Spiritual fasting is not a diet. It’s a sacrifice for the purpose of regaining our spiritual edge and experiencing breakthroughs. When participating in a fast, it’s important we keep in mind what the Bible teaches.
Here is a brief guideline to help you make food selections during a fast.
- Whole Grains
- Nuts and Seeds
- Legumes (beans etc.)
During a Daniel fast, we sacrifice eating meat and delicacies and drinking wine. (Wine was medicinal in Bible times as it helped destroy bacteria in the drinking water.)
Delicacies include sweets and treat as well as those items you vow to abstain from as an offering to God. Remember, it’s a sacrifice, so if you dislike broccoli, that’s not a sacrifice. These items will be different for every person.
Let your sacrifice be equivalent to your need. Little need, little sacrifice. Big need, big sacrifice. Don’t short-change your experience by “under” sacrificing to God.
Be cautious about comparing do’s and don’ts with others. The goal is not to out-do one another but to honor the LORD with your sacrifice. How God may lead others may be different from how He will lead you, because your motives and needs are different. Stay focused on your commitment.
Remember to designate time to read the bible and pray. This is where the work of the Spirit happens during a fast. Without prayer and bible reading, we are dieting. That may have physical benefits but will lack the spiritual breakthrough you desperately need.
The first few days may be hard. In essence, your body is detoxing and having withdrawals from processed, high sugary foods it is used to digesting. This is normal and will pass. Be sure to drink a lot of water the first 3-5 days to help with this.
Fasting begins to clear a path for long-awaited answers to prayers that have been held up in the spiritual realm, see Daniel 10. You may begin to see answers to prayer immediately but keep going. There may be some answers you don’t receive until after your fasting is completed because the battle is bigger than you realize.
It is key for you to have a reason(s) for your fast. This provides focus during the fast. Pray about it daily, during every meal, during your commute, while you lay in bed, and as you go about your day. Fasting intensifies our prayers.
Be careful not to spend time excessively in front of the TV during a fast. This will increase the hunger pains as you watch advertisements for sizzling hot cheeseburgers and french fries. Rather invest this time in bible study, journaling, and praying.
One of the physical components of fasting is helping to cleanse your mind and body of toxins. physical and spiritual, that interfere with discipleship. I have noticed when I get “stressed” that I often turn to food, even when I’m not hungry. What I want to do is retrain my body to turn to prayer instead. Fasting will accomplish this and so much more.
**NOTE: If you have certain health concerns that may be compromised by fasting, consult your doctor before doing so. If you are taking medication that requires you to eat a specific diet, PLEASE consult your doctor BEFORE starting a fast. Dramatic changes to your diet could negatively affect your health. Clear it with your doctor first and modify your fast as needed.