These exercises will not be broken into days as much as they will give some different options for learning to fast. Try to choose an option and select at least one day this week that you will fast. Obviously, before you begin any fast, you need to make sure you are physically able to do the fast. If you have any concerns, check with your doctor. Also, if you are unable to participate in fasting from food, try the second option listed below. Remember “fasting is feasting on God” so whatever you fast, make sure that your focus is turned to God instead of that object!
A Beginners 24 hour(ish) Food Fast-
Richard Foster gives a great way to begin fasting food, if you have never fasted before. Skip 2 meals. It will be close to a 24 hour fast. I tend to skip breakfast and lunch and not eat until dinner. During the day, drink water and juices to stay hydrated. Your stomach growling and hunger pangs are just ways that your body has been conditioned to eat at certain times. Try to break the fast with a light meal. You will feel much better than if you eat greasy or fried foods after the fast.
Fast Media or Social Media
We have become ultra-dependent on our technology. Try to go a day without getting on social media sites like facebook and twitter. Turn off the TV for an evening and spend some time in nature or reading the word. It might surprise you how dependent we have become on our technology.
A Partial Fast (The Daniel Plan or Similar)
Partial fasts are those fasts where we give up parts of our diet. These fasts can be done by people who have blood sugar issues and may have trouble abstaining from food altogether. Generally, excesses like sweets, sodas, even fatty meats, etc… are cut out. These fasts are definitely healthy for the body. The danger in a partial fast like this can be that our motive can get twisted because of all the health benefits received from the fast. Remember, fasting is feasting on God and his word!
If you have fasted before, or if your experience with the 24 hour fast above whets your appetite for fasting, then you may want to set aside one day a week to fast and pray for a set number of weeks. It may be that the Lord is prompting you to set aside a day to fast and pray about a situation in your life or the life of a friend, or maybe just to draw near to God. Give yourself a beginning and end date, and when the time period is up, re-evaluate your fasting routine.
Combining the Disciplines
During your fast, try to practice some of the disciplines we have already talked about. When your stomach growls, turn your attention to prayer or meditating on scripture instead of grabbing a bag of potato chips. Remember that these disciplines work together and are not mutually exclusive!