A Prayer for Fasting
As I enter into this time of fasting, I invite you in. Come into my heart, come into my mind, renew me in new ways. You are my Lord, King and Savior. You are perfect, you are beautiful and good. Lord, I am not those things. I confess that I am sinful, that I am ugly in my sin and without you, I am lost. Forgive me Lord for the ways I have not put you first, forgive me for not letting you reign over me.
Lord, this is what this time of fasting is all about – to take me off of the throne of my own life and to put you on the throne instead. I know I will be hungry for food – I pray as I am hungry that you would satisfy me with your Word. I know I will be tired – I pray as I am tired that you would strengthen me. Sustain me in your grace, Father. For every hunger pang I experience, direct my gaze not down to my belly but up to you. For I know that I cannot live on bread alone, but every Word from you.
Help me enter this time of fasting and prayer with a heart of joy and a mouth that praises your goodness. Give me all the benefits of this spiritual discipline and keep me humble. Thank you, Lord, for your great, unending, all-consuming love for me. I love you, Father. Amen.
Fasting is to deny yourself food for spiritual purposes. It is a spiritual discipline that allows one to reset and refocus on God by removing things we normally enjoy. We will be practicing a Daniel fast, which is a vegetarian fast. Fasting is a Christian’s voluntary abstinence from food for spiritual purposes. Fasting does not have to be specifically food, but the denial of any legitimate desire for spiritual purposes.
Scripture describes the fasting of numerous individuals including Jesus (Matthew 4:2), Daniel (Daniel 1:12), John the Baptist (Matthew 3:4) and Esther (Esther 4:16).
Drink 6-8 glasses of water daily throughout the fast it is very important!
Anyone with a medical condition related to eating or under the treatment of a physician must consult their doctor before proceeding.
No fried foods or use of margarine, shortening, and high-fat products.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW
Side effects: You may experience moderate to severe headaches for a day or two as your body rids itself of caffeine, salt, sugar, and various impurities. You may need to take Advil or aspirin. If your doctor has advised against Advil or aspirin, please contact your doctor for an alternative.
Important exceptions: Use your discretion along with the advice of your physician and prayer to modify the Daniel Fast to adhere to your medical needs. Anyone with a medical condition related to eating or under the treatment of a physician must consult their doctor before proceeding. Also, if you have extreme difficulty with the fast, such as an impairment of your ability to work at your job, you will have to make adjustments. Utilize wisdom. Seek the Lord and discuss it with other Christians involved in the fast, to find alternatives.
Whole Grains: Brown Rice, Oats, Oatmeal, Barley and Pasta
Legumes: Dried Beans, Pinto Beans, Split Peas, Lentils, Black Eyed Peas
Fruits: Apples, Apricots, Bananas, Blackberries, Blueberries, Boysenberries, Cantaloupe, Cherries, Cranberries, Oranges, Figs, Grapefruit, Grapes, Guava, Honeydew Melon, Kiwi, Lemons, Limes, Mangoes, Nectarines, Papayas, Peaches, Pears, Pineapples, Plums, Prunes, Raisins, Raspberries, Strawberries, Tangelos, Tangerines, Watermelon (Limit your intake to 2 citrus fruits per day i.e. lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges)
Vegetables: Artichokes, Asparagus, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chili Peppers, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Garlic, Ginger root, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard Greens, Okra, Onions, Parsley, Potatoes, Radishes, Rutabagas, Scallions, Spinach, Sprouts, Squashes, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress, Yams, Zucchini, Collard greens, Turnip greens
Vegetables, such as potatoes, beans, and soybeans will help provide substance. Fresh or frozen vegetables are recommended. If canned vegetables are desired, use sodium free or drain and wash prior to cooking.
Individuals who have an intolerance to beans should substitute with soy products. It is advisable to take a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement during the fast (1 per day). You may also include various nuts to serve as a protein supplement.
Seeds, Nuts, Sprouts, Olive Oil, Seasonings and Spices
Liquids: Spring Water, Distilled Water, 100% All-Natural Fruit Juices, 100% All Natural Vegetable Juices (apple juice, orange juice, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, etc.) No sweetened drinks or sweetened fruit.
