Tuesday, July 2, 2013

How to Fast - Spiritual Discipline

How to Fast…

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. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 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.” - Jesus (Matthew 5:16-18)

Jesus said “when you fast,” not “if you fast.” Fasting is a regular, expected part of the Christian life.

It teaches us to master our bodily desires and makes us mindful of God.

It also reminds us of those persons who go without food, or are hungry, on a daily basis.

Options for Fasting:

1. Skip a meal two or three days of the week. To be meaningful, this must be a meal that you would normally eat. If you regularly skip breakfast anyway, saying your skipping breakfast doesn’t count as fasting. 

2. Go without food for twenty-four hours once or twice a week. Early Christians did this on Wednesdays and Fridays so that they would all be doing it together, but you can choose which days to fast.

When you Fast:

1. Always stay hydrated. Drink ONLY water. Most other fluids contain calories or will make you more dehydrated than hydrated. 

2. Don’t complain about it. Other people aren’t supposed to know you’re fasting. It is a private, spiritual matter between you and God. 

3. If you feel faint, eat something small (preferably with a lot of protein like meat or nuts) and then, continue your fast.

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