GUIDELINES FOR FASTING
Here are 16 guidelines for fasting taken from my book Prayer A to Z. This list is very brief. For more information you can get my e-book by clicking on Prayer A to Z.
1. Most importantly, your fast must be a fast that God chooses. If it is a fast that God chooses then He will lead you and give you the right motives. You will be fasting for Him and not for any selfish reason (Is. 58:3-5).
2. Pray about your fast and set objectives. Before you start, make it clear in your mind how you believe God wants you to fast. Then determine that you will fast that way.
3. Be flexible in your fasting plans. If you have planned to fast on a certain day, and, because of circumstances, it will not work out, move your fast to another day.
4. As you make your plans to fast, if, for medical reasons, you can’t fast normally (no food, just water), consider a partial fast.
5. If you are not use to fasting, start small. Perhaps you may want to fast by just skipping one meal. The next time, skip two meals, and so on. Before long you will be fasting for days. But make sure that God is leading you. Always pray over every fast.
6. Eat fresh fruits before and after a fast. The last day before fasting, fresh fruit is best because it is less putrefactive than other food residues. On the first day after a fast, fresh fruit (or vegetables) is best because it is easier on the stomach and the digestive system.
7. During a normal fast drink plenty of pure water. I would say, whenever you feel thirsty drink water. But drink only bottled water; never drink tap water.
8. If it seems too hard for you to drink only water, try a fresh juice fast. Dilute fresh juices with pure water (steam distilled water is best)—one part water, three parts juice. But don’t drink orange or tomato juice (The health books I have read say that these juices are not good for fasting).
9. As you begin to fast, expect the worst. Satan knows your weak condition and he will attack you and discourage you. But take heart; often when you feel the worst, the best is happening. You have entered into a time of heavenly warfare, and though you feel weak, God has given you the weapons to win the battle (2 Cor. 10:4-5).
10. Make sure your fast is from the heart. The heart as well as the head must be engaged, or else you are not being true to yourself. Before and during your fast seek God in prayer from your heart.
11. Check your motives. Before your fast, and periodically during your fast, check to see if your motives are right. Read Isaiah 58:1-12 and Matthew 6: 16-18 to see if you are fasting correctly. Your fast must be a fast of His choosing, of His leading, and for His purpose—not for yourself, but for Him.
12. Keep your fast between you and God. Don’t broadcast your fasting and boast about it, as to draw attention to yourself. As much as you can, keep it a secret; then your reward will be greater (Matt. 6:19).
13. When you fast shut out the world as much as possible. Give God all your attention. That means keep the TV and radio off. It means also to refrain from going to the movies, or shopping. If you can, get out into the country—away from distractions.
14. Feed on the Word. Put away the newspaper, magazines, and other books. Read only the Bible. Let only the words of the Bible be in your thoughts.
15. Pray much. Since you are not going to watch TV or go out on the town, you will have more time to read the Word and pray. But use your time wisely. Use it not just to catch up on all your prayer requests; but rather, seek to spend more quality time with God. Therefore, use the extra time to seek Him more deeply and fervently; and praise Him more expressively and with greater passion.
16. Make your fasting time a time to confess your sins and change your habits. In your prayers and time in the Word, try to be sensitive to what God is telling you to do. Spend a lot of time in the Psalms. Seek God with your whole heart. Tell Him how much you love Him and want to please Him. Make plans and be determined to obey Him always.