Fasting is one of the greatest weapons we have for spiritual battle when teamed up with prayer. Here are 7 easy steps for beginners to fasted prayer.
Throughout the entirety of the Bible, we see the power of fasted prayer. Fasting is still one of the greatest weapons we have for spiritual battle when properly paired with prayer.
Maybe you have thought about fasted prayer in the past but never got around to it. I just recently started taking my fasted prayer seriously and have already seen its effectiveness.
First of all, fasting may not be for everyone and if you have a medical condition of any kind or are at all concerned about the physical effects of fasting, please check with your doctor before doing so. Nowhere in the bible does it say that fasting is a required to live a fruitful life in Christ.
Although media fasts and fasting from material things we pay too much attention to can be extremely beneficial in its own right, the type of fasting I am discussing in this article is a fast from food.
For married couples who cannot do a fast from food, Paul does discuss a different kind of fast that can be done for a short time to devote yourselves to prayer. This is discussed in 1 Corinthians chapter 5.
For many, fasted prayer has probably been something that you have thought of doing at one point but never got around to because you were not sure where to begin. My prayer is that this article can get you started on a journey of powerful spiritual battle.
Here are 7 easy steps for fasted prayer for beginners!
7 Easy Steps For Fasted Prayer For Beginners
1. Start small
For those who have never fasted before, the idea of going for any period of time may seem daunting. But remember it’s not a race and it’s not about how long you fast, it all comes down to your motives behind the fast.
God doesn’t reward fasted prayer based off of how much you deprive your body, it’s all about the heart. So honestly examine what would be a good start for you, is it one meal? A day? A week? Make sure to pray about how you should begin your fasted prayer journey.
Over time, you can increase the length of your fasts if you feel the need or if something is pressing on your heart.
2. Plan The Fast
It is important to not just bring your food intake to a screeching halt. You also want to know how long you intend to fast for ahead of time. This is where planning comes in.
Remember first and foremost, fasted prayer is something that should be done for no other reason than to humble yourself before God and to take the focus off yourself and put it on your prayers. “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:16
After you pray about how long your first fast should be, you should begin to plan exactly when you will start your fast and exactly when you intend to finish. If you plan to just fast a meal at the beginning this may seem irrelevant but it’s good to put into practice for when you begin to fast for extended periods of time.
When you know exactly when you intend to end the fast, you can more easily turn your focus away from the next meal and aim it toward heaven as your lift your prayers to God.
3. Pre Fast Prayer
Before you begin your fast it is important that you first get your heart in the right place and to ask God to open the eyes of our heart to not only the areas of our own lives that need spiritual warfare but also the lives of others.
Recently I have been fasting for just 24 hours each week and it has really been transforming my prayer life. Before I fast each week, I pray the day before just asking God to show me what I should bring to Him in fasted prayer and to reveal those around me who need deliverance and healing. This allows me to go into my fasted prayer with even more intent and focus.
Not only does it give fasted prayer more direction, it also helps us to realize how important fasted prayer is and gives us even more motivation to do it. You can even keep a list of people and circumstances you want to pray for.
4. Preparation For The Fast
After planning out your fast and praying about it, it is time to prepare physically for it. I myself have been intermittent fasting for years a part of my diet regimen and follow a fairly strict diet as it is, but for most pre-fast diet preparation is extremely important.
Remember that fasted prayer is not about losing weight or depriving yourself of food, it’s about dedicating time and focus intently on prayer. Even with this in mind, it is still important to remember that it can be a big shock to the body, that is why step number one, start small, is so important.
No matter how long you intend to fast for, the safest way to start fasting is to clean up your diet a bit ahead of time. This doesn’t have to be a drastic diet change just simply being cautious of what you are eating the week prior and decreasing your intake slightly will be enough to help ease into the fast.
5. Fasted Prayer
When I first started fasting and praying, I was not sure if I should pray in the middle or at the end of my fast or if it even mattered at all. Initially, I set up an hour block near the end of my fast to dedicate to prayer.
This will be entirely up to what you feel God putting on your heart. Honestly, I ended up just praying continuously throughout the day because God kept putting people and circumstances on my heart.
This has become my favorite aspect of my fasted prayer journey, when I go into my fast I feel like I am going into battle, putting myself aside to pray for the needs of many. You will quickly find that your prayer will go far beyond the list you made from your pre-fast prayer time.
6. Drink Plenty of Water
This fast is from food only you still want to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. For some, this may take some getting used to since most people don’t drink nearly as much water on a daily basis as they should.
It is important to keep in mind that though you may not usually consume much water in general, without getting water from food and other sources, drinking water is crucial.
Though hydration is extremely important, don’t stress out about trying to find out exactly how much water your body needs. An easy way to stay hydrated is just to drink a large glass of water every time you would typically have a meal or whenever you feel hungry.
The best part about water intake is it is actually fairly hard to drink too much, so just go off of how your body feels and you shouldn’t have any issues.
7. End the fast slowly
At the end of your first fast, you may be eager to head to your favorite fast food joint and order the entire menu. Bad idea.
It is really important, especially if you have fasted for more than 24 hours to ease back into food. Otherwise, you could end up making yourself sick or at the very least feel extremely uncomfortable.
I would say to keep it simple. Just start first by having a salad and a big glass of water. Then maybe some bread or a light snack. Remember that unless you have been fasting for weeks, you aren’t “starving” so just take it easy as you reintroduce the food to your body.
You may find that you want to extend your fast when you reach the end. If this is the case, don’t just keep going aimlessly. Take time to pray about extending the fast and then plan it out before you continue.
Fasted prayer can seem extremely intimidating at first and many people put the idea aside without even giving it a try. Maybe you are reading this article right now and you have thought about trying it yourself but never got around to it. Now is the time!
Just follow these simple steps and adjust them where needed. Remember, fasted prayer is a personal journey and it is just between you and God. The length of time or how hungry we feel isn’t going to “enhance” our prayers but as we humble ourselves and put aside our fleshly desires we can bring our focus to the heart of prayer and overcome spiritual barricades in Jesus name!