Taking part in a fast is both exciting and scary. Especially, if you’re new to fasting or are trying a different type of fast.
I found myself in this exact situation when my church decided to do a 40 day Daniel fast. I’d done smaller fast before, but I was really stressed out about fasting for 40 days. Even though they told us a month in advance, I still didn’t feel prepared or confident that I could fast for that long.
Maybe your church is preparing to do a fast or you’re feeling led by God to fast and pray, but you don’t feel prepared or confident that you can do it.
This post is just for you. Today I’m going to share with you 12 simple tips that will help you mentally, physically, and spiritually prepare yourself to have a successful fast.
How to Mentally Prepare For a Spiritual Fast
Tip 1- Educate Yourself
If you haven’t fasted before there are several ways you can start preparing yourself to fast:
- Read about people who fasted in the bible.
- Read books about fasting. (This is my favorite book on fasting.)
- Watch YouTube videos on fasting and prayer.
- Talk with other mature Christians about their fasting experience.
Tip 2- Know Why You’re Fasting
Knowing why you’re fasting is extremely important. For instance, I’m taking part in my church’s corporate fast because I want to see our church grow and prosper.
I also want to draw closer to God and need a spiritual breakthrough in several areas of my life. Whether your fast is corporate or individual, it’s important to know why you’re doing it.
What is your reason for fasting?
- To draw closer to God?
- Do you need God to move in an area of your life?
- Are you seeking God on behalf of a loved one?
- Are you fasting because you need healing (spiritually, emotionally, or physically)?
When you know ‘why’ you’re fasting giving up a few meals, social media or your favorite food is easy.
For example, my eldest son was having some issues at his new school. After talking to the principal several times my husband decided that he and my son would go on a fast.
This was right before Thanksgiving, my husband’s favorite holiday. He could have easily ended the fast before Thanksgiving or on Thanksgiving, but he decided that my son’s breakthrough with the school was more important than his favorite holiday foods.
Since then my son hasn’t had any more issues at school.
Tip 3- Set Your Schedule Ahead of Time
Instead of waiting until the day of your fast to figure out a schedule, start now.
Remember the purpose of fasting is to spend more time with God through prayer, bible study, praise, and worship.
Take stock of how you spend your day. Where can you make more time for God?
Designate a time of day to pray, read, and praise the Lord.
If you already have a quiet time routine, try extending those periods during the fast.
I typically pray and read in the morning before the kids wake up, but when I’m fasting, I also pray and read in the evening before bed.
Not sure who or what to pray for? You can read my post on 10 Things All Christians Need to Pray For for inspiration.
If you don’t know what to do during your quiet time, read my post on How to Grow in Your Walk With Christ.
Maybe, you are looking for a few new activities to do during your fast, you can read my post on What to Do During a Fast.
Now that you’re mentally prepared to fast, let’s look at how we can prepare ourselves physically.
How to Physically Prepare For a Fast
One of the biggest questions people have when it comes to fasting is what can I eat?
That depends on what kind of fast you’re doing. You can read my post on different kinds of biblical fasts.
The most popular kinds of fast are the Daniel fast and the Juice/Water only fast.
If you know about your fast ahead of time, there are several steps you can take to prepare yourself physically.
Tip 4- Start cutting out sweets, meats, etc beforehand.
The first week of fasting is usually the hardest because your body is adjusting to the changes you have made in your eating habits.
You can lessen these symptoms by gradually cutting these things out beforehand.
Tip 5- Toss or hide any snacks.
Once when I was fasting, I grabbed a peppermint from the kids’ candy jar out of habit.
It wasn’t until I had eaten half of it that I realized I was eating candy.
I quickly spit it out, but this all could have been avoided had I put it out of reach in the first place.
Tip 6- Know The Physical Symptoms Associated with Fasting
Any time you change your diet your body will go through various detox and withdrawal symptoms.
Especially, if you are a heavy coffee drinker or consume large quantities of sugar.
Some of the most common are:
Symptoms may vary depending on what kind of fast you’re doing and usually go away after a few days.
Tip 7- Increase Your Water Intake!
Most of us don’t drink enough water during the day.
Start to gradually increase the amount of water you drink each day.
When you are fasting water is your friend. It will help flush out all the toxins that have been building up in your body and can help ease hunger pains.
Tip 8 – Create a Collection of Recipes Before You Start Fasting.
If you are doing a Daniel fast or any kind of fast where you’re changing your normal diet having recipes on hand will be a lifesaver.
It will be easier for you to go shopping and figure out what you’re going to eat each day. The Daniel Fast Cookbook has a ton of recipes you can use.
Because we are talking about fasting for spiritual purposes, then it makes sense that there are some things that we need to do spiritually to prepare for this season of prayer and fasting.
How to Prepare Spiritually For a Fast
Tip 9- Repent and Confess Your Sins
Prior to starting your fast, you need to ask the Lord for forgiveness and confess any sins you may have committed.
Ask him to search your heart and reveal any hidden sin or unforgiveness you may harbor.
I love what David says to the Lord in Psalms 139:23-24,
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Tip 10- Ensure Your Motives are Pure.
Go back to your why?
Are you fasting for selfish reasons?
Are you fasting for your spouse’s salvation just so you can have someone to go to church with you?
Or do you sincerely desire for them to have a relationship with Christ?
Are we fasting just for show? So people will know how pious and self-righteous you are?
If your motives are not right, then you are just wasting your time. Check your motives at the door and make sure you’re fasting for the right reasons.
Tip 11- Expect God to Move
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.Mark 11:24
What is the point of praying and fasting if you don’t have faith? Go into this fast expecting God to move in your situation and for your prayers to be answered.
If your faith is lacking ask God to increase your faith during this time.
Tip 12 – Expect to Be Tested
Expect to be tested spiritually, physically, and/or emotionally during this time of fasting.
Even Jesus was tested by the enemy when he was fasting in the wilderness (Matt 4:1-11).
Don’t be surprised if all heck breaks loose before, during, or after your fast. Or if the enemy comes knocking at your door with a false answer to your prayers. Stay on guard and be alert.
Fasting, when coupled with prayer, is a powerful weapon against the forces of the enemy.
Fasting draws us closer to God and allows us to gain clear direction and insight from him.
In order for our fasts to be successful, we must prepare ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually to receive all that God has for us.
How do you prepare for a fast? Were there any tips mentioned today that you might not have considered before? Share it with me in the comments section.
As always, remember to keep Jesus in the center of everything you do.
Your Sister in Christ,