No spiritual discipline should be undertaken without the necessary preparations. Fasting is no exception so here are things to consider before begin your fast:
“Where there is no definition, there is deviation”
Prepare and analyse your reasons for fasting. It will help you immensely to define your objectives and your goals. Literally ask yourself “Why do I want to do this fast?”
To break bad habits?
For the salvation of a loved one?
To become a disciplined Christian?
It is very important to know why you are embarking on this journey!
Esther 4:16 – Esther was about to risk her life to speak up for her people. She fasted for favour with the king.
“Don’t live life like there is no plan”
Got your reason(s) to fast? Well done! Now that you know what you are fasting for, it’s time to plan how you will be fasting:
The length and type of your fast,
The activity you will sacrifice,
What will be required of you to remain focused throughout.
Daniel 1:18 – Daniel knew exactly what he would give up, the possible consequences and was resolute about it!
“Prayer is the vehicle that prophesy rides in”
Set time aside for prayer to make sure you spend time talking to God about everything. If you do not already have an open conversation with Him about your life, this is a great opportunity to begin.
Remember, fasting without prayer is just a hunger strike!
Matthew 6:7-8 – do not underestimate the power of prayer!
“God does not waste his instructions”
If you are truly seeking God’s face, He will speak to you. So what do you need to do? – make sure you are ready to hear and make sure you are prepared to follow instructions!
Study the Word
Have an attentive ear, ready to hear
Do what God asks you
Anything else will lead to frustration!
Isaiah 30:21 – it’s possible to get exact instructions on what do next (even corrections when you are about to misstep)
“It is not in the volume of words… but in the depth of preparation”
One of the greatest things about this wonderful faith is the practical demands it puts on us. That means that going without food while in prayer and obedience is not enough to make this fasting period a success. You must also look deeper:
Examine yourself – are there offences that you need to forgive? In this fasting period, choose to not be offended, choose joy!
Have you offended anybody? Now is a good time to ask for forgiveness for any offences you may have caused. Your top priority as you enter a fasting period is to make sure you do so with a clean heart.
Isaiah 58:3-8 – there is a way to fast and a way that God expects you to fast. Yes, God has expectations!