In preparation for our new Saturday Evening Service, we’re encouraging all our people to fast from our First Wednesday Service until Friday evening. Since many of our people have never participated in a fast, here’s a little information and some suggestions.
Literally, fasting is “an abstinence from food, or a limiting of one's food, esp. when voluntary and as a religious observance.” (Dictionary.com) Broadly, it is often interpreted as abstinence from anything we find valuable, similar to “giving up something for Lent.”
Here are three options you could consider for the two-day fast.
If you are of good health (and have fasted before), you could go ahead and do a full fast, going without food for the entire 48 hours. Water is allowed. Most people drink some fruit juices during fasts that last longer than 24 hours.
A Daniel Fast is taken from the Biblical book of Daniel, chapter 1. Daniel and his friends, most likely in order to avoid eating meat sacrificed to idols, spent ten days eating nothing but fruits and vegetables. This would include water and fruit juices. Many people take this an extra notch and eliminate preservatives during the fast.
This is fasting from something other than food or from a specific food. The key to this really working as a fast is that it needs to be something you’ll miss. That way, every time you’re reminded of what’s missing, you’ll take that reminder as a cue to pray.
Personally, I’m planning to combine all three types of fasts. I’m hoping to begin a 30-hour “Full” fast after lunch on Wednesday. That evening, I’ll begin a 24-hour Sacrificial fast from all things electronic (which is going to be harder than the food). When those end on Thursday evening, I’ll join my wife for the rest of her Daniel fast.
Whatever method you choose, I encourage you to join our church in fasting in preparation for our new service, reminding ourselves on Whom we’re really depending—and Who ultimately deserves all the glory.