How Long Do I Fast?
For our 21 Days fasting and prayer we have limited ourselves to just three (3) weeks. We will follow a schedule (next post) which will lead us through very intense questions for God to answer as well as times to pray for the things that are burdening our hearts – those things that have motivated us to fast and pray for 2020: Our Year of Expansion!
But, how long you fast is really up to you. The length of time you choose to fast should depend upon your circumstances, but don’t get bogged down in the details!
- Jehoshaphat called for a 1 day fast (2 Chronicles 20:3)
- Esther fasted for 3 days (Esther 4-7)
- Hannah “would cry and wouldn’t eat anything.” (1 Samuel 1:7, CEB)
- David fasted 7 days (2 Samuel 12:15-23)
- Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah fasted for 10 days (Daniel 1:6, CEB)
- Daniel fasted for 21 days (Daniel 10)
- Moses and Jesus fasted for 40 days (Exodus 34:27-28; Luke 4:1-15)
- You can also fast all day, from dawn to dusk.
Our three-week fast eliminates FOOD during daylight hours. Note you are fasting from ALL food. You can drink water, or any liquid, as you feel led by God.
DO NOT ALLOW THE PHARISAICAL RELIGIOUS to dictate THEIR REGULATIONS upon you during this fast.
This is YOUR time alone with God, not theirs. God is interested in the desires of your heart.
As we cry out to King Jesus – using meal times for especially longer times of prayer instead of eating – our time to share our hearts with God grows!
“No food during daylight hours. Drink water, or any liquid, as you feel led by God.”
The length of the fast is really up to you and is motivated by the intensity of your desire to get alone with God. If you have never fasted before, starting with a shorter fast (like 21 Days) may be the wisest course of action.
Whatever length and type of fast you choose, please remember this important truth:
If it means something to you, it will mean something to God. If it means nothing to you, it will mean nothing to God.
How Do I Fast?
Essentially there are three types of fasts …
|Absolute Fast||You go without food and water. Absolute fasts should be done only for very short periods of time. It would be wise to contact your physician if you have any medical issues at all before you start an absolute fast.|
|Normal Fast||You go without food of any kind for a certain number of days. You also drink plenty of water during this fast! If the fast is longer, you also may choose to drink clear broth and juices in order to keep your strength up.|
|Partial Fast||You give up particular foods and drinks for the length of the fast. This doesn’t include the time you are normally sleeping. Examples of such fasts include: (1) The 10 day fast in Daniel 1, where the men of God chose to eat only vegetables and drink water. (2) The 21 day fast by Daniel in Daniel 10, where he chose to refuse meats, sweets and wine.|
For 2020: Our Year of Expansion fast, we are doing a modified normal fast. We simply DO NOT eat food during daylight hours.
You will see some immediate benefits to fasting … as in weight loss, clearer thinking, and greater hunger for God and His Word.
What Practical Tips Do I Need to Know About Fasting?
Begin with a purpose! You need to fast for a reason. While you are seeking God’s face during a fast, it is best to write out a specific goal or reason. Our reason for this fast is that we are crying out to King Jesus, believing 2020 is Our Year of Expansion!
Pray often. The purpose of a fast is to spend less time eating and more time in conversation with God. Using breakfast and lunchtime and an extended time in the evening in prayer before you eat dinner (perhaps the drive home from work) is what fasting is all about.
Drink PLENTY of water. In reality, fasting is like “spring cleaning” for your body. Fasting releases the toxins that have built up in our bodies. Water helps cleanse the body of those toxins.
Be prepared for headaches. When in the early days of fasting, the release of toxins and the absence of normal food – sugars, caffeine if you choose to give up coffee (which Doc is NOT giving up), etc. – can lead to headaches. THIS IS NORMAL! After a few days these headaches should pass.
Please share your experiences!
Many have never fasted. Many have never gone without a meal before. If you are “STARVING” and complaining, remember, these are key indicators that this fast is for YOU!
The FLESH runs our lives all too often. If we live in the flesh we please the flesh. We are, as the Bible tells us, “carnal” or “fleshly” and are not pleasing God.
21 Days is designed to move us from our flesh-driven ways to Spirit-driven ways.
Hang in there!