Fasting-A Beginner’s Guide

There are several kinds of fasts that may last from half a day to twenty-four hours to several days for different life circumstances or personal reasons. For your first time, you might want to try first fasting for a whole day or half a day this week. Prayerfully choose a day when you’ll be the least distracted. Reflect on why you want to fast. Is there an area in your life where you seek more clarity or peace? Your reason may be as simple as wanting to draw closer to God.

Once you have chosen the day,length and reason for your fast, determine what you will fast from. You may want to try the traditional fast involving your skipping a meal or two, or abstain from a certain type of food. If your fast involves eating less, make sure you that you hydrate yourself well, preferable with water. When it comes time to break your fast, don’t make up for what you didn’t eat. Eat lightly instead.

Rather than avoid eating, some people temporarily suspend certain activities such as listening to the radio, watching TV or engaging in social media. If you’re not sure what you’ll fast from, ask yourself,what tends to take up most of my attention away from reflection or prayer? When you have selected the nature of your fast, you will need a Place, a Psalm, a Pause and a Promise to fill the void left by what you’ll be abstaining from.

A Place
Find a spot for solitude where you are least likely to be interrupted, and where you feel comfortable being in God’s presence.

A Prayer
Ask for God’s help, and let Him know that you’re new at fasting. Ask Him to speak to you through His Word. If unsure how to express that prayer, borrow the words of
I Samuel 3:10,

Here I am, Lord. Please speak. Your servant is listening.

A Psalm
Psalms are prayers in the format of a poem and lyrics to songs for which we don’t have the tune today. If not a Psalm, choose a book from the Bible that resonates with you or you find easy to follow along. Your reading is not so much for coming up with theological propositions, and much more about helping you experience God’s invitation for you at this moment. Read the passage two or three times.

A Pause
Take a break or several breaks throughout the day,such as during your mealtime. Take a moment to reflect alone when you would normally be eating or watching TV. Read your selected text and pause between the verses to absorb its meaning and message. Wonder or ask yourself:

~What is God revealing about Himself through this reading?
~What is God saying about me and what I need to do?
~Is there something I need to trust Him more with?
~What is His calling for me to do?
~How will I apply this Word to my life?
~What is my prayer after reading this passage of Scripture?

A Promise
You may not sense the effect of your time of fasting right away. The answer you seek might seem delayed. Stay encouraged. Learn as much as you can about God and how much You matter to Him. Believe that “Those who wait on the Lord- WILL renew their strength” -Isaiah 40:31

I’ll add one more to this list. It’s optional, but recommended. If possible, share with:

A Partner
A prayer partner will be a source of accountability and encouragement for you when you are tempted to drop your resolve during a fast. Share your experiences with God’s Word and pray for each other.

A Handout: My Commitment to Fasting

31 Days of Prayer for Husbands

The “Spiritually Single” page caught my attention while I was on Facebook the other day. I saw the 31 Days of Prayer for My Husband on it and thought,why encourage its use at the House of Prayer Experience meeting for  31 days leading up to Father’s Day?

Here it is below with the mention of  Shayla’s Blog. I don’t know her but I have been  impressed by  its Christ-centered message. So I asked her if it’d be okay to post the prayer prompts here, and she graciously said yes.

I especially  like this idea of praying for your husband whether or not you are married. If you plan on being married or wish to be married one day, why not begin praying for your future husband now?

She  also has 31-Day Prayers for wives,children,pastors…check it out for yourself. It might inspire you with some new ideas on how to encourage shared prayer experiences with your group or congregation.

What do you think about this one? How would you plan on using this prayer guide with your group?

31 Days of Prayer for My Husband