is our conviction that every fast done in faith will be rewarded.

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