Thursday, January 3, 2013

Five Tips For Fasting

We're starting the New Year with a focus on prayer and fasting, and while these spiritual disciplines have been around for over 3000 years, there are regularly people that participate in fasting for the first time.  I want to give you five tips to help you on your fast.

  1. Pray -- Keep prayer your regular focus while fasting.  You might be surprised to find that going without food is the easy part.  Many of us know what it is like to "work through lunch", but this doesn't constitute a fast.  Remember to pray or you are just starving.
  2. Read Scripture -- Fasting focuses you on your spirit.  In times of fasting you'll more clearly be attuned to the voice of God in the scriptures.  Be sure to fill your mind with God's word.
  3. Hydrate -- While doing without food, I would still recommend remaining hydrated.  Drink plenty of water.  This will help you remain alert, and replenish your body.
  4. Journal -- Write down the questions you have for God, requests you are making of Him, and impressions you perceive about things in which you should be obeying the Lord.
  5. Keep it true -- Fasting is not a contest between you and others.  No one is keeping score.  It is between you and God.  It is a contest between your flesh and your spirit.  Your flesh will cry out  especially on days 2 and 3 of a fast.  But hunger pangs will subside.  Dale Carnegie once wrote that he fasted and found that he was less hungry on the evening of the sixth day than he was on the evening of the second day.  This is a common physical experience.  I don't know if you have embarked on that long of a fast, but it is helpful to know the signs.  When a fast becomes a contest with others or an act of vanity, my recommendation is to end your fast.  Keep it about your spirit overcoming you flesh.  Keep it about knowing God better and hearing from Him.

--Pastor Ben

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