Most Churches have began or will be commencing their start of the year Prayer and fasting month this week. Fasting is a common practice in Christianity for various reasons. We learn in the bible when Jesus was talking with His disciples He taught them about fasting. It was expected that His disciples would fast.
Matthew 6:16-18 – Fasting
16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
5 Important Tips For Fasting:
1: Plan your day!
Most of your churches will have a timetable as to how many days you are fasting and what it is you are fasting for. Make sure you plan your day and make time for prayer and reading the word, otherwise you will just be starving yourself if you are fasting without making time for prayer and meditating on the word.
There are various types of fasts i.e, (Daniel Fast) and your church will most likely tell you which fast you are doing. If you have health issues, you simply need to decide what is right for your body.
2: Prayer and Meditation!
You should enter your day fast with prayer as this is very important. Commit your ways unto the Lord daily.
Job 38:12 “Have you commanded the morning since your days began, And caused the dawn to know its place, 13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, And the wicked be shaken out of it?”
Meditate on His word daily. “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8
3: Be considerate
Don’t deny others food just because you are fasting. Don’t become and inconvenience to those around you. Jesus is the perfect example of this practise: “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16. He could chosen to always take his disciples etc…., but he was considerate.
Disconnecting from Instagram, Facebook and whatever else form of media is out there is important for most people. Isn’t it amazing the hold social media, internet,TV, radio or newspapers can have on you and therefore hinder your fasting and prayer life. Turn off your phone if you must. I personally find that taking a sabbatical from media gives me more time to focus on my relationship with God.
Even God rested after he had done all the wonderful works of creation. There is a huge difference between rest and laziness. It is vital that you get sufficient rest as you fast because it can take its toll on you and also take into consideration any health issues you may have so that you are not worn out.
Remember the most important reason why you are fasting is to align yourself with God. So don’t neglect prayer time.