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Information for a Fast

Wednesday, August 29, has been set aside as a day of prayer and fasting for the 40 Days of Community which begins September 9. Patsy Weinberg, a member of our 40Days leadership team, shared this information with me. It provides everything you need to know to join us Wednesday. If you have questions, comment or email Patsy or me.

1) Here’s a link to Bill Bright’s website, and it has all kinds of practical stuff: It’s LONG--pages and pages and pages. And most of it deals with 7-40 day fasts, but it’s a good starting point.

2) Here are some practical things I found on a web site that agree with what I’ve always been taught (my edited version is below)

  • Prepare yourself physically. Fasting can actually be a cleansing opportunity for the body, but you don't want to make yourself sick. Eat a good meal prior to beginning your fast. Don't gorge yourself, but don't go into it on nothing but a snack-size meal. Avoid caffeine and any stimulants
  • Prepare yourself spiritually. Confess sins and actively change your lifestyle to reflect your willingness to turn your back on your sins. Organize your schedule to allow for periods of prayer and Bible study. Gather inspirational books and materials.
  • Make the fast an opportunity to step-up your spirituality. Set aside time to study scripture or other inspirational writings, and meditate on their meaning.
  • Pray during your fast. Pray with purpose, expressing gratitude and articulating both your needs and the needs of others. Pause to reflect and meditate on your prayer and your fast.
  • Close your fast with prayer. If you were fasting with a specific purpose, take the opportunity again to express your purpose. Express gratitude for the opportunity to fast, and for being able to complete it!
  • Remember why you are fasting. When your stomach growls, or you feel hungry or weak, recognize it as an opportunity to remember the purpose of your fast - not a weakness or something to grumble about. Instead of eating or preparing a meal, spend that time in prayer or worship or Bible study.
  • Stay away from food. The sight or smell of food will probably make fasting more difficult physically, and if food is easily accessible, you may unconsciously begin to sneak a snack.
  • Discreetly inform close friends, family, or associates that you are fasting so they can support you instead of inadvertently undermining your fast by offering food. If you do not want anyone to know you are fasting, try going out of the workplace for lunch or going into another room when people start to eat.
  • When it is time to eat again, start slowly. Your stomach may not be ready for harsh foods.
  • Do not fast if you are seriously ill. Don't use a minor illness as an excuse, but consider your own health and the possible risks associated with fasting. If you are taking medications, ask your physician before fasting and continue to take them as instructed by your physician.
I am praying with you...