Recently I proposed a community wide fasting day every second Monday of the month. And the response was huge. I received over 300 emails saying, “Yes! Let’s do this!”
So I began asking the Lord what He would like this “Fasting Monday” tradition to look like. How can it benefit each participating individual? How can we make the idea of fasting less overwhelming? How can we make Fasting Monday something that will be a gentle introduction to the hesitant ones while still being a challenge for the more seasoned ones?
This is what I got from the Lord – keep it simple & let the Holy Spirit do the work.
And so that’s what we’re going to do. There will be no rigid rules. There will be no specific fasting topic each time. And there will be no specific thing you must fast.
Here are the guidelines:
1. Ask the Lord what He would like you to fast for. Here are a few topics He might suggest:
- your marriage
- your parenting
- a specific child
- a health concern
- a friend
- a financial need
- a spiritual need
- healing from the past, etc
2. Ask the Lord what he would like you to fast from today. Here are a few suggestions:
- fast one meal
- fast all beverages, excluding water
- fast electronics, social media, etc. for the remainder for the day
- fast sugary foods & drinks
- fast all meats
- fast all solid foods, choosing only broths, 100% juices and water
Choose something that will not cause health concerns. If any of these are not acceptable to your personal needs, please choose something else. Think outside the box. Just remember – choose to fast something you don’t normally do or eat is not called fasting. (wink!) If you don’t have Facebook please don’t fast Facebook. However, if coffee is a big deal to you, coffee just might be something you could fast for today.
3. Ask the Lord what he would like you to do in the time space or void created by your fast. Here are a few things He might suggest:
- Read His Word
- Pray specifically and for a certain amount of time (For example, if you choose to fast one meal, He might direct you to pray throughout the whole time you would normally be eating.)
- Write out His Word
- Find Bible verses that speak to the situation you are fasting for. (For example, if you are directed to fast for your health, He might want you to take this time to remind you of His care for you.)
- Spend time alone in nature where He can reach you. Go to a park and read the Psalms or sit and watch His handiwork.
There are many things to do to fill the void created during fasting. You might be tempted to fill it with work. Please, do not use this time to “get ahead” on your office work or housework.
Rest in the Lord. Listen for His voice. Commune with His Spirit.
Isaiah 58 tells us that true fasting will “loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke” (verse 6)
And through our fasting a few promises we should expect are these, “Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.” (verse 8)
The most beautiful and very personal promise I find in this Isaiah chapter is found in verse 11:
“The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden. like a spring whose waters never fail.”
I don’t know about you but I could use a whole lot more of those promises.
If you would like to tap into the power and promises of fasting, I invite you to try it today. Maybe just for one meal. Or maybe just log out of Facebook for today. There’s a more beautiful Face you need to seek for today. He is waiting, watching and always ready to welcome you into His healing.
May the Repairer of Broken Walls build you strong today.
P.S. If today is not a good day for you to fast, please consider a different day this week. Allow the Lord to lead you in this venture.
Disclaimer: Please consult your health care provider before fasting.
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