Reflections from Pastor Jennifer
Church Christmas Party
Helpful Instructions to Prepare for Fasting Season
Guidelines for fasting from food
- Don’t fast when you are sick, traveling, pregnant or nursing. People with diabetes, gout, liver disease, kidney disease, ulcers, hypoglycemia, cancer and blood diseases should not fast.
- Don’t fast if you are in a hurry and are fasting for immediate results regarding some decision. Fasting is not magic.
- Listen for a nudging from God to fast.
- Stay hydrated. Always drink plenty of water and fluids.
- If you are new to fasting, begin by fasting for one meal. Spend the time with God that you would normally be eating.
- Work up to longer fasts. Don’t attempt prolonged fasts without guidance. Check with your doctor before attempting long periods of fasting.
- If you decide to fast regularly, give your body time to adjust to new rhythms of eating. You may feel more tired on days you fast. Adjust responsibilities appropriately. (Expect your tongue to feel coated, and expect to have bad breath.)
- Begin a fast after supper. Fast until supper the next day. This way you miss two, rather than three, meals.
- Don’t break your fast with a huge meal. Eat small portions of food. The longer the fast, the more you need to break the fast gently.
What to do in in the time set apart for fasting
Bring your Bible and a glass of water during your fast.
Relax and breathe deeply. Place yourself in the presence of God. Offer yourself and your time to God by repeating Samuel’s words “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” Or simply say, “Here I am.”
Spend some time worshiping God for his faithfulness. Thank him for where he has come through for you. Psalm 103:1-5 also provides a starting point for praise.
Bring your desires to God. Ask him if this desire is in line with his will and his word for you and the church. Be still and listen. Offer your desires and prayers to God.
- When you feel empty or restless, what do you do to try to fill the emptiness? What does this tell you about your heart?
- What is your attitude toward fasting or self-denial?
- In what ways do you currently deny yourself?
- When has self-denial brought you something good?
- What has the experience of fasting been like for you?
- Where do you operate from an entitlement mentality? How can you wean yourself from this way of life?