In this post, I share five tips to stay the course during a fast. Any fast can be challenging at times, even if you fast often. Every fasting experience I ever completed was unique from the others in some way. Eleven years ago, I fell short during a corporate Daniel fast. I didn’t’ struggle much during the first thirteen of that twenty-one-day fast. Yet, on the fourteenth day, I had a weak moment and ate chicken.
My fall happened because of canceled plans. Please let me explain!
First, let’s look at some reasons you might consider fasting.
Reasons You Might Fast:
- You are struggling with a stronghold (alcohol, drugs, pornography, smoking etc.)
- You need to hear God’s voice clearly
- You need to make a big decision
- You keep giving into temptation
- Your marriage, children, or family are under attack
- You need wisdom and insight for your business or ministry
- You are distracted from spending time with God
- You don’t understand what you read in the Bible
- You are struggling with emotional shortcomings
- You are or someone you know is praying for healing
- You need to demonstrate humility, sorrow, and repentance
- You are praying to find a spouse
- You are praying to conceive or adopt a child
There are countless other reasons I can name here. However, keep in mind that fasting is about connecting with the Spirit of God more intimately. When you let Him pour into you and allow Him to have His way, you will experience and witness His supernatural power at work in your life. Now let’s look at how I fell off the wagon in my fast.
A Weak Moment in Fasting
My Church had an outreach event that morning. I prepared physically and spiritually for the outing in advance.
Feeding and praying with the needy would account for at least four hours of my day. Then I would be occupied and not concerned about food. If I desired something to eat, I bought fruit.
When I arrived at the Church, I learned the ministry canceled the outing to downtown Atlanta the previous day. Nonetheless, nobody bothered to inform me.
Since I planned my day, I didn’t prepare for the newly available time slot. Therefore, my mind partook in the desires of my flesh.
I was annoyed (as I can quickly get at times, but working on that), and my brain felt overstimulated. So I went to Zaxby’s to buy a parmesan chicken sandwich meal. It was on the menu during my fast and would not appear again until next year at the same time of year.
The Weakness Continued
My weakness in this fast continues. Later that day, I went over to my friend Amina’s house and ate the chicken she ordered. I kept going on this spree because I believed it had broken my fast, and I need to go all out.
Additionally, I experienced a lot on that day with my then-husband, so I stuffed my stress and emotional pain.
That night I prayed to The Lord for emotional restoration, forgiveness, and strength. I asked God to boost me to finish what I committed to—and He did. My weakness made me stronger in Christ because I turned to Him for help.
Since then, I have fasted so many times, and I want to share some tips to encourage you to keep the faith and stay the course.
1 Plan Your Fast
When you purpose a fast in your heart, plan it. If you dismiss planning, you will fail. Since fasting is a spiritual exercise, the devil will use this opportunity to pounce on you. He will watch for weaknesses in your foundation and attempt to gain a foothold into your mind. Be aware of his tactics.
Proverbs 16:9 NKJV says, A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.
Make the plan, but let the Lord direct. When you have a vision and a strong why for fasting, this will help you fight through temptation, determine your foundation and pray for God to guide and strengthen you in the process. The Lord will direct your steps in the process.
You must rely on the power of His Spirit, through prayer, by learning to let go of what your flesh craves. Your flesh will behave like a child throwing a tantrum. It will cry out for food or the bad things you’ve been partaking in.
2 Pray About Your Fast
If God prompts you to fast, be sure to pray about this to confirm this is what He wants. Once approved, always enter a spiritual fast with specifics of why you are doing it and what type you will partake in.
For example, I will partake in a partial fast with only fruit, veggies, and water for seven full days. The purpose of this fast and prayer request is to petition God to remove the stronghold of pornography and anger from my life.
Pray without ceasing. I always pray by saying, Holy Spirit, you are welcome; please have your way.
1 John 5:14 NIV says, This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
3 Read the Bible
Replace your regular eating, cleaning up the kitchen, and entertainment time with Bible reading. I understand utilizing time spent on everyday household routines may be challenging, but Jesus Christ will make way for you to spend this time with Him.
Regardless of your family set up (children, spouse, caregiver), it’s detrimental that you allow God’s living, active, and powerful Word to feed you during this time. You want to consume as much spiritual food as you can and do not limit yourself.
I suggest you incorporate a pre-planned reading or study plan for greater focus. A clear idea allows for brighter intentions and the best use of time. Don’t forget to be open to the will of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit. He will prompt you to read specific passages and books of the Bible and take you in a different direction than what you may have pre-planned.
Hebrews 4:12 NIV says, For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
There is so much power in the Word of God. It’s sharp, divides, and judges. Therefore, it can transform you.
4 Bible Teachings
Good sermons and great media can help you in a fast. Whenever I fast, I consume a lot of content on fasting and prayer. For instance, I read a book, watch/listen to sermon videos, or read blogs (like Cure 4 the Soul) about fasting.
When I saturate my mind with the very information to remind me of what I’m doing, I’m in good company. Obviously, everyone that teaches or writes about fasting is not a good resource, but the Holy Spirit will share with you what’s appropriate or not.
Nonetheless, The subject matter I consume is not only about fasting. I read or look at videos on Christ and spiritual growth in general, but I incorporate enough about fasting to encourage me in the trenches.
Nonetheless, your first resource for reading anything should always be the Holy Scriptures.
5 Get Plenty of Rest
You should get plenty of rest while fasting. Your body goes through changes as it removes built-up toxins and impurities. When you feast on wrong things, your body can hide things like inflammation, bad/clogged blood, and other symptoms of poor health.
When you wean yourself of the chemicals found in processed and GMO foods, your body will react to the purging, and you will need to rest as much as possible during the first three days.
Let the Holy Spirit lead you. If God wants you to rest more—rest! There is no harm in that. Don’t overexert yourself during this time.
Let the Lord Jesus Christ take away the stress and heaviness. Spiritual rest is essential to recharge you for the work ahead.
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Over time my fasts got longer and more robust in the spirit. Christ removed strongholds in my soul, and some bad habits went away. I experienced victory when I surrendered my weakness to God. I’m convinced that I would’ve missed out on many benefits and breakthroughs in my life if I didn’t fast in obedience to Christ.
I experienced the hand of God move mightily in my life in previous fasts, but in the recent ones, I gave up partly on them or didn’t go as long before eating my meals.
Not sticking to my plans showed me why I needed to stick with them—I was willing, but my flesh was weak.
Look, we all need God’s supernatural power to work through us. You are no different. You can’t fight these battles you’re experiencing in the natural. Your own strength is not enough.
Ask God if He would like for you to fast while you pray.
Ask God if He will strengthen you to fast if it’s in His will.
Be specific about what you are fasting and praying for, and go into it with a plan.
If this writing has benefited and blessed you in some way, please share it with two friends. Also, let me know what kind of fasts you do or have done and your experiences.