Before his baptism, Jesus Christ set the first example of embarking on a 40 day fast. Since then, fasting has been seen by Christians as a biblical way to humble themselves before God in order to receive spiritual restoration. Follow these steps to prepare for a forty day fast.
Research different types of forty day fasts. Some require you to go entirely without food and only drink water, some let you drink water and juice. Some people fast only one meal a day or fast only until sundown.
Decide on your fasting goal. You may be fasting for spiritual renewal, healing, guidance, specific prayer requests or for many other reasons. Choose one goal to focus on. This will help keep your willpower strong when you are tempted to quit.
Pray and ask God to reveal the type of fast you should undertake.
Prepare yourself spiritually. Repentance is the basis of fasting, so you must confess your sins to God before you fast and pray. Read Psalms 66:16-20, 32:1-6 and Proverbs 15:29.
Get yourself physically ready. In the month before your fast wean yourself off the use of any addictive products such as coffee, tea, nicotine and caffeine. Adopt a healthier lifestyle and diet that includes a reduction in fat and sugar and an increase in fruits and vegetables.
Consult your doctor before going on a forty day fast. People with certain health conditions should not fast.
Plan your fasting prayer time. Set aside a good amount of quiet time every day during your fast to be alone with God for meditation, bible reading and prayer.
- Limit your activity level, exercise only moderately and rest as much as possible.
- Be prepared for possible normal fasting side effects such as headaches, stomach aches, nausea or a foul taste in your mouth. It is also common to experience a slight fever during a forty day fast.
- Do not chew gum while fasting. This can confuse and cause problems in your digestive track.
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