How To Get Started on Your Fast
Having a successful fast starts with the right preparation. It is important to choose ahead of time what type of fast, or what combination you will pursue. Not only will this help with making the necessary preparations to implement your plan, but as you commit to a specific fast ahead of time and know how you’re going to do it, you will position yourself to finish strong.
Here are a few easy steps to get you started:
1.) Set Your Objective
Begin by deciding why you are fasting. Is it for spiritual renewal, for healing, for wisdom in a particular area, or the resolution of a specific issue? Pick the top 1-3 prayer requests or things you would like to seek God on. Don't overwhelm yourself and make a laundry list of items. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in deciding and clarifying your goals for fasting.
2.) Choose Your Plan
We are all at different places in our walk with God. Likewise our jobs, daily schedules, and health conditions are all different and place various levels of demand on our energy. So most importantly, whether you’ve fasted before, or this will be your first time, prayerfully consider what your fast will look like.
Your personal fast should have a level of challenge to it, but it’s very important to know your own body, know your options, and most importantly, seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do. Remember, the goal of fasting is not just to do without food. The goal is to draw nearer to God.
3.) Choose Your Fasting Schedule
You may choose to fast all or several days out of the 21 days, such as, 3 or 4 days a week or specifically on Sundays and Wednesdays. Maybe you will do that, and end with 3 to 7 consecutive days at the end. This is your personal decision, and again, should be prayerfully considered as it applies to your circumstances. Just plan ahead.
4.) Begin and Break the Fast Well
Depending on the type of fast you choose, it is very important to prepare your body ahead of time before beginning the fast. Take a week or so to transition into your fast; otherwise, you could get sick. For example, if you would like to go on a fruits and vegetables or juice fast, start eliminating meat, white grains and refined sugars from your diet the week before. Also, start to cut back quite a bit on dairy products and some of your caffeine intake.
This same principle applies to breaking your fast. When your fast is over, add foods back very gradually. Your body will be so cleansed and detoxified, you will most likely get sick if you add too much rich foods, etc. all at once.
Important Note: Fasting requires reasonable precautions. If you have any health concerns, please consult your physician prior to beginning your fast, especially if you are taking medications, have a chronic condition, or are pregnant or nursing a baby.