The Power of Prayer & Fasting
If you will be joining us during our upcoming 21 days of prayer and fasting, we invite you to consider the following as you make preparations. Not everyone will fast a complete fast, and many will choose to fast from certain items. We encourage you to consider fasting as much as God calls you to fast.
Types of Fasts - You may choose a “Daniel’s Fast” – a diet consisting of fruits and vegetables, or you can participate in a total fast, consisting of water only, or a liquid fast of fresh juices. Other ways to participate include fasting from television, radio, internet, or anything that you recognize as having control over your life. Fasting is something the entire family can participate in to varying degrees – each person in their own way.
About Fasting - It is much easier to fast while active. Fasting will cause hunger pangs initially, but you will get the energy you need from stored fat in the body. If you are under the care of a physician, please seek his/her advice regarding the level of participation that is best suited to your physical condition.
Why Fast? – Fasting is the most powerful spiritual discipline of all those discussed in the Bible. Through fasting and prayer, the Holy Spirit can transform your life and produce incredible results. Prayer alone is mighty, but when combined with fasting it produces a powerful force against which hell cannot prevail.
Filling Ourselves during a Fast - The secret to being filled with the Spirit of God is first to empty ourselves. Through fasting, we empty ourselves of food so that He can fill us. Food is man’s greatest carnal impulse. Fasting helps you to master this appetite. When you can control the strongest appetite, you can gain control of the other carnal appetites as well. Your appetite acts as a prayer alarm. Instead of eating to satisfy your cravings, you pray. This keeps you focused all day long. We replace pleasures of the flesh with spiritual pleasure. Psalm 34:8 says, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” Taste is a trigger which sets off certain physical and mental reactions or connections. When you taste the Lord through fasting and prayer, it triggers various reactions in your heart.
Best Ways to Prepare Physically for the Fast – While hunger pangs and weakness can be expected, you need not dehydrate, faint or get sick while fasting. There are several ways to prepare yourself physically for a healthy fast:
Days before the Fast
- Stop eating foods that are high in caffeine or sugar.
- Begin drinking more water than usual.
Day before the Fast
- Eat something small every two hours.
- Avoid foods with caffeine or salt.
- Drink plenty of water.
Final Meal before the Fast
- Plan your final meal early enough in the afternoon so there’s no rush to finish before your fast begins.
- This final meal should contain high carbs and low salts.
- Don’t eat too much, but drink plenty of water
Good Advice for Ending Your Fast – After 21 days of fasting you may be tempted to “jump right back in” and eat some of the foods you’ve missed. However, it’s much better to ease back into your normal eating habits rather than suffer from an upset stomach by loading it with foods it’s not ready to digest. Here are some healthy ideas for ending your fast:
- Begin with the simple B.R.A.T. diet – Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast
- Begin with brothy soups and avoid heavy carbs and proteins
- Eat something small and light every two hours; drink plenty of water
Additional health benefits of fasting:
- The body goes through a natural detoxification process, allowing for the release of poisons and toxins from the system.
- Energy is diverted away from the digestive system due to its lack of use, and instead is routed toward the metabolism and the immune system. This allows for a swifter healing process.
- One becomes more rejuvenated due to an improved immune system, as well as the increased production of hormones.
- The body begins to use its fat stores as an energy source, which positively affects one’s cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and weight.
- Going without food imposes a mild stress on the cells of the body, causing the cells to respond by growing stronger and increasing their ability to cope with more severe stress. This causes one to become more resistant to sickness and disease.