I have been fasting intermittently for two weeks now. Isaiah 58 (Check Page 2 of the link) speaks on the purpose of a day of fasting, from God’s perspective, as a day of Celebration. I wanted to share my fasting method, schedule, reasoning, routine, and lessons so far from this new habit of mine.
My Fasting Method:
I fast once a week from sundown to sundown, only drinking water during. I fast sundown to sundown because days were considered night-day cycles in the bible. I’m not married to this concept but it also helps me still function throughout my day and really take time for myself in the evenings. When I break my fast, I eat only fruits, vegetables, and a bit of pita afterward. I try to eat as light as I can so that my stomach doesn’t freak out from heavy foods. If you fast for longer than 24 hours, I would recommend starting with fruit juices then fruit then salads over an extended period of time. Your body was just devoid of all food, you don’t want to get sick by breaking your fast with pizza and burritos.
So, Ideally I would fast on the Sabbath. The biblical Sabbath is seven days after the new moon. I’ve been doing it Saturday Night into Sunday Night because the scheduling is difficult, especially in graduate school or days that you MUST work. I am planning on maintaining it on Saturdays because next month’s Sabbath is Tuesday into Wednesday and I have extensive classes those days. I might keep it on the Weekends to allow me to really take the time off.
What I do during the fast:
Nothing. Well, not exactly nothing but I don’t work or buy anything. The purpose of the fast is to get away from your daily occurrences. Focus on spending time with friends, family, doing acts of good, taking personal time, and (most importantly) time with God. My first goal is God. He’s the reason why I am doing this at all. I try to say a prayer at the beginning to connect with Him and ask Him to speak in my life. Then, I read my Bible for a couple of chapters. If I can find a Christian movie or something I’ll watch that, but most of the time I’ll make this my personal time. I stop thinking about work, relationships, friends, issues, politics, and whatever else to just be in the moment and be thankful for my blessings. Before I fall asleep, I make sure I pray for all of my friends & family on my prayer list.
The next morning, I try to listen to a couple devotionals and find a couple of messages. I like to see what new perspectives I can absorb and ideas that develop. I might have conversations with a few friends about anything but I tend to shift towards God because that is where my heart is. Towards the end of the fast, I might look up some verses, reflect on any messages, and then say a final prayer of thanks.
I started my fasting to subject my body. I was really having trouble focusing, lustful thoughts, and just feeling disconnected from God. In the process, I started to enjoy the time to really unplug from the world and just be appreciative for where the Lord has placed me. God has given me so much and to be able to stop stressing for 24 hours and focus on Him and His blessings has been nurturing so far. I am planning to make this a permanent part of my schedule unless I am traveling. I don’t want to get sick or something away from a controlled environment.
It has been difficult. After I’ve finishing my fasts, the devil has sent a lot of temptations and distractions on Sunday night. It almost seems like the devil wants to prove that even though I successfully fasted, “I still am weak.” But, “I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.” So, they are feeble attempts at best, hindrances at worst. This is still extremely early on and I probably will check in a few weeks from now but it has been fruitful. I feel more connected to God and less focused on my own needs. I still developing this method but it’s something that has made me happy and at peace these past few weeks.
Any questions about my fast or reflections? Any lessons you have from your experiences or things you’d like to try? This has been my method for getting closer to Him. Leave your thoughts and comments in the section below.