How to do a Long Fast
Long Fast: Pre-Fast Preparations
Long Fast: Psychological Pre-Fast Preparations
The Fast: During the Long Fast
Long Fast: Day #4
Long Fast: Day #5
Long Fast: Day #6
Long Fast: Day #7
How to Break Your Long Fast
What to do After the Long Fast?
Physical Long Fast Preparations
When I did my twenty-one day long fast, I did not prepare my body adequately mainly because I did not have much information on long fasting. I knew how to fast because I had done numerous one-day fasts, many three-days and seven-day fasts but never a twenty-one day long fast.
Neither did I know anyone who knows anything about long fasting. All I had was a paperback book on fasting that I had read and my experiences. I’m not a doctor. I don’t possess any medical training. Neither do I claim to I have any special knowledge of biology and nutrition. This writing is based mainly on my experiences with fasting and the Scriptures.
Before you read “how to do a long fast” it’s a great idea to read, “how to do a Christian fast”, first because the former is continuation of the latter.
Psychologically, I was well motivated and eager to begin my twenty-one day long fast. The preparations for a long fast, both physical and mentally, are as crucial as the fast itself.
Do not follow my uninformed example and dive headlong into a long fast without sufficient preparations. Pre-fast preparations are of paramount importance because of the drastic changes your body will undergo during your long fast. Preparing your body before the long fast reduces and minimizes any possibility of damage to your system.
As you learned in “How to do a Christian Fast”, the length of your fast determines how long you physically prepare for that fast. For long fast greater than seven-days, start preparing your body at least one week prior to the start date of the fast. This will give your body adequate time to adjust and move into the long fast without problems. I have dealt with physical fast preparation for short fasts, those fast that are shorter than seven days.
- Gradually change your regular diet. I must emphasis this; gradually change your diet in amount and texture of food you consume.
- Gradually change your diet from harder foods to soft, lighter and more fluids as your fast day approaches.
- Gradually reduce the amount you eat and drink to allow your stomach to start shrinking.
- By the start of your long fast date, your diet should consist of fluids: juice and or water and very soft foods like salads and soft fruits.
Your stomach will shrink tremendously during your long fast. You can assist your body, as your stomach reduces itself, by gradually changing the amount and type of food you consume. Additionally, another important reason for this practice is to reduce the hungry pangs you feel on the first day. If you can survive, the hunger pangs of your first day of fasting you can endure your long fast. This practice could mitigate physical injury to you.
- As part of your preparation for your long fast, take some time off from work.
- Fast in solitude. This increases your energy conservation, less moving around.
- Fast in one location, best not to be traveling between locations while on your long fast, conserve your energy.
Long Fast: Psychological Pre-Fast Preparations
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“How to do a Christian Fast,” explains the importance of realizing your motive for a long fast before you begin fasting. Assess the reasons for your fast. What do you hope to achieve with your long fast?
- Your long fast objective must be clear and single.
- Your long fast should be focused.
- Fast about one main thing. This should be the focus of your prayers. However, pray about as many things as you like. Your prayers should always return to focus on your long fast objective. Therefore, decide on one principal thing and fast about that.
The single long fast objective is of great importance to you. If you are not adequately motivated, you will not go pass the first day of fasting. Additionally, if you do not care much for the reason for the long fast you may not finish the fast. Do not under estimate the significance of motive to your long fast. Your motive can make your long fast, a success or a failure.
I know many Believers who start their long fast with much enthusiasm but break it soon after. These Believers have good intentions but their long fast objective was not well defined.
A short fast according to the Word of God is an abstinence fast. Likewise, a long fast is also an abstinence fast. However, it’s not unusual or uncommon after the first three days to consume very small quantities of fluids at defined intervals. You should choose an interval, which is most appropriate for you. This interval could be at sunrise and at sunset of each day; or a specified time of each day, say 7 AM or 7 PM. Whatever interval you decide on adhere to it for the entire duration of your long fast.
