Tips for Fasting: 30-Hour Famine begins today

Today, the youth of Team Church will begin a 30-hour fast for World Hunger:  30-Hour Famine.

Maybe you have wondered about fasting before or could use some practical tips.  The below is something we used earlier during our fasting challenge, but you may find this helpful if you are considering fasting along with the youth.

How you begin and conduct your fast will largely determine your success. By following these basic steps to fasting, you will make your time with the Lord more meaningful and spiritually rewarding.

STEP 1: Set Your Objective

People fast for many reasons:  spiritual renewal, for guidance, for healing, for the resolution of problems, for special grace to handle a difficult situation.

In addition to any personal reasons…

Team Church is asking that you fast specifically for

world hunger

STEP 2: Prepare Yourself Spiritually

The very foundation of fasting and prayer is repentance. Unconfessed sin will hinder your prayers. Here are several things you can do to prepare your heart:

Ask God to help you make a comprehensive list of your sins.

  • Confess every sin that the Holy Spirit calls to your remembrance and accept God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
  • Seek forgiveness from all whom you have offended, and forgive all who have hurt you (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3,4).
  • Make restitution as the Holy Spirit leads you.
  • Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit according to His command in Ephesians 5:18 and His promise in 1 John 5:14,15.
  • Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master; refuse to obey your worldly nature (Romans 12:1,2).
  • Meditate on the attributes of God, His love, sovereignty, power, wisdom, faithfulness, grace, compassion, and others (Psalm 48:9,10; 103:1-8, 11-13).
  • Begin your time of fasting and prayer with an expectant heart (Hebrews 11:6).
  • Do not underestimate spiritual opposition. Satan sometimes intensifies the natural battle between body and spirit (Galatians 5:16,17).

STEP 3: Prepare Yourself Physically

Fasting requires reasonable precautions. Consult your physician first, especially if you take prescription medication or have a chronic ailment such as diabetes. Some people should never fast without professional supervision.  Please do not let yourself become dehydrated while on a fast.

Physical preparation makes the 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.

Prepare yourself for temporary mental discomforts, such as impatience, crankiness, and anxiety.

Withdrawal from caffeine and sugar may cause headaches. Physical annoyances may also include weakness, tiredness, or sleeplessness.

STEP 4: Put Yourself on a Schedule

For maximum spiritual benefit, set aside ample time to be alone with the Lord. Listen for His leading. The more time you spend with Him, the more meaningful your fast will be.

If you desire to do a 24 hour fast, begin with eating supper one night, then spend the rest of the evening in prayer.  Use these reminders below for the next morning, noontime, and finally break the fast with supper the next evening, celebrating what God has done in this time with him.

Evening after supper

Get alone for an unhurried time of “seeking His face.”

Avoid television or any other distraction that may dampen your spiritual focus.

When possible, end each day on your knees with your spouse for a brief time of praise and thanksgiving to God.

Morning

Begin your day in praise and worship.

Read and meditate on God’s Word, preferably on your knees.

Invite the Holy Spirit to work in you to will and to do His good pleasure according to Philippians 2:13.

Invite God to use you. Ask Him to show you how to influence your world, your family, your church, your community, your country, and beyond.

Pray for His vision for your life and empowerment to do His will.

Noon

Return to prayer and God’s Word.

Take a short prayer walk.

Spend time in intercessory prayer for your pastor, and the direction of our church.  Ask that God would send more workers into the mission of Kershaw.

Spend time asking for revival beginning with yourself.

Enjoy dinner with others after 24 hours!

STEP 5: Expect Results

If you sincerely humble yourself before the Lord, repent, pray, and seek God’s face; if you consistently meditate on His Word, you will experience a heightened awareness of His presence (John 14:21). The Lord will give you fresh, new spiritual insights. Your confidence and faith in God will be strengthened. You will feel mentally, spiritually, and physically refreshed. You will see answers to your prayers.

–adapted from Bill Bright, 7 Basic Steps to Successful Fasting and Prayer.  For more guidelines and information regarding longer fasts see

www.ccci.org/training-and-growth/devotional-life/personal-guide-to-fasting/01-message-from-bill-bright.htm

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