A day of Fasting and Prayer is a voluntary activity, and it is always appropriate for God's people to set aside devoted time to bring an event, family members and problems to the Lord. If you are unfamiliar with the practice of fasting, we ask that you read on to learn more, and then decide whether or not you want to fast while you pray!
What is fasting?
Fasting involves a Christian's voluntary abstinence from food for spiritual purposes, but an even broader view of fasting widely accepted by Christians is given by Richard Foster in his book Celebration of Discipline. Fasting, according to Foster, is "the voluntary denial of a normal function for the sake of intense spiritual activity."
What can I fast?
We can choose to fast from any activity that might get in the way of our spending quality time with God in prayer. So, don't shy away from fasting because you feel you will have a really hard time not eating or because for medical reasons you cannot go without food.
Consider fasting from this broader perspective and give up whatever it is that might distract you from having a quality, rich, deep prayer time with the Lord! Here are some ideas of what you can fast:
- food except fruit or juice
- talking on your cell phone
- watching TV
- listening to CDs
- tweeting or texting
How long shall I fast?
If you choose a food fast, you might decide to fast for 24 hours, beginning the fast after dinner on one day and ending the fast with dinner on the next day. If you do this, you will want to drink plenty of water (and you might consider including other beverages like juice or milk in order to get some nourishment during this time period). Please realize there is nothing more spiritual about embarking upon a more severe fast than a less severe one — the point is not to torture yourself, but rather to abstain from something that might normally fill you or satisfy you instead of God's presence.
Fast with someone else.
Consider pairing up with a support/accountability partner — someone who will pray with you on that day, and who will fast alongside you. This may help you to increase your diligence in praying and fasting.