Successful Christian Fasting – 7 Steps
Today, I will employ seven steps describing how to execute Christian fasting successfully. These are biblical tasks that we should perform to undertake Christian fasting.
Successful Christian fasting is different from all other forms of fasting. It differs in perspective, activities, fast duration, fasting goals, purpose, and result.
Therefore, when I talk about fasting, I’m referring to Christian fasting or biblical fasting.
The name itself is somewhat of a misnomer. Its practices and procedures actually have their origins in Judaism. No surprise here, for Jews started Christianity.
Moreover, it revolves around a Jewish leader, Jesus Christ.
Nevertheless, the execution of our contemporary Christian fast borrows from Jewish predecessors, like Moses, David, Daniel and so many more before.
Understanding Christian fasting is crucial to a successful Christian life. Therefore, let’s explore the nuts and bolts of doing it.
Step #1:- Preparations?
Today, there is much noise about prior physical preparation for fasting.
The supporters of it claim that it reduces the onset and the intensity of hunger pains, and
being able to deal with them.
We are oftentimes, encouraged to perform various tasks before fasting.
These include but are not limited to:
- Drink lots of fluids, including water and fruit juices.
- Gradually reduce the portions of each meal as your fast-day approaches.
- Consume less bulky foods and
- Focus more on fresh fruits, vegetables, and juices.
- Eat softer foods.
- And this list goes on…..
On the one hand, this is great advice. As you learn how to do Christian fasting, if you are so inclined, feel free to adopt any of these fasting tips. There is no harm in following them.
Prior Preparations And Christian Fasting
On the other hand, is prior physical preparation required for Christian fasting? I’m not a nutritionist nor am I a Medical Doctor, but speaking from personal experience it does nothing for you during your fasting.
After the first twenty-four hours of your, say, three days and three nights fast, all your efforts to prepare for the fast are consumed by your body already.
Mentally, however, you need to prepare yourself for the task of fasting.
There is no doubt that a fast, which is twenty-four hours or less, requires no physical preparations beforehand.
Which Bible character prepared before fasting?
Did Moses, Daniel, Job, David, Esther, Jesus or Paul make any prior physical preparations for fasting? No! None of them did.
We see Jesus undertaking a long fast. He fasted for forty days and forty nights. But he made no previous preparation for this extended fast.
Did Jesus Prepare For Fasting?
Jesus immediately after his baptism by John the Baptist was “led by the Spirit” into the desert to be tempted of the Devil (Matthew 4:1; Luke 4:1, Mark 1:12).
Consequently, he couldn’t have prepared for fasting beforehand. It wasn’t planned.
Therefore, the Bible is silent on this. Consequently, don’t feel pressured into preparing.
If you want to, go ahead but if not, don’t. It has no impact on the outcome of your Christian fasting.
Step #2:- Decide How Long to Fast
Seeing that the Bible is silent on the length of Christian fasting, we must decide on the duration of it.
It provides a spectrum of Christian fast durations. These range from an evening, overnight, twelve hours, a day, three-day and three nights, seven days and seven nights, fourteen days, twenty-one days, to forty days and forty nights.
They are for our examples: choose one.
Adopt the one that best suits your physical and spiritual needs and do it!
If you are a “newbie” to fasting, start with the shortest time segment. Do a twelve-hour Christian fast then gradually increase it as your confidence, knowledge, and fasting skills improve.
Step #3:- Establish Your Christian Fasting Goal
You should never engage in Christian fasting unless your fasting goal or goals are clear.
It’s not unheard of to have goals for a fast. But most should have a single well-defined objective for the fast duration (Nehemiah 1:2-3, 11; Esther 4:16; 1 Samuel 1:20).
This Bible Study will teach you how to conduct Christian fasting successfully and focused.
An effective fast is focused.
This is when you approach God and heaven to realize the fasting objective.
Direct all your efforts towards that one goal. Focus all your prayers toward it.
Read scriptures relating to it. Meditate on it.
But fasting goals evolve. When I was about seventeen, one of my fasting goals: stop chasing girls.
Say, thirty years later, if I were still fasting about that I certainly wouldn’t be writing about how to Christian fast, now.
Over time, all that I have fasted for I have attained. Fasting works! However, for Believers, it must be biblical.
Step #4:- Begin Your Christian Fasting
Having decided on the fasting duration and goal, begin your fast.
The constituents of every Christian fasting, must by definition, include at least the seven features listed below.
Step #5: – Execute Your Christian Fasting
As you navigate your fasting, from start to finish, include or observe the seven biblical features below.
