If you’re like my church or about one thousand other churches in the U.S., then you probably started on a 21 day fast at the beginning of January. I know I know, you’re dying for a cheeseburger right about now, with extra everything! For me it’s the lack of caffeine that’s killing me. The nearest Starbucks from my house is at least 7 miles, and I swear I can smell that Caramel Macchiato as if it was brewing in my own kitchen lol. For some people they dread this time of year and for others it’s an enlightening experience. I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum, which is what made me think of some tips for getting through, which most call, the Daniel Fast. It’s not meant to be easy but it also shouldn’t be looked at as a burden or something to do and get over with. Some days are hard and for most it’s not the easiest thing to do, but if you’re fasting this should be a time of refreshing your spirit and getting it aligned with the will of God first thing in the New Year. Here are 5 tips I put together to help you do just that and survive the 21 day fast.
DECIDE TO BE ALL IN
I find the biggest problem with getting through a fast is giving yourself options or alternatives to the fast you’re on ultimately resulting in you quitting the fast altogether. I’ve been through this a few times when fasting. Saying things like “Ima try this fast and see what happens” or “Ima just fast Monday through Thursday, and then take the weekend off” or even stuff like “God knows my heart” (Thats the one most of us use lol). Although God does know each and every one of our hearts, He also honors our commitment to stay true to the fast were on, sacrificing what we love to eat and watch to get closer to Him. So when you decide from the very start to give this fast everything you have, to be ‘all in’, you don’t leave any room for alternatives or other options. You declare that this is the fast you’re on and you’re going to see it through to the end.
This may go with the first tip, or maybe not but secondly you HAVE TO PREPARE!! Not being prepared for a fast can put a halt on your fast quicker than anything. The enemy can use your non-preparation as a weapon against you to get you to quit early or not start at all. What do I mean by prepare? Well first you need to prepare mentally. If you’ve been a member of your church for more than a year then you know there’s a fast coming every year at the same time each year. Start getting your mind ready at least a week or two in advance. I know that’s a little difficult when you’re just coming off of literally pigging out on Christmas and New Years, but being mentally prepared is half the battle. Get physically prepared. Instead of trying to eat as much of everything as you can the night before, try fasting a day early. Eat a plate of veggies and drink some water. Get your stomach ready for what’s to come the next 3 weeks. Last but not least, prepare spiritually. Get your spirit aligned with whats to come. Start praying about the fast and asking God to help you get through it. Find some scriptures on fasting that will help you before and during the fast.
KNOW WHAT YOU ARE FASTING FOR!
Get out a pen and paper or if you’ve finally caught up to the 21st century, grab your nearest tablet and write out a list of things and people you’re praying for. This kind of puts everything in perspective. When you start feeling like you want to quit or you start wavering and want to give up, look at your list. It will motivate you to continue, to keep striving, to make it to the end. When you see things like, ‘fasting for my mom who was just diagnosed with cancer’, ‘fasting for my brother/sister to give their life to christ’, or ‘fasting for God to bless my family financially so that we can pay our rent’, it really keeps you going. Now your reasons for fasting may not be this extreme, but they do mean a lot to you. And that’s the point of knowing what you’re fasting for and writing down a list of things that you need the Lord to do for you and your family
Pray! Pray! Pray! Fasting without prayer is just going on a hunger strike. All through the Bible whenever you heard about someone fasting, they were also praying. Talking to God is necessary and essential during a fast. Praying also helps you to hear God during the fast. It brings you closer to him and his will for your life. In prayer is when you bring that list of things you’re fasting for before God and lay them down before his feet. And continue to bring that list among other things before Him. Pray without ceasing!!
DON’T GIVE UP!
Whatever happens don’t get discouraged. You may not see what you fasted for come to past for months or even years, but know that your fasting is not in vain. Whatever you do don’t give up. Don’t quit. Continue to pray and believe that everything is working out for you and your family’s good. You’re not fasting for nothing, you’re fasting to see an extreme move of God in your life. So hold on and don’t waver, but give it all to God and keep striving until the end!
If you have any tips for fasting or anything you would like to say please comment below and give me your thoughts…