Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Practical Tips on Prayer and Fasting:
The first step is to choose the meal(s) to fast during the week. Some people will fast three meals in a row. You can begin your fast when you awake in the morning and fast through bedtime or you can begin a fast in the afternoon after lunch. Then fast supper, breakfast and lunch. This is not the only way but is helpful for many people.
If you are apprehensive (are afraid to start) and have not fasted before, you could choose one meal to start with. A breakfast, lunch or supper is fine. Take the time that you normally eat, to pray and spend it with God. You can drink fluids, such as water, tea, chicken broth or a cup of juice. Most people feel better if they increase their water intake. Once you figure out you are okay physically with fasting one meal, you can increase to two meals... or you can fast one meal a day for two or three days during the week.
Recent research on fasting and the effects on our bodies is revealing many healing and cleansing effects, especially when done regularly. If you are still apprehensive, start with one meal at a time and then increase to two or three.
Mondays are a great way to start the week, in fasting and prayer. Others take Thursdays or Wednesdays or noon hours to fast and pray. Some people like to walk and pray over their lunch hour, while fasting as well. There are many options.
Accountability with a friend can be helpful as well. You can pray over the phone together, or you can email or chat and touch base to help strengthen each other in the commitment.
WHEN YOU FAST, take the time you would normally eat, and use that to pray instead as you are fasting. Or try to set aside a different time to pray, if you are not able to pray right then.
Fasting is something we have to work out for ourselves personally. For instance, some people feel best if they only drink water. Others will have a small cup of juice around mealtime. Most people feel best if they increase their water intake on a day of fasting. One gentleman was ready to quit his 24 hour fasts one day a week, because of not feeling good. But when he increased the amount of water he drank while fasting, it significantly improved how he felt... and he continued the commitment.
If you are medically unable to do a complete fast from food, you can modify and do a partial fast that would work for you. Some people will eat just a few crackers or small bits of meat throughout the day if they cannot medically stop eating completely.
Fasting from food is the most powerful type of fast. It is a way of leaning on God, and pressing in to hear Him better. It is following Jesus' teaching on "when you fast", in Matthew 6. You can clear liquids like juice, water, tea, herbal tea, a coffee, chicken broth. This is called a liquid fast, where we abstain from "chewy food" and commit to clear liquids during the fast. One suggestion is also to stay away from secular television while fasting from food. This can be a way of keeping our ears attune to God. Some people like to walk and pray during their fasting meal(s) as well.
We are told in the word of God to work out our salvation. So also we work out our fasting. We can try a few different ways:
- walking and praying over the mealtimes, or sitting in our car and praying...
- using water only, or using a moderate cup of juice, teas, or clear broths.
- drinking extra water while fasting usually helps you feel better during it.
You can try various ways in your fasting and prayer time and find what works well for you.
Take time to pray and:
- Ask for the Lord's will in our nation, leaders, and regions.
- Ask for a neighbor and/or loved one's salvation... and persist in it.
- Some people will tell the Lord when they begin to fast, what they are fasting for: spiritual awakening, other request you may you have.
- Then persist in it weekly or regularly. There are blessings that will follow as you do. The persistence pays off!