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Pursuing God through the discipline of fasting can be an amazing and spiritually fulfilling practice. If you are new to fasting, we suggest growing and reading about the discipline to avoid some mistakes that will disrupt or hurt your seeking God. This practice isn’t about just going without, but about creating space in your life for seeking and thinking about God. Hunger is a good reminder of our need for God.
- Before beginning your fast, make a plan. Write out what you will do, for how long, and how you will focus your mind on the Lord. Have some worship music ready.
- Do some reading. There are some excellent resources available for those who want to learn more. We suggest:
- Examine your motives, as Jesus taught in Matthew 6:16.
- Don’t be in a hurry. Fasting isn’t magic or manipulating God.
- People who are diabetic, pregnant, or have other health issues should consider an alternative type of fast (giving up something else they regularly participate or crave). Check with your doctor if you have special considerations.
- Stay hydrated with lots of water and/or juice. Lightheadedness and headaches are a normal part of the process, but will lessen over time. Your tongue may feel coated and experience bad breath.
- If you are new to fasting, begin with missing one meal. Spend that time you would be eating in prayer. You might also begin your fast after supper and fast until supper the next day.
- Grow deeper from a one-time fast into regular intervals of fasting as God directs. Share your commitment with an accountability/prayer partner.
- There are many types of fasting:
- Abstaining from a particular pleasure like shopping, elevators, chocolate, or desserts.
- Media fast (TV, radio, computer, etc).
- Partial fasts like praying during lunch or from sun-up to sun-down.
- A Daniel fast (fruits and vegetables)
- A full fast (with water only or juice) for a set amount of days