What You Need to Know About Fasting
How to Begin
Start with a clear goal; be specific. Why are you fasting? Do you need direction, healing, restoration of marriage or family issues? Are you facing financial difficulties? Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Pray daily and read the Bible.
Confess your sins to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of weakness. Forgive all who have offended you and ask forgiveness from those you may have offended (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; Luke 17:3-4). Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ and reject the worldly desires that try to hinder you (Romans 12:1-2).
Deciding What to Fast
The type of fast you go on is up to you. You could go on a full fast in which you only drink liquids, or you may desire to fast like Daniel, who abstained from sweets and meats, and the only liquid he drank was water. Fasting social media is another great option for those who are not able to fast food. They key is to replace that time with prayer and Bible study.
Deciding How Long
You may fast as long as you like, though we are suggesting 21 days. Use wisdom and prayer for guidance. Beginners are advised to start slow.
What to Expect
When you fast your body detoxifies, eliminating toxins from your system. This can cause mild discomfort such as headaches and irritability during withdrawal from caffeine and sugars. And naturally, you will have hunger pains. Stay strong! Limit your activity and exercise moderately. Take time to rest. Fasting brings about miraculous results. You are following Jesus' example when you fast. Spend time listening to praise and worship music. 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 set on seeking God. Expect God to move in your heart as your draw close to Him.
How to End a Food Fast
Don't overeat when the time comes to end your fast. Begin eating solid food gradually; eat small portions.
What is Fasting?
Simply stated, biblical fasting is refraining from food for a spiritual purpose. As a church, we are fasting in order to deepen our relationship with God and to walk in step with His plan and purpose. The best way to do this is to redirect our food source or something else of importance to us, such as media. This is accomplished through substituting our regular food intake with Bible reading, praying and journaling.
The overall goal is to experience a genuine hunger for spending time with God. According to the Bible, there are three duties of every Christian: give, pray, and fast. Fasting takes a lot of discipline and strength – strength you can only receive from God. Your private discipline will bring you rewards in Heaven, as stated in Matthew 6.
When you give God your first through fasting, prayer, and giving at the beginning of the year, you set the course for the entire year.
Why Should I Fast?
Are you in need of healing or a miracle?
Do you need the tender touch of God in your life?
Is there a dream inside you that only He can make possible?
Are you in need of a fresh encounter?
Do you desire a deeper, more intimate and powerful relationship with the Lord?
Are you ready to have heightened sensitivity to the desires of God?
Do you need to break away from a bondage that has been holding you hostage?
Is there a friend or loved one that needs salvation?
Do you desire to know God's will for your life?
We want to encourage you to target your prayers during the fast. Two specific areas we will be focusing on together as a church are leadership and finances. The Bible instructs us to continually pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2). When we lift up our leaders, here in the United States and around the world, we can expect God's peace in our lives and in our nation.
Another great promise, from the book of Isaiah, proclaims that the chosen fast will "undo the heavy burdens and let the oppressed go free." We are living in tough economic times and we know that many people are under a financial burden. As we come together to fast and pray, we believe that your burdens will be lifted and that financial blessings will be released!
We encourage you to seek the Lord in prayer for your decisions about your fast. Ask the Lord to show you areas to target during your time of fasting and prayer. We believe that, as we pray and seek God and give Him our best at the first of the year, He will bless our entire year (Matthew 6:33)!
Drink only liquids for a number of days that you establish.
Eat no meat, no sweets, and no bread. Drink water and juice. Eat fruits and vegetables. (See additional information in this brochure.)
This fast can be a Full Fast, a Daniel Fast, or a fast giving up at least one item of food.
A partial fast is from 6am to 3pm, or from sun up to sundown. This fast can be a Full Fast, a Daniel Fast, or a fast giving up at least one item of food.
Get your face back into the most important book in the world. Take the time that you’re normally watching TV or surfing the Internet and begin to focus it on growing your spiritual life.
What is a Daniel Fast?
The Daniel Fast is a partial fast, which means that we will eliminate some common things from our daily diet, but will have generous options available. We will focus on eating fruits and vegetables that are pure and simple as well as drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
We discover in the Bible that Daniel's decision not to eat the king's food was an outward symbol of an inward commitment he had made to God. Let your choices over the next three weeks reflect the hunger you have for God's presence in your life.
Since there is no definitive list of foods for the Daniel Fast, it is truly the spirit of Daniel's decision that we are imitating. If there is something that is not specifically listed that you think still qualifies as a 'food of the king,' then ask God to reveal to you whether it should be part of your diet over the next few weeks. The details of the fast are between you and God — use this time to focus on Him.
The list of foods we've provided is merely a first step to get you thinking about making better food choices. Remember, this fast is about growing your relationship with God. He's not as concerned about what is in your stomach as He is about what is in your heart.
God is certain to bless your life in new and exciting ways during the fast. We encourage you to write down your prayers and the many ways God reveals Himself to you. We can't wait to see what God is going to do in your life and in the life of our church!
Foods to Eat
- Whole Grains: Brown Rice, Oats, Barley
- Legumes: Beans, Peas, Lentils
- Assortment of Fruits
- Variety of Vegetables
- Liquids: Water (as much as possible), Unsweetened Soy Milk, Herbal Tea (caffeine free), Natural Fruit Juice (no added sugar)
- Other: Honey, Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (small quantities)
Foods to Avoid
Meat, Poultry, Fish
Caffeine, Coffee, Chocolate, Soda/Carbonated Beverages
Foods containing Preservatives or Additives
Refined Sugar or Sugar Substitutes
Margarine, Shortening, High Fat Products
Dairy (milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, etc.)
Scripture References for Fasting
Fasting and Your Health
If you are in poor health, pregnant or nursing a baby,or have concerns about your physical ability to fast, please consult a physician before beginning your first fast. There are different types of fasts recommended on these pages. Your doctor can provide advice on how you can participate in this Fast in a way that is healthy for you.