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Tips for Fasting

February 6, 2018

Clarify the purpose of your fast. As you think about fasting, ask God to show you what you might address in your fasting time. Are you seeking an answer to a prayer? Are you listening to God for spiritual growth?

Design a plan for some exercise of disengagement. Think about what your fast will be. If it is food, will it be a meal or a day? If it is technology, will it be for a time each day or for specific days?

Design a plan for some exercise of engagement. With the time or money you don’t spend while you are fasting, what could you do? Think about how you can spend time with people or help others? Does this free up space in your life to spend time with God?

It is always a good idea to keep a journal handy. Don’t view it slavishly needing to enter something every day or having a minimum number of words. Use it creatively – draw or do creative writing. Make notes about what you sense God is doing. Review it throughout the month to see if any theme is recurring.

Implement your plan. One of the best things you can do is form a partnership with at least one other person with whom you can share your exercise. This is for encouragement not credit! Share what you plan to do and when. Share your experience throughout the month. Pray for each other.

Begin with prayer. Even as you prepare your plan for fasting, ask God to guide your thoughts. For each time you engage your fasting exercise, pray and ask God to use this time for you to experience growth in your spirit.

Think about if you need to let anyone else know your plans. For instance, if someone is preparing food for you and you suddenly announce you are not going to eat the meal, it poses an awkward moment and may take the edge off the benefit you were hoping for. If you are not going to use your phone between 8 PM and 8 AM, let those who regularly contact you in that time know so they don’t worry about what is going on. Fasting is to make us more mindful of God and others. One of the ways we can get it right is to share with those who will be impacted by our plans.

Final note: You do not have to share anything with anyone about your experience if you choose. This can be a very intimate time for you to connect with God. If you make it private, ask God to let you know if there is some aspect that might be shared later.




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