More detailed information on preparing for your fast, the types of fasts, and recipes for liquid-only and the "Daniel" fast can be found under the FAMILY TIME page. Click on the menu bar above and look under "Meal Planning."
Physical Preparation: Adjust Your Body
To embrace the physical aspects of fasting more easily, there are steps that can soften the transition for your body.
In the days leading up to your fast, you should begin to eat smaller meals in smaller quantities. More fresh and raw foods should be ingested, especially vegetables and fruits. It is also wise to decrease (eventually eliminating) your intake of sugar, salt, caffeine, and processed foods.
These steps will allow your body to gradually adjust and withdraw from some ingredients and chemicals in foods that may have been addictive to your system. This gentle and gradual weaning, lessens the "cold turkey" shock (headaches, chills, shakes, nervousness) which often accompanies sudden cessation of certain foods and drinks.
Mental Preparation: Adjust Your Mind
When it comes to prioritizing our relationship with Christ above all else, we are own worst enemy. The world brims with distractions: some inherently evil, some intrinsically good, and it is imperative that we Christians live life with tunnel vision, forsaking the broad road for the narrow one.
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Matthew 7:13-14).
The broad road, the world's well-traveled path, beckons with shiny enticements, but all that glitters is not gold. Upon closer inspection, the broad road crumbles under the weight of mere fool's gold - tempting, tacky tinsel that fades and falls short of its false and hastily offered promises.
The narrow road, however, is the Lord's highway, less traveled but illuminated with Light and Life; it is the Way for all Christians.
"The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway." (Proverbs 15:19).
"The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life." (Proverbs 16:17).
"And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it." (Isaiah 35:8).
"A voice of one calling: 'In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken." (Isaiah 40:3-5).
As we journey on the Lord's highway, we have the ultimate road map (the Holy Bible) and the ultimate personal guide (the Lord Himself). It is our responsibility, however, to commit to Him, diligently and consistently, each step we take.
For this fast, in particular, prayerfully entrust every opportunity, every task, and every minute of your day to your Father, and ask Him to sift your priorities. If you filter everything through Him, He will convict you of any distractions in disguise. You can then deliberately prune your schedule, choosing nothing but God's best and chosen appointments.
The goal is to minimize everything except the Lord in order to maximize your fellowship with Him.
Spiritual Preparation: Adjust Your Heart
Without repenting - humbly and earnestly - of the sin in your life, fasting produces no blessings. Void of repentance, fasting is a futile, fruitless effort. "By their fruit you will recognize them." (Matthew 7:16-20).
Part of fasting is acknowledging our human failings and shortcomings before the Lord; He knows about them anyway, but confessing and repenting of our sin keeps us cleansed, purified, and free from pride. Our hearts remain softened for His service, and our wills bend towards His. Our sincere and earnest repentance goes neither unnoticed nor unblessed by God. (See Psalm 32: 1-6, 66:16-20; Proverbs 15:29; Jeremiah 15:19; Acts 3:19; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 John 1:8-10).
A resource written by Evelyn Christenson proves to be an exceptional aid in confessing and repenting sin. (Please see Fasting Resources, The Coming Revival, America's Call to Fast, Pray and "Seek God's Face" by Bill Bright, Chapter 9.)
As you prepare your heart to fast, ask the Lord what kind of fast He intends for you. Is He impressing a normal fast or a partial fast upon your heart? Is He calling you to fast one meal a day, one day a week, or every meal for 40 days?
Trust Him to lead and guide you as your fast begins and progresses, and follow Him in a spirit of faithfulness and obedience. He may lead you differently than you intended or anticipated! "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." (Proverbs 19:21).