Paying Attention to The Following During Your Fasting:-
- A Day to seek God.
- A Time to Approach God.
- A Day to Mourn.
- Afflicting Your Soul.
- A Day the Lord Chooses.
- A Day the Lord Accepts.
- Tasks that we maximize while we fast.
Step #6:- Ending a Christian Fasting Episode
End your fasting at the time you decided before you began your fast. Not before.
However, exercise great care and sound judgment in breaking your fast.
Many Believers do more damage to themselves breaking the fasting than at any other time.
For this reason, learning the correct Christian fasting correctly is crucial to your physical and spiritual health.
If your fasting was for twelve hours your body may not have been through any significant changes.
However, for fasts longer than twenty-four hours approach them with wisdom and caution. Your body has changed.
No eating or drinking after that time has taken a toll on your body.
Your stomach has gotten much smaller and more sensitive. It has become especially sensitive to spicy and acidic foods.
How to Break Your Fasting?
I have also discovered, through my love for this plant that it is very helpful in breaking a fast, the sugar cane.
Eat one or two “joints” (nodes) of it and they will work magic.
Similarly, the water from the green coconut, or “Jelly-water” as it’s locally known in my home country, Jamaica, West Indies, is equally as effective in breaking your fast.
Drink a glass of it and it will re-energize your body with its natural electrolytes. This will break your fasting.
Foods to Avoid
- Avoid orange juice,
- Ripe bananas (yellow bananas) and
- Pineapple juice.
The orange juice that you make a home is OK, but the OJ that you purchase in the supermarkets is not. Avoid it.
It’s too harsh on the stomach and too acidic.
However, if you are unable to source any of those foods, make use of what you have. Any soft fruit is good.
- Pawpaw or papaya are wonderful.
- So too are naseberries or sapodillas
- and most ripe mangoes.
Any tea, porridge, soup, broth, fruit juice, drink, or plain old water is ok, as long as, it’s not hard on the sensitive stomach.
Despite the foods or fluids, you use to break your fast, consume small portions.
As soon as you eat or drink any food or fluid respectively, you break the fast.
Step #7:- After Christian Fasting
After you have broken your fast, utilize the following rule of thumb to return to eating your natural and regular diet: the duration of your fast is the time you should take to return to your natural diet.
Therefore, if you fasted for three days gradually return to your regular diet in three days. If it’s for two days, then in two and similarly for one, in one.
Learn The Difference Between Fasting In The World And Christian Fasting!
The world doesn’t understand how to do a Christian fast and it never will. But, Jesus gave no direct commandment to the church to fast.
The Bible, on a whole, provides no direct instruction to the Church to fast either.
But they are not silent on the topic. This doesn’t mean that the Lord left this most important Christian discipline in the dark. Far from it!
If you are searching for something and you are ignorant of what you are looking for, it could be right in front of your eyes and you would be no wiser about it.
This is very similar to how the world and many Christians see fasting.
The Christians are the only religious group confused about fasting.
Motivation to Learn About Christian Fasting
As it is in the natural so is it in the spiritual. Jesus explained a similar situation to his disciples.
When they questioned him concerning his motivation for teaching the people using parables, his reply is stunning but informative.
He told them he taught the people with parables for the disciples’ sake.
“And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?” (Matthew 13:10).
“He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given,” (Matthew 13:11).
A similar principle applies to fasting.
Seeing that Jesus’ disciples had to search the scriptures to know and understand the “mysteries of the kingdom of heaven”, we must do a similar thing to learn of the power and reward Christian fasting furnishes the Believer.
Christian fasting is not for everyone. It’s only for Believers. Consequently, we cannot fast as we desire, for the Lord God, through His Words, the Bible, instructs us how to fast.
Conversely, the world could fast however it chooses. It is accountable only to itself. On the other hand, the Church must obey the Lord, to be effective even in fasting.
The ultimate benefit of Christian fasting is not physical but spiritual. However, we do benefit naturally from it.
The world is just realizing this but Christian fasting has always positively impacted the Christian’s life.
Anybody could do their research and write about fasting. And there are many writers who have never done any Christian fasting and they are writing about it.
Similarly, many neither fast nor are they Christians, and should they teach you how to fast as Believers?
The world is constantly changing. How it conducts its fasting is also evolving, but Christian fasting is according to the Word of God. It never changes.
It is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Our fasting should reflect the Word of God.
In closing, share with us, your Christian fasting tips or problems in the comments below. Have a successful and result-filled fast.