Frequently changing or utilizing random intervals could have adverse effects on your body. I think being consistent concerning what you do on your long fast is safer and could yield better results from it. As I mentioned, at the start, I’m not a doctor. I don’t possess any medical training. Neither do I claim to I have any special knowledge of biology and nutrition.
The Fast: During the Long Fast
Restrict Physical Activities:-
- Restrict all physical activities that is unnecessary during your long fast. Unnecessary activities will prevent you from completing your long fast by reducing your energy level.
- Avoid all unnecessary movements: walking, standing or lifting of objects.
- Fasting in solitude eliminates unnecessary physical activities and distractions.
- Remove distractions like telephone, TV, Cable and radio. If you cannot take away the distractions remove yourself from near them. This is a time for you and the LORD God.
“They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep,” Psalm 107:23-4.
No Believer can “see” the “wonders” or “works” of the LORD near to the shore in shallow waters. Going on a long fast with a specific objective will launch you into the “deep” of the LORD’s revelations.
Picking up after reading “How to do a Christian Fast”, we are at day four.
LONG FAST: Day #4 – How is Your Energy?
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How you respond to this question varies, as there are people. However, one important consideration which affects your energy level is your movements.
I did not take time away from my job for my first long fast. Consequently, I drove thirty miles to work and thirty miles back. That was many years ago and I was much younger. Although I was young and strong, I suffered for not taking the time off from my job. It took every ounce of resolve to finish that fast because I was working I was very tired. Yet no one at work knew I was fasting.
If you are like me and not take any fluid for the first seven-days, you can become weak much quicker than others who take fluids. That is why I stay in one general location in the house. Stay away from others who are not fasting. Stay in a basement or a room by yourself.
Keep your long fast objective at the fore of your mind.
- Pray regularly. Sit and pray. Walk and pray. Pray while you are in bed. Pray always. Are you tired of praying? Then do something else.
- Praise the LORD. Give the LORD praise.
- Get your Bible, open it to Psalm 134 and read it aloud to Psalm 150.
- Use the Bible also to “Pray the Word.”
- Find a Scripture of your choice.
- While praying, alternate between praying and reading the Scripture you have located.
- Memorize selected passages.
Sing songs, hymns, and psalms. Play religious or gospel songs.
The DON’Ts of Your Long Fast
- Don’t exercise while you are on your fast.
- Don’t drink milk or coffee.
- Avoid pepper and acidic drinks like undiluted orange or tomatoes juices.
- Do not eat. Eat no nuts, no grains or fruits.
- Don’t consume any alcohol.
- Don’t pursue any sexual activities.
- Don’t eat while you are on your long fast.
Whatever you do don’t eat during your fast. After the first three days your stomach has shrunken tremendously. Eating may hurt you during the fast. However, taking fluids in very small quantities is a good recommendation.
This is optional, some persons will some will not. Depending on the interval, you chose to consume very small quantities of fluid the follow may apply to you.
- 2 or 3 ounces of water.
- Fruit juice like apple or watermelon.
- Orange juice is OK. Not the OJ from the store, but the one you make or someone makes for you at home. The OJ from the supermarket, say, “Florida Orange Juice” is too acidic. Make your own OJ but add NO sugar and dilute with water. If you chose to use the OJ from the store dilute it with water; two parts water to one part OJ and add NO sugar.
- 2 or 3 ounces of broth (at room temperature).
LONG FAST: Day #5 – How is Your Energy?
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Is your fast easier today than yesterday?
I found that after the third day of my long fast each subsequent day was easier. Sometimes it was only because I was doing fasting activities why I remembered I was fasting.
As the days of my long fast progress, I experience the following:-
- Body pains:-
- Pain at joints; elbows, wrists, knees and ankles.
