Prepare Yourself Spiritually
The very foundation of fasting and prayer is repentance. Un-confessed sin will hinder your prayers. Ask God to help you make a comprehensive list of your sins. Confess every sin that the Holy Spirit calls to your remembrance and accept God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9). Seek forgiveness from all whom you have offended, and forgive all who have hurt you (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3,4). Make restitution as the Holy Spirit leads you. Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit according to His command in Ephesians 5:18 and His promise in 1 John 5:14,15. Begin your time of fasting and prayer with an expectant heart (Hebrews 11:6). Do not underestimate spiritual opposition. Satan sometimes intensifies the natural battle between body and spirit (Galatians 5:16,17). Go for confession and receive the Holy Mysteries.
Prepare Yourself Physically
Fasting requires reasonable precautions. Consult your physician first, especially if you take prescription medication or have a chronic ailment. Some persons should never fast without professional supervision. Do not rush into your fast. Prepare your body. Eat smaller meals before starting a fast. Avoid high-fat and sugary foods. Limit your activity. Exercise only moderately. Rest as much as your schedule will permit. Prepare yourself for temporary mental discomforts, such as impatience, crankiness, and anxiety. The first two or three days are usually the hardest. As you continue to fast, you will likely experience a sense of well-being both physically and spiritually.
Prepare For Prayer
For maximum spiritual benefit set aside ample time for prayer. The more time you spend with Him, the more meaningful your fast will be. Begin your day in praise and worship. Read and meditate on God’s Word. At noon return to God’s Word and prayer. Try to spend time praying for all those that need our prayers. In the evening be alone and make time for personal prayer. If there are others fasting, meet and pray together. Avoid television or any other distraction that might dampen our focus. When your designated time for fasting is finished, you will begin to eat again. But how you break your fast is extremely important for your physical and spiritual well-being.
If you sincerely humble yourself before the Lord, repent, pray, and seek God’s face; if you consistently meditate on His Word, you will experience a heightened awareness of His presence (John 14:21). The Lord will give you fresh, new spiritual insights. Your confidence and faith in God will be strengthened. You will feel mentally, spiritually, and physically refreshed. A single fast, however, is not a spiritual cure-all. Just as we need fresh infillings of the Holy Spirit daily, we also need new times of fasting before God. It takes time to build your spiritual fasting muscles. If you fail to make it through your first fast, do not be discouraged. You may have tried to fast too long the first time out, or your may need to strengthen your understanding and resolve. God will honor you for your faithfulness. I encourage you to fast and pray from tomorrow in our homes, our churches, our nation, and throughout the world.
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