Practical considerations for undertaking a church-wide fast
Here are some answers to basic practical questions about fasting.
Are there any people who should not consider fasting?
If you are physically ill, have a long-standing medical condition, are pregnant or know of any other physical reasons why you shouldn’t be fasting, then you should not enter into the fast. If you have had struggles with eating in the past it would be wise to speak honestly with your small group leader or another pastoral overseer before considering participation.
What level of participation should I pursue?
As a church, we have set aside two weeks to concentrate on prayer and fasting to God. You should seek God and use your common sense when deciding how much to participate. For some people this might mean taking a couple of days out of each week to fast, for others certain meals, still others might fast the whole time: All are legitimate if the fast is undertaken for God and under His guidance.
What constitutes ‘food’?
Basically anything with nutritional value whether it is a solid or a liquid. As mentioned before, in Scripture fasting involves the omission of all food and the ingestion of only water.
How should I prepare to fast?
- Spiritually - have a spiritual ‘clear out’ in your life prior to the fast: Forgive people you need to forgive, confess any sin as that might hinder your prayers (see Psalm 66:16-20 for a good example) and pray with a trusted friend through any hidden things that need to be brought into the light. Repentance is the foundation of prayer and fasting to God.
- Physically - if you plan to fast more than a day at a time, you should consider eating smaller meals a couple of days before the fast. There can be a big drop in your blood sugar if you normally have a high fat and sugar diet so it is best to reduce your intake of these before the fast.