There really is no better way to reset our spiritual compass and bring about refreshing in every area of our lives than through the practice of prayer and fasting. We want to invite you to participate with us in a twenty-one-day fasting and prayer experience that will be sure to change not only your life but the lives of your family and friends.
Important Note: Fasting requires reasonable precautions. If you have any health concerns, please consult your physician prior to beginning your fast, especially if you are taking any medication, have a chronic condition, or are pregnant or nursing a baby.
As you prepare to fast, consider the type of plan that works best for you. No one fast is more inherently spiritual than another.
Do not let the rules of the fast become your focus. Your motivation should be your desire to draw closer to God. This is a time to partially disconnect from your regular patterns and habits to connect more closely to God.
START WHERE YOU ARE
We are all at different places in our walk with God. Likewise our jobs, daily schedules, and health conditions are all different and place various levels of demands on our energy. Whether you’ve fasted before or this is your first time, start where you are. Don’t compare yourself to somebody else.
Your personal fast should present a level of challenge but know and respond to your own body, know your options and, most importantly, seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do.
Remember, the goal of fasting is not just to do without food; the goal is to draw nearer to God.
CHOOSE YOUR TYPE OF FAST
While preparing for your fast, it is important to choose ahead of time what type of fast you will participate in. Not only will this help with making the necessary preparations to implement your plan, but as you commit to a specific fast ahead of time, and know how you’re going to do it, you will position yourself to finish strong. Choosing your fasting plan is a very personal decision. We are all at different places in our walk with God and our spirituality should never be a cause for comparison or competition. There is nothing more “inherently spiritual” about one type of fast as opposed to another.Your personal fast should present a level of challenge to it, but know your body, know your options, and most importantly, seek God in prayer about this and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do. It’s also important to not let what you eat or do not eat become the focus of your fast. This is a time to disconnect enough with your regular patterns and habits in order to connect closer to God. Listed below, are some options and variations of different types of fasts you can choose to engage in. As you read over the information provided here, please consider how it applies to your circumstances and convictions. Fasting does require reasonable precautions. If you have any health concerns, please consult your physician prior to beginning your fast – especially if you are taking medication, have a chronic condition, or if you are pregnant or nursing.
CHOOSE YOUR FASTING SCHEDULE
You may choose to fast all or several days of the 21 days, such as, 3 or 4 days a week or specifically on Sundays and Wednesdays. Maybe you will do that, and end with 3 to 7 consecutive days at the end. This is your personal decision, and again should be prayerfully considered as it applies to your circumstances. Just plan ahead.
BEGIN & BREAK THE FAST WALL
Depending on the type of fast you choose, it is very important to prepare your body ahead of time before beginning the fast. Take a week or so to transition into your fast; otherwise, you could get sick. For example, if you would like to go on fruits and vegetables or juice fast, start eliminating meat, white grains, and refined sugars from your diet the week before. Also start to cut back quite a bit on dairy products and some of your caffeine intake.
This same principle applies to breaking your fast. When your fast is over, add foods back very gradually. Your body will be so cleansed and detoxified. You will most likely get sick if you add too much rich foods, etc. all at once.
FINAL FASTING TIPS
Other ideas that can help make your fasting experience more pleasant and helpful:
- As you select your type of fast, make a fasting calendar that fits your plan.
Determine what each day will look like.
- Keep your refrigerator and pantry stocked with the items you need. Being unprepared to fast sets you up to give into temptation. Choose well when selecting products, stick to raw food as much as you can and limit artificial ingredients.
- Make it a priority to attend church. Being around other believers will encourage you to keep going when fasting gets difficult.
- If you mess up, don’t get discouraged. Just get right back on track and keep going.
God’s mercies “are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22–23). He wants you to finish, and He will give you the grace and strength to do it.
Just like prayer and fasting, reading your Bible is about connecting to God in a more powerful way. It is not about duty but about relationship. When we engage God through reading His Word, we engage the very presence of God. His Word is living and active! As we read our Bible, we are drawing closer to God and positioning ourselves to hear from Him in particular ways.
WELLSPRING KIDS FASTING RESOURCES
How to Explain Fasting to Kids
An easy way to explain the benefits of prayer and fasting to kids is to compare it to cleaning out old toys that might no longer work, or that they might have outgrown, to make room for new ones. As we clean out our bodies and make time to connect closer to God and His Word, we make room to receive new gifts from Him.
Kids Fasting How-To’s
We do not recommend that children skip meals or drastically reduce their food intake, but a modification of their diet might prove to be an easy place to start. For example, fasting from specific items such as sweets, red meats, fried foods or even introducing a form of the Daniel fast which includes legumes, nuts and whole grains is a great way for children to participate in a safe and healthy way.*
Another great way to fast is by reducing some of the time and energy spent watching TV, playing video games, using the computer or phone, and instead choosing to spend time praying, reading their Bible or serving others.
Refer to our “Fasting Calendar for Kids” as an additional resource for you and your kids during the fasting season.
The main thing is for kids to recognize the value behind setting aside special times to disconnect from some of the extra-curricular activities and treats they enjoy on a regular basis and learn how to connect to God in a closer way. Write down a few prayer requests and pray together for those things throughout the fast.
*Please note, you should always check with your child’s pediatrician before your child(ren) begin any type of fasting.