Fasting in the New Year
What is Biblical Fasting?
Biblical fasting is a spiritual discipline that is defined as a voluntary abstinence from food with the purpose of realigning our heart’s desires according to God’s will for us. Life has the potential to make us lose focus on what matters most; even the calmest sea will make us drift. Therefore, it is important to ensure that we are anchored unto Jesus Christ (the author and finisher of our faith). Biblical fasting is sometimes like pushing the reset button.
How to Engage in Effective Fasting
- Abstinence from food: This brings about a humbling experience, and it awakens the spirit within us to the things of God.
- Prayer: Abstinence from food without prayer is more like starvation. The essence of fasting is to seek God’s face in prayer.
- Bible reading and study: In your time of fasting, you should read and study God’s manual (the Bible) for a victorious life. It is also advisable to keep notes of God’s revelation during your fast.
- Confess your sins: This is a time to truly humble ourselves before God, confessing our sins and seeking help to get stronger in our faith.
- Thanksgiving and praises: Sing God’s praises. Your praises invoke God’s action force. 2 Chronicles 20: 21-22, NIV reads;
- “After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.’ As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.”
- Television and Social Media: You may abstain from watching TV and social media as much as possible during your fast.
There are 4 Ways You Can Engage in This Fast
- Complete Fast: This fast calls for drinking only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.
- Selective Fast: This fast involves removing certain elements from your diet. One example of a selective fast is the Daniel Fast, during which you remove meat, sweets, or bread from your diet and consume water and juice for fluids and fruits and vegetables for food.
- Partial Fast: This fast is sometimes called the Jewish Fast and involves abstaining from eating any food in the morning and afternoon. This can either correlate to specific times of the day, such as 6:00 am to 3:00 pm, or from sunup to sundown.
Please note: You are exempt from dietary fasting if you have medical conditions that requires you to eat, or if you are a pregnant or nursing mother. In this case, you may strictly adhere to abstinence from watching TV and engage in prayer, bible study and the other above-mentioned exercises.
It is recommended to keep a journal during this period of fasting and prayer to record any revelation or instructions you receive from God in this season of consecration.