FASTING INSTRUCTIONS FOR ADULTS
What is a Fast?
The Hebrew word for fasting means “to cover the mouth.” The Greek word for fasting means “not to eat.” Simply put, fasting means to abstain from food. Fasting involves turning away from foods that the body craves in order for our spirit to concentrate on God in worship, service, and praise.
Fasting has been a part of Christianity through the ages. It is a form of spiritual and scriptural sacrifice. Fasting does not change or impress God. Fasting changes us. Through fasting, Christians are empowered to discipline their daily relationship with the Lord.
The fast will consist of abstaining from food. In other words, you are fasting if you are not eating food. The primary method of fasting will be one (1) meal each day.
Why Should We Fast?
John Wesley, the original organizer of the Methodist Movement, fasted. In fact, he fasted twice a week. More importantly, Jesus Christ fasted! We fast as a Church Family because God’s blessings reside in our unity. This special time encourages us to be “like-minded, having the same love and being of one accord and of one mind” (Philippians 2:1-3).
Who Should Fast?
Prayerfully, each member will participate in the Church Family Spiritual Fast. Please consult your physician about your fasting if: (1) you are pregnant; (2) you are on prescribed medication; (3) you are under a doctor’s care; (4) you have experienced illness on a previous fast; (5) or, you do not normally eat anyway.
YOUR PHYSICIAN’S ORDERS TAKE PRECEDENCE OVER THIS FAST! FOLLOW YOUR PHYSICIAN’S ORDERS!!!
How to Fast
The primary method of fasting for the Church Family Spiritual Fast will be one (1) meal each day eaten after 6:00 p.m. Meals should be completed within 75 minutes from the moment you put food into your mouth.
Fasting Options include:
1. “Veterans” - Veterans are those members who have participated in the Church Family Spiritual Fast two or more times.
2. “First Round Draft Choices” - (First Rounders are those persons who have never fasted or have only participated in a Church Spiritual Fast one time.) First Rounders will eat two (2) meals per day, one at breakfast before 8:00 a.m. and one after 6:00 p.m. Be consistent; eat the breakfast meal at a routine hour. Complete your meals within 75 minutes from the moment you put food into your mouth. Please pray the daily prayer topic during the time of the skipped meal (lunch meal) and during your regular prayer time for the day.
3. “Special Teams” consist of persons who are under a doctor’s care, pregnant, or unable to miss a meal for health reasons. Special Teams should eat regularly scheduled meals. Participation in the Church Family Spiritual Fast will consist of abstaining from foods such as sweets, carbonated beverages or any foods such as breads and meats that you feel “you must have at least a little of every day.”
It is important for the Church Family to be of one mind and heart. Please fast in accordance with the above-listed instructions. Fasts such as a “cleansing fast,” “grapefruit fast,” and others are not appropriate during this special time.
Requirements for Fasting
1. No nibbling! If you feel hungry (that’s expected and normal), drink water and pray.
2. No sweets (including sweeteners), chips, candy, chewing gum, soft drinks, or any other junk food should be eaten at any time during the fast by Veterans, First Rounders, or Special Teams.
3. If you experience headaches, fatigue or weakness, faint feelings, nausea, fever, and/or extreme hunger, eat a piece of fruit, slice of bread, crackers, or vegetables (preferably raw). Consult your physician if these feelings persist.
4. Water only! Please restrict your liquid intake to water. No sodas, juices, fruit juices, lemon water, or flavored water. If you are fasting no food, please drink at least 64oz – 80oz of water each day. Raw vegetable juices are permitted if you are fasting no food.
5. If you experience “blackouts” while exerting energy, please eat a light, nutritionally-balanced meal.
6. If you are eating once a day, it is recommended that you do not exercise during the fast.
7. As I Corinthians 7:5 tells us, no love-making for married folk! (Single Christians are already abstaining.) Both spouses should agree to the fast as a sacrifice of consecration to the Lord. If one of the spouses is not in agreement with I Corinthians 7:5, then do not abstain. There must be agreement between marital partners.
8. Individual prayer times for each day are 6:00 a.m. and after 7:00 p.m. If your schedule does not allow for these hours, please adjust your schedule to include a morning prayer time and an evening prayer time.
9. If you “fall off” the fast, get back on. Do not allow the devil to condemn you.