- My eyes ache
- My waist hurts
- Internal pains:-
- My chest hurts
- My lower back hurts
- My stomach hurts
- Insomnia – After the first three day, I sleep no more than fifteen minutes each night.
Most of what I suffered during that fast was owing to ignorance about how to conduct an effective long fast and not taking time off from work. During a long fast, your body needs all the rest or inactivity it can get. Avoid the problems I encountered by doing it right. I’m not a doctor. I don’t possess any medical training. Neither do I claim I have any special knowledge of biology.
Keep up the:-
- Reading of the Word
- Meditate on the Word
- Memorization of selected Scriptures
- Prayer and so on and so forth!!!
As the days pass, you will become weaker and weaker but do not break your long fast hold on for one more day.
Like on day four the “diet” is the same.
Long Fast: Day #6 – Let No One Discourage You! No One!!
There is a reason this fast is for Believers and not the world. The world has many theories about long fasting. That is a distraction from the Devil. The Devil knows the spiritual benefits of a long fast. Therefore, he has to attempt to discourage us from discovering what he knows is there, power with God. Sick persons should consult with their physicians before any fast (unless their faith in the LORD will allow them).
Let nobody, nobody but the LORD Jesus Christ Himself tells you to eat o a long fast. Do you think you would die if you did not eat for forty days and forty nights? The LORD God is still LORD!!
Many Believers will go through their entire life and never do a long fast. Long fast is available for everyone but only a few will have the experience. Many Believers, believe the “talk” of the world concerning long fasts and never have an experience with the LORD because they listen to the wrong people.
How can the world know? No amount of knowledge in Biology or any of the other Sciences can inform them, only God can and they do not have an experience with Him. Fasting to petition God is different from fasting for all other purposes. Fasting to petition the LORD is different from a long fast to lose weight, a long fast to purge your body or a long fast for healing and cleansing.
The LORD made us and He is the one who will keep us during our long fast to Him. He kept Moses. Moses was a real person like any Believer; he was not a Bible Character from a story. Twice, he spent forty day and forty nights, on top cold Mount Sinai with the LORD. Do you want to know something? Moses was writing the entire time. He was writing the LORD’s instructions, specifications, design, and construction for the tabernacle and all its furniture and clothing. Moses was busy on the mountain but he never died. The Lord kept him. The same LORD can keep you too.
I know a few secular people who understand the physiological benefits of fasting but they still cannot comprehend the spiritual significance until they come to know Christ.
The famous Mathematician Pythagoras was one such person. He did a forty-day fast immediately before his exam to be accepted as a Scholar and passed it. Pythagoras fast was total abstinence, no food, no drinks. How much you who know the LORD Jesus Christ? You are well able to do the long fast the LORD God has placed in your heart.
All the activities for day six are very similar to day five, no great differences.
Long Fast: Day #7 – How Are You Feeling Today?
If your long fast is a seven-days fast click the link below to learn how to end your fast. However, if your fast is longer, nothing changes. What you did on the sixth day of your long fast continue doing until your long fast ends. If the fast is for fourteen, twenty-one or forty days the same things you have been doing from day four until now are the same things you should do until your long fast ends.
Do you think your body needs fluid? Of course your body does but that is exactly what a long fast does, teaches the Believer to “mortify the deeds of the flesh.” Yes, a fast (denial) is one of the best methods to put the flesh under control and allow your spirit to rule. Effectively, Believer, you are starving the desires of the flesh and feeding the spirit. Anything, anything starved will die, physically or spiritually. Therefore, feed your spirit, continue with your long fast to the end.
In breaking your long fast a good guide is to avoid fluids of extreme temperatures. Drink room temperature fluids, never cold or never hot. Your stomach lining is sore and extremely sensitive consuming fluids of extreme temperatures could hurt you. The steps to break your fast are the same as outlined in How to do a Christian Fast. Please read it again by clicking on the link above.
Similarly, what to do after the fast is also discussed. Please click on the link and read, what to do after breaking your long fast.
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