Fasting is a sacred time when Christians deprive themselves of food or other pleasures to focus on God. If you are interested in focusing your life around God while feeding the poor, deepening your faith, read on and find out how! If you want to know how to do a non-religious fast, read this article.
Part 1 of 3: Before the fast
Step 1. Pray before your fast
Pray, confessing each of your sins, and invite the Holy Spirit to lead your life. Let Jesus know that you want to meet him in person. Recognize that He died on the cross for our sins and ascended to Heaven three days later, freeing us from condemnation and giving us His free gift of eternal life. Ask forgiveness for all the people you hurt; ask God for forgiveness. Forgive those who hurt you.
Step 2. Fast for the right reasons
Note that fasting like a Christian means humbling yourself before Christ. It is a way to glorify God our Lord. Keep these aspects in mind as you fast. Try to keep all other reasons for fasting, such as weight loss, etc., out of your purpose. You are fasting solely and exclusively for God. Your conscience cannot deviate from this.
Step 3. Meditate on the Gospel and the sacred characteristics of our Lord
Included here are the ability to forgive, His strength and wisdom, His peace, the ability to love unconditionally, etc. Praise him for these attributes! Give your life and thank Him for all He has done for you!
Step 4. Determine the timing of your experience with God
Decide how long you will be fasting, whether it is for a meal, a day, three days or a week (Jesus and Moses fasted for a period of 40 days, something ordinary people cannot do). Try to start slowly and fast moderately if you have never fasted.
Step 5. Note the type of fast you are being called to do
You may feel that the Holy Spirit is calling you to a specific type of fast. Partial fasting can mean giving up only certain types of food. On other fasts you may feel that the Holy Spirit wants you to deprive yourself of the pleasure of chewing any kind of solid food, even though you may consume fruit and vegetable juices. This is a slightly more delicate issue and will depend on your doctrine, as, for some believers, the fast needs to be complete. Do what you feel is right and talk to your religious leader if you have questions.
Step 6. Drink plenty of water to support life
In a complete fast, the Christian abstains from solid and liquid "foods". Fruit juices, in this sense, are food, but water is essential for life. Without it, a person can go into a confused state of mind, go into a coma, and even die.
Part 2 of 3: While fasting
Step 1. Don't forget about the service and your morning prayers
Worship the Lord and praise Him for His attributes. Read God's Word and meditate so that He will bless you with some of His wisdom, so that His Word penetrates your life, and you can assimilate it. Receive your forgiveness. Pray for God's will to be done and for guidance from the Holy Spirit. Ask God to guide and bless you, making you have the honor of spreading His glory in the world in which we live.
Step 2. Go for a walk while you pray
Go out walking hand in hand with nature, realizing God's wonderful creation. Thank Him for all He created as you walk and observe all the wonders of God. Ask Him for a spirit of gratitude and appreciation.
Step 3. Pray for the welfare of others
Pray that church leaders can preach His Word as God intended, that their friends and family can grow closer to Him or accept Him in their lives; pray for government leaders that they can come to Him and hear His Will.
Part 3 of 3: Ending the Fast
Step 1. Don't go back to stuffing yourself with food right after you finish your fast
The ideal is to resume eating little by little.
Step 2. Add a green salad the first day after you have finished your fast
Step 3. On the second day, add a boiled potato, avoiding any fat or salt in the potato
Step 4. On the third day, add a steamed vegetable
Then introduce other foods into your meals gradually. Do this to avoid overdoing it.
- Always make time for your personal prayers. Give everything into the Lord's hands. Remember to pray for everything and never worry about anything.
- You could try spending about a week or so eating smaller meals and abstaining from sugary foods and caffeine to prepare for a total fast. In the 2 days before you actually start your fast, you can only eat fruits and vegetables, drinking only water. This will prepare your appetite (physically) and your mind to go without your favorite foods.
- For those who want to do a partial fast eating only a few foods: fresh watermelon, lemons, grapes, apples, cabbage, beets, carrots, celery, or leafy green vegetables are the healthiest for the stomach. Avoid citrus fruits and other acidic juices. When you wake up in the morning, drink a glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice, as long as it's not citrus juice. Around noon, drink some fresh vegetable juice. Around 3:00, try a cup of caffeine-free herbal tea. In the evening, heat some carrots and vegetables mixed in boiling water. Do not add salt or oils. Drink the vegetable stock, but let someone else eat the vegetables.
- If you accidentally eat something, be sorry and forget about it. This can happen because you eat out of habit.
- Those who suffer from eating disorders of any kind should not fast.
- Fasting should not be used as a method of weight control.
- Remember to get plenty of rest.
- Milk or soy drinks are not included with partial fasts.
- Beware of health problems and loss of electrolytes. Even if you have free will and can choose how long and how you will fast, it is our duty to tell you that you cannot fail to take care of yourself.
- Avoid overeating or even eating a little more when you finish your fast.
- You may feel dizzy while fasting if you are doing a partial fast.
- Don't brag when you go fast. In Matthew 6:17 it is written, "When you fast, tell no one. But your heavenly Father, who sees in secret, will reward you."