Types of Fasts
We believe there to be 3 main types of fasting found in the Bible. We have added scriptures to support them and included the 4th type of fast to reflect our present time. You can follow along and select which type of fast will work best for you at this time.
1) Absolute Fast: This can be used in an emergency situation. It provides great Deliverance for a life or death situation. If you have a huge dilemma or a nation is facing a terrible situation, much breakthrough can be seen via the Absolute fast. Also, you can fast individually or corporately with this type.
It includes a 3 day fast without food or water. We see this type of fast in the Book of Esther. Queen Ester called the entire nation of Israel to fast for their deliverance. I have never fasted without water more than a day. I would suggest that without consulting your doctor and ultimately the Holy Spirit, do not deprive your body from water. It is amazing how long a human body can stand without food, but not without water. However, if God is calling you to this kind of fast, always follow His leading first.
As seen below in the scriptures, Queen Esther called her people to fast for 3 days without water and food. Also, Jonah fast in the same manner.
“Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
“When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.” When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.”
2) Supernatural Fast: A Commissioning Fast. This type of fasting is known for Ordination or commissioning for a higher ministry or a Divine task. This fast also includes fasting without water or food, liked the Absolute Fast, however, it is for a total of 40 days. Moses fasted two times for forty days without food and water. He took the Ark of the Covenant and The Ten Commandments to the Israelites. This was the first law that was given to mankind that was written by the very finger of God.
Also, we Jesus fasted in the Wilderness for forty days. Then His earthly ministry started. You can see in both cases, there is a huge spiritual responsibility and task before each individual. I wish that every Pastor, before their ordination by men and taking the office, would do this fast. I know very few people who have done this fast with water, therefore, please consult your doctor before you decide to start a 40 day or any fast. BUT obey God above all.
Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant-the Ten Commandments.
3) Daniel Fast: Abstaining from certain foods for a period of time such as luxury foods. Or this can be solely a juice fast or liquid fast. Daniel fasted for 21 days on vegetables. He had no processed carbs, juices, no coffee, no sweets! No choice food means, you do not eat anything pleasurable. You can eat grains but no overeating. The purpose of this fast is self-discipline thereby, denying self-indulgence. This includes avoiding luxury restaurants. You need to be careful with this fast because a lot of people eat too much beans and heavy protein and high carb vegetables. Remember you cannot trick God. It has to be a sacrifice.
“At that time, I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over. On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, the Tigris, I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like topaz, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude. I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; those who were with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves.
Daniel 10: 11-12
He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling. Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.”
4) Fasting from Indulgences: As Christians, we may listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit. God may speak to us individually for anything that He wants us to sacrifice for a period of time. This can be fasting from many things such as coffee, deserts, TV (I suggest anyone who is fasting to cut their cords with TV and social media and smart phones. It will increase the benefits of fasting.) Fasting from shopping and being online all the time. I usually fast at least a couple of days a week having only one meal a day. I fast through the breakfast and a lunch and eat dinner only. If you would like to start training your body for a long fast, this may be the best starting point for you.
America is so saturated with electronic media that we tend not to notice its effect. Although Scripture prizes silence and contemplation, modern media constantly fills up our minds, allowing us little room for quietness before God.
Yet God exhorts us to beware of worldliness and to embrace godliness (1 John 2:15-17; Rom. 12:1-2). Jesus calls us to holiness.
“Media Fast.” abstain from an electronic medium: Some people choose television, since it is a widespread and powerful force.
First you may suffer withdrawal symptoms but later become more peaceful and prayerful. Time is freed up for reading, spouses, children and ministry. Lustful thoughts diminish.
We would be surprised at how much television (or some other medium) had affected them and what a difference the fast made in their awareness of God, themselves and their culture. Many resolve to be more careful with these media.
I challenge you to offer your own “media fast” to the Lord and see what the Holy Spirit teaches you about worldliness and godliness in your life.