- 1 – Set an objective.
Why are you fasting? Is it for spiritual renewal, for guidance, for healing, for the resolution of problems, for special grace to handle a difficult situation? Ask the Holy Spirit to clarify His leading and objectives for your prayer fast. This will enable you to pray more specifically and strategically. Through fasting and prayer we humble ourselves before God so the Holy Spirit will stir our souls, awaken our churches, and heal our land according to 2 Chronicles 7:14. Make this a priority in your fasting.
- 2 – Make a Commitment
Pray about the kind of fast you should undertake. Jesus implied that all of His followers should fast (Matthew 6:16-18; 9:14-15) For Him it was a matter of when believers would fast, not if they would do it. Before you fast, decide the following up front:
- How long you will fast – one meal, one day, a week, several weeks, forty days (Beginners should start slowly, building up to longer fasts.)
- The type of fast God wants you to undertake (such as water only, or water and juices; what kinds of juices you will drink and how often).
- What physical or social activities you will restrict.
- How much time each day you will devote to prayer and God’s Word.
Making these commitments ahead of time will help you sustain your fast when physical temptations and life’s pressures tempt you to abandon it.
- 3 – Prepare yourself Spiritually
At the foundation of fasting is spiritual growth. This requires that we prepare our self and focus on our spiritual readiness. Here are a few tips to help:
- Seek forgiveness from all whom you have offended, and forgive all who have hurt you.
- Ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit according to His command in Ephesians 5:18 and his promise in 1 John 5:14
- Surrender your life to Christ and deny the power of the world.
- Begin with expectation that you will encounter Christ (Hebrews 11:6)
- 4 – Prepare Physically
Any time you start a fast you must be aware of your body. Fasting requires reasonable precautions. Consult your physician first if you take prescription medication or have a chronic ailment. Some persons should never fast without professional supervision. This does not mean you can fast from certain things. Physical preparation makes the drastic change in your eating routine a little easier so that you can turn your full attention to the Lord in prayer.
- Do not rush into your fast.
- Prepare your body. Eat smaller meals before starting a fast. Avoid high-fat and sugary foods.
- Eat raw fruit and vegetables for two days before starting a fast.