Prayer & Fasting
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Traditionally, fasting takes place by giving up food for a certain amount of time. You may also choose to give up something else entirely, such as social media, technology, or something else entirely. The heart behind fasting is giving up something in order to turn your attention to God. How you fast is up to you but should be determined by praying and seeking God’s voice. Here are several options:
- Start small. Start where you are, not where you “should” be. If a full day of fasting a week is too much, start with one meal and break the fast at lunch instead of dinner.
Think subtraction, not addition. Don’t think about adding fasting into your already over busy, overfull life. You are likely already stressed and tired. Instead, think: What can I cut out? How can I slow my day down? Where can I find a little more time to pray and focus on God?
A few basic tips
- Drink tons of water to stay hydrated (unless you choose to do a total fast, no food or water).
- If you normally drink coffee to wake up, you may want to still have coffee to avoid a caffeine headache, but just have it black. Coffee is 99.9% water and will not keep your body from entering the fasting state.
- The more time you can give to prayer and reflection, and the less busy you are that day, the better. Make it your goal to slow down the day you fast, and be present to your body, and God, as much as you possibly can. You may want to find a park on your lunch break or take a few short walks throughout your day. Give as much attention to God as is doable.
- Resist the urge to judge your experience. Release thoughts like, “I liked it; I disliked it.” “I felt close to God; I didn’t feel close to
God.” Just let the experience of fasting be what it is, and offer it to God in love.