We are so excited to see what God will do this upcoming season through our fasting. In everything that we do, we want to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10). That is why we fast. Jesus said that his followers would fast (Matthew 6:16 & 9:15).
In no way do we wish to go against the advice of your doctor. The point of fasting is not to push yourself to the brink of your health. Fasting isn’t an act of self-deprivation, but a spiritual discipline for seeking more of God’s fullness. That being said, there are many ways that you can fast with us.
1. Have a Purpose
If this is your first time fasting, we suggest that you have a purpose. What are praying for? Where do you want to see the Lord move? What answer are you desiring from the Lord? What clarity do you want him to bring? How can you further rely on the Lord? How can you discover more about his beauty? Have a purpose.
2. Start Small
For example, try fasting one meal, not eating snacks, or only drinking water for one day. You can also try fasting things you like video games, television, or social media. There are also options for
3. Break it up
Try different types of fasting. There are different ways to approach fasting to stay engaged with the Lord. 1) You can try fasting 7 different things in 3-day increments. The fast will be 21 days long. For example, that means you can fast TV for the first 3 days, sodas for the second 3 days, and other things of your choice for the remaining days. 2) You can try fasting 3 different things in 7-day increments. The principle applies–it still adds up to 21 days–it just has a different spin.
4. Plan What You’ll Do
This is not just a time to say “no” to our desires. This is a time to say “yes” to spending time with the Lord. So decide ahead of time what that looks like. Will you spend 30min in prayer? Will you read a chapter of the Bible? Will you pray with your accountability partner? Will you take a walk through nature and pray? Will you read through a prayer book? Will you journal your thoughts to the Lord? Will you memorize scripture? Choose one or two.
5. Consider How it Will Affect Others
Fasting is no license to be unloving. If you plan on going without eating, double-check your plans with others. If anything, others should even feel more loved and cared for when we’re fasting. So as you plan your fast, consider how it will affect others. If you have regular lunches with colleagues or dinners with family or roommates, assess how your abstaining will affect them, and let them know ahead of time, instead of just being a no-show, or springing it on them in the moment that you will not be eating.
6. Still Not Sure What to Fast?
Sixth, if you still don’t know what to fast, answer this question: “What do I naturally enjoy?” Is it your favorite television show? Is it your favorite restaurant? What is it?
There is a principle in fasting in terms of growth. A) If you can fast a meal, you can fast a day. B) If you can fast a day, you can fast three days. C) If you can fast three days, you can fast a week. D) If you can fast a week, you can fast three weeks. Every year Westgate has this fast. I have found it helpful to slowly develop what I can do. I started by fasting a meal with juice. Then the following year I fasted a meal with water only. The next year I fasted food for one day with juice, and then the following I fasted a day with water. I continued with this juice-no juice method and worked my way up to a 21-day fast. It took years, but I am finally at that spot.
Wherever you are, START! The point is not to be perfect but to trust in the Lord by fasting diligently. It is amazing what he does in our hearts when we trust him and fast.