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Questions About Fasting

On a message forum someone asked:

"I've always wondered, how do you go about doing it?  Do you only drink water, or do you eat any kind of food or take vitamin supplements? Any unusual physical side effects? Just curious, I don't know if I have the willpower to even give up ONE meal!"'

My reply:

As I stated in my article, I don't find fasting easy, but one day when I found out it is a way to serve God (Luke 2:37)  It really made me think.

Personally, I believe the Lord allows me to have fluids during my fasts. He has always honored this and I'm grateful for that. My husband has been fasting for much longer than I (I was afraid of the whole idea for a long time) and he would drink mostly water but sometimes juice when he felt weak. I knew the Lord honored him in this, so I followed suit. I have gone with just water also, but this is very hard for me. Some people might find this just not have anything in their system at all. The Lord will lead.

Some Christians feel they will never be able to fast because they drink coffee and could not go a day without it. I think the Lord would be honored for this Christian to just drink their coffee and nothing else if it helps them to get started in fasting and prayer. Everyone needs to get started somewhere, and the Lord understands our frame. This is a heart matter even more than a fasting matter, and fasting means to do without physical sustenance to concentrate on prayer to the Lord. Later on, those who drink coffee might be able to reduce their coffee during a fast, or forsake it entirely.

It is not easy to not eat supper when you have to cook it and then abstain while others eat. This is a sacrifice of love, and the Lord does honor this greatly.

The Bible has so much to say about fasting it is amazing. Please visit Diane Dew's website with a Bible outline on FASTING.

Excerpts are below:

A fast may be absolute (no food or water) or partial.

Complete fasts: Deut. 9:9, 18, Ezra 10:6, Ester 4:16, Acts 9:9, Acts 27:33

Partial fasts: (abstaining from certain foods only) 1 Kings 17
Daniel 10: 3

Diane's article gives scripture references for lengths of fasts, when to fast, and more.

No, I don't take vitamin supplements during fasting, but if you need to do this to feel better to start, go ahead.  God wants the obstacles to fasting to be pushed out of the way...fasting is THAT important.  I don't have any physical reactions except some hunger pangs (these are brief and do go away) the first and second day. After that it is easier. Again, God will lead you.

My teen-aged son fasted and prayed for the first time two weeks ago (he was burdened for his friend's salvation) and he fasted supper for the first time. He had a hard time and at midnight (the new day begins) he ate.

The second time he fasted he went lunch and supper and the next day he said he didn't feel hungry. He was amazed and is much less "afraid" of fasting now.

I have a regular, specific time of fasting God has given me, and I don't look forward to it, but when it is done I'm so glad for how God uses it as a service to him. But God has shown me in many ways that he really does honors fasting and prayer, so I persevere.

Ask God for the grace to fast. Ask him for one meal to start. He will honor it, because Jesus said if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us! Jesus said WHEN we fast, not if.  He will see you through.

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