Are you looking for some helpful guidelines for fasting? The following are a few fasting preparation tips from Appendix A of The Jesus Fast, a book written by Lou Engle and Dean Briggs and published by Chosen in April 2016. This is the second in our fasting series, we previously posted "Why Fast?" which we encourage you to check out! Feel free to comment and let us know your questions/comments on this blog post.
Tips for Fasting Part 2: Preparing to Fast
Seek medical advice if you are older or have health challenges- If you are pregnant, do not fast food. Period.***
Find a buddy- do the fast with someone else.
Two are better than one! We encourage young people to talk this through with their parents before starting the fast. Parents and kids should consider fasting together.
Determine the length and type of fast in advance, not after you start.
- A total fast is without water. This is extremely hard on the body. Do not go beyond three days.
- A water-only fast is very challenging, but deeply spiritual experience. Depending on your weight and metabolism, a majority of people can endure forty days on water alone.
- A fruit or vegetable juice fast allows you to enter into fasting but still gives enough energy to function. Most people can do a 40-day juice fast. Out of consideration for their health and metabolism, I would encourage teenagers to use juice and protein drinks to sustain them.
Seek the Lord for the extent for your fast whether water, juice, protein drinks or vegetables.
Two days before you fast, limit your intake of food to fruit and vegetables. Fruit is a natural cleanser and easy to digest. Stop drinking coffee before the fast. Prepare yourself for mental discomforts such as impatience, crankiness and anxiety. Expect physical discomforts. You may experience dizziness, headaches and different kinds of pains. The headaches are not a sign to stop fasting. Your body is working to cleanse itself of impurities.
Prepare for opposition.
One the first day of your fast, you can bet donuts will somehow show up at the office or in class. Your spouse (or mom) will suddenly be inspired to cook your favorite meals. Take this as encouragement from God to press ahead! Many times you may feel increased emotional tension at home. My fasts are just as difficult on my wife as on me. Satan tempted Jesus on the fast, and we must expect the same. Discouragement may come in like a flood, but recognize the source and take your stand upon the victory of Christ.
Expect to hear God’s voice in the Word, dreams, visions, and revelations!
***If you are pregnant or have health concerns that restrict you from fasting food, consider fasting something else, such as media (Facebook, TV, movies, Netflix... etc.).