Fasting is a difficult task just to contemplate, but I’ve found several helpful tools to make your day, week or month go better. Preparing your heart and mind for the road ahead is one of the most important things you can do in the days ahead of a fast of any length.
In my previous post, I talked about how the Lord used my good friend, Draper Smith, to speak prophetically to me about fasting over a four year-period. That experience solidified two important things in my heart.
1. God really cares about our desire to fast
2. The details of our fasts are important.
What I mean by that is God sees us and knows us. He knows our struggle with fasting but it’s important to Him when we choose to do it. Whether or not it was God that put the thought in our head isn’t really important (although I believer it’s almost always God), but what is important is that God will honor our desire to fast. When we do fast, the details of our fast are very important to God and to us. Details like how many days, what we’re fasting for and what we’re fasting from.
Here’s what I recommend for extended fasts:
1. Choose the number of days you’re going to fast
2. Choose the start date, preferably a few weeks ahead of time so you can prepare
3. Choose 3 things to fast for to keep your mind focused during the hard times
4. Begin praying for grace to fast as soon as you choose your start date
Here’s what I recommend for regular fasts (fasting a day or two a week)
1. Choose one thing you’re fasting for on a monthly basis to keep you focused
2. Mentally prepare your response for the inevitable invitations to eat with people (it takes time for this not to be awkward)
3. Make praying for grace to fast part of your everyday routine
There are different challenges to extended fasts and regular fasts. With extended fasts, weakness, light-headedness and muscle pain can be the biggest physical hurdles you have to overcome, especially after the first three days. With regular fasts, your body never has time to adapt to the fast, so generally headaches, hunger pangs and mood swings are the most difficult physical challenges. With a little preparation and prayer, all these things can be overcome.
I hope these suggestions are helpful. Sound off in the comments and let us know what suggestions you may have or what has and hasn’t worked for you in the past.