Healthy by Design Fasting Guidelines and FAQ’s
What is fasting?
Biblical references to the spiritual discipline of fasting describe a practice of abstaining from food for a specified period of time. Fasting is a time of bringing the body under the control of the Holy Spirit on a consistent basis. Instead of receiving the physical gratification of food and various other activities, we become very aware of the substance and power of the Holy Spirit. When we pray in this manner, it is not to get God’s attention, to impress Him, or to change Him. Instead, our purpose is to focus our attention on Him as the only Source of all of our needs. ~ Elmer Towns
Why should I fast?
Fasting is one of the most powerful weapons God has given us for our daily lives. Through fasting, you can experience spiritual renewal, spiritual breakthroughs in areas you’ve been bound, supernatural healing, a release from the bondage of sin, restoration in your relationships and so much more.
What are some options for fasting?
- Partial Fast – examples include: juice fast, liquids only, fruits and vegetables only, Daniel fast
- Absolute Fast – no food, no water
- Intermittent Fast – examples include: breakfast only, lunch only, no eating between 6:00 am – 6:00 pm
- Standard Fast – water only
If I’m fasting from 6-6, should I eat breakfast?
Yes, but it’s optional
How do I prepare for the fast?
Seek the Holy Spirit about what type of fast you should be doing and complete the following ‘prescription for deliverance’ so you’re clear on your goal for fasting.
What time will it begin and end?
The fast will run from 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 pm. If you’re doing a 6:00 – 6:00 fast, then your fast will end at 6:00 pm but continue to pray until you go to bed.
What will be the format/structure?
Since we will be doing a corporate fast (meaning ‘as a group’), it’s important that we’re all on the same accord. Psalm 133:1-3 tells us that when we come together (corporately) in unity, there the Lord has commanded His blessing.
As a group let’s agree to recite the prayer points at 6:00 am, 12:00 noon, 3:00 pm, 6:00 pm, and 9:00 pm. There are specific prayer points assigned to each time.
Throughout the day, commit to spending more time reading your Bible, sing worship songs, study the theme scriptures and expanding on the prayer points.
Should I expect a breakthrough immediately?
We need to have an expectant spirit and believe that we are being changed, however it might not happen the first time you fast. It might be a discipline that will need to be repeated many times. Also, breakthroughs often come after a fast, not during it. Ignore the enemy’s lies that might tell you that nothing is happening. Believe that every time you fast, something is changing in the heavens.
What are some of the benefits of fasting?
1. Improves your ability to hear from God (Ezra 8:21)
2. Builds you up spiritually (Matthew 4:2, 23, 24)
3. Lifts oppression and breaks demonic powers (Mark 9:29, Isaiah 58:6-8)
4. Leads you into a time of humility and repentance (Psalm 109:22-26)
5. Causes health to spring forth speedily (Isaiah 58:8)
What are some common side-effects of fasting?
This will vary from person to person. Here are some common side effects. They are more a result of your body going through the detoxification process.
- hunger pangs
- headache or stomach ache
- bad breath
- low energy/fatigue
- light-headedness / dizziness
- emotional highs and lows
Can I exercise?
Listen to your body. If you feel okay to exercise then by all means do it.
Should I nap?
This is recommended to offset some of the side-effects of fasting.
What if I feel light-headed?
This is a common side effect when your body is going through withdrawal from caffeine or sugar. Try to have a nap, pray, and drink water. If it’s a total fast, then a nap is your best bet.
What type of fast should I choose?
Seek the Holy Spirit about which fast is right for you. The type you choose will depend on what’s happening in your day, how strongly convicted you are about what you should abstain from, and your medical limitations.
Should I take my medication?
What if I’m diabetic?
Do not do a complete fast, even if it’s only for 12 hours. A partial fast is best.
Can I drink water?
It depends on you. If you feel led to do a complete fast then do not consume water.
What if I get hungry?
If you feel hungry, devote yourself to seeking God’s face. Let Him know that you need Him more than food. Read through the prayer points at these times.
What if I break my fast before it’s over, should I start again?
If you break your fast, don’t give in to condemnation. Seek the support of the group, pray and resume. God always extends grace to us.
How should I break my fast?
Break your fast with some water or something light such as soup. Avoid eating anything heavy (red meat, processed food, or fried food). Be sure to pray before you break your fast.
Is this a one-time thing?
I recommend that we fast corporately on the last day of each month, and at any other times when we feel led to fast corporately. You are also welcome to develop this discipline on your own.
What should I be praying and how often?
Corporately, we will be praying at 6:00 am, 12:00 pm, 3:00 pm, 6:00 pm, and 9:00 pm. You may feel lead to pray at other times throughout the day. Many people pray during the times that they normally would be eating.
Here are our corporate prayer points, please feel free to also include your own prayers throughout the day.
- 6:00 am – Every channel that has been keeping us from seeing who we really are in Christ is unblocked! Isaiah 58:6
- 9:00 am – As we close out one month and enter into another, we take the lessons that we have learned and apply them. Phil. 4:9
- 12:00 pm – We learn how to receive the love of our heavenly Father! Eph. 3:18
- 3:00 pm – Every curse/ lie/ordinance and evil that was ever spoken against us and prevented us from believing God’s Word is cast down! Col. 2:14
- 6:00 pm – Our faulty programming is replaced by positive, healthy mindsets. Our minds are renewed with the Word of God! Phil 4:8, Rom. 12:2
- 9:00 pm – That we will worship the Lord God only and have no other gods before Him. Food will no longer be an idol. Exodus 20:3
Also include in your prayer time:
- Gratitude for what God has revealed to you over the past month.
- A spirit of willingness and obedience in the coming month.
How should I pray if I don’t have a true repentant heart? I still enjoy overeating sometimes?
When something like food is so pleasurable, it’s almost impossible to imagine life without it. Deep down we may not even want God to take it away even though we know that it’s hurting us. Know that God will never forcibly rip anything out of our hands that we want to hold on to. God will patiently wait until we are ready to give it up, and then will meet us where we are. He will partner with us, but will never impose His will on us.
Believe in a God that is kind, gracious and tender; believe that He can fill that need even though it seems unfathomable right now. Also pray that He will make you willing to be willing to give it up. Admit where you are in the process. (He already knows anyway :))
When shouldn’t I fast?
- If you’ve struggled with eating disorders in the past, you should undertake any fasting with wisdom and caution.
- If you’re more excited at the prospect of fasting for weight-loss than for spiritual breakthrough, then it may not be the right time to fast. Or maybe you should fast from something else such at television.
- If you’re day is jammed-packed, and you know that you will not be able to make time to pray.
Please let me know if you have any more questions.