On Dec. 18, Rev. Margaret Minnicks gave an overview of fasting and some fasting tips to participants during Wednesday night Bible Study at New Canaan Worship Center in Richmond, Virginia in preparation for the church's first fruits fast from Jan. 5 through Jan. 25, 2014.
Pastors Lois Blakey-Paige and Louis R. Blakey, Jr. have called the Daniel Fast for the church during the first three weeks of the new year.
What Is Fasting?
Fasting is the act of willingly abstaining from food or other activities for a specified time. Fasting practices may involve the abstinence from some foods, and not from others.
Fasting always occurs together with prayer in the Bible. You can pray without fasting, but you cannot fast effectively without praying.
Types of Fasts
- The Normal Fast: This fast is when a person abstains from food for a definite period of time. It could be from 1 day to 40 days. Only water and/or juice is consumed during this specified period.
- The Partial Fast: This partial fast is the Daniel Fast that Daniel practiced for three weeks (Daniel 10:3). Eat no meat, no sweets, no bread and drink water and juice. Eat fruits and vegetables. Veggie burgers are an option as well. Some people drink protein drinks. This is the most common fast for 21 days.
- The Radical Fast: The person refrains from both food and water for an extended period of time. A radical fast can be harmful to your health and in most cases should not exceed three days. In the Bible Esther, Ezra and Paul went without food and water for three days.
- The Absolute Fast: This 40-day fast is based upon direct guidance from God and the supernatural ability given by God to complete the fast. Moses, Elijah and Jesus did the absolute fast.
- The Rotational Fast: You eat or omit certain families of foods for designated periods on a rotational basis.
- The Sacrificial Fast: Fast from anything that would be a sacrifice for you personally. Examples: not watching television for a while, or giving up social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
What To Do During a Fast
- Spend time praying, praising and worshiping God.
- Read your Bible every day and meditate on God's word.
- Keep a journal.
- Pray as often as you can throughout the day.
- Get away from the normal distractions.
- A quick way to sabotage your fasting is to engage in quarreling and gossiping.
- Avoid chewing gum during your fast. Chewing activates the digestive processes.
- Avoid mints and fruity candies. Use breath strips instead.
Fasting Facts To Remember
- Fasting and praying go together.
- Ask God to remove barriers of sin in your life.
- Skipping meals is not fasting.
- While fasting, you must set aside time to pray and seek spiritual insight.
- Fasting from food is not dieting. However, you could lose from 1-2 pounds per day while fasting.
- Combine fasting with prayer, scripture reading, meditation and journal writing.
- Fast for the right reasons. God will reward your fast only if you are obedient in all areas of your life.
- Refrain from quarreling and gossiping while fasting.
Expected results from your fast are found in Isaiah 58:3-12. The entire chapter of Isaiah 58 is known as "God's Chosen Fast."
For fasting scriptures that go along with the 21-Day Fast can be found on New Canaan's website. Feel free to fast and pray along with us.