If you are an expectant mother, diabetic, and/or have a history of medical problems, or taking any medications, please consult your physician before beginning any type of fast.
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
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. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 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.” – Matthew 6:1,16-18
Here is the way I want you to fast, you will call out to me for help and I will answer you. – Isaiah 58:6-9
Allow the Holy Spirit to use selected scriptures to guide you as you pray
The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. – Proverbs 11:3
Prepare your own heart. Trust God to hear and answer your prayers
This is the confidence we have in approaching God, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask we know that we have what we asked of Him. – I John 5:14-15
Pray daily for the Bishop and church ministries
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. – Colossians 1:9
Pray for each member of our church family
But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is Godly for himself, the Lord will hear when I call unto him. – Psalm 4:3
Set Your Objective
Through fasting and prayer, we humble ourselves before God so the Holy Spirit will stir our souls, awaken our churches, and heal our land according to (II Chronicles 7:14).
Make your Commitment
Making a commitment ahead of time will help you sustain your fast when physical temptations and life’s pressures tempt you to abandon it.
Prepare Yourself Spiritually
The very foundation of fasting and prayer is repentance. Begin your time of fasting and prayer with an expectant heart. (Hebrews 11:6)
Prepare Yourself Physically
Fasting requires reasonable precautions. Consult your physician first, especially if you take prescription medication. Some persons should never fast without professional supervision.
Put yourself on a Schedule
For maximum spiritual benefit, set aside ample time to be alone with the Lord. Listen for His leading. The more time you spend with Him, the more meaningful the fast will be.
Types of Fast
The fasts suggested in this guide are not for everyone. If you are an expectant mother, diabetic and/or have a history of medical problems, please consult your physician before beginning any type of fast and if you are taking any medications.
It is encouraged to combine prayer and fasting. In Isaiah 58 the bible speaks of God’s chosen fast. Your fast may be an abstinence from food or it may be an abstinence from something optional that consumes your time. By fasting or abstaining from that activity, you will have more time to devote to prayer. In Isaiah 58 there are essentially nine reasons to fast. In addition there are also nine biblical characters whose lives personified the literal or figurative theme of each of the nine aspects highlighted in the scripture.
Disciple’s Fast – Fasting from freedom of addiction. (Matthew 17:20-21)
Ezra Fast – Fasting to solve problems. (Ezra 8:21-23)
Samuel Fast – Fasting to win people to God. (I Samuel 7:1-8)
Elijah Fast – Fasting to break crippling fears and other mental problems. (I Kings 19:2-18)
Widow’s Fast – Fasting to provide for the needy. (I Kings 17:12)
Saint Paul Fast – Fasting for insight and decision making. (Acts 9:9-19)
Daniel Fast – Fasting for health and physical healing. (Daniel 1:12-20)
John the Baptist Fast – Fasting for an influential testimony. (Matthew 3:4, Luke 1:15)
Ester Fast – Fasting for protection from the evil one. (Ester 4:16)
The nine fasts described in this guide are merely suggestive of a variety of ways to practice the discipline of fasting. There are probably as many ways to fast as there are ways to pray. The following are four kinds of fasts that can be followed when fasting.
Normal Fast – going without food for a definite period during which you ingest only liquids (water and/or juice). Extreme care should be taken with longer fasts, which should only be attempted after medical advice from your physician. The duration can vary from 1 to 40 days.
Absolute Fast – allows no food or water at all and the duration is very short.
Partial Fast – omits certain foods or is on a schedule that includes limited eating. It may consist of omitting one meal a day. Eating only fresh vegetables for several days is also a good partial fast.
Rotational Fast – consists of eating or omitting certain families of foods for designated periods. For example, grains may be eaten only every fourth day. The various food families are rotated so that some food is available each day.