Here is a guide to help you practice the sacred rhythm of fasting this week.
Note: If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a medical condition you should talk to a doctor before fasting food. There are certain seasons in life where it is not advisable to abstain from meals. Even if you can not fast a meal you be creative: fast coffee or other drinks and drink only water, give up dessert. You can also practice fasting distractions. There should be no guilt or shame if you are not able to fast due to external factors. If you have questions please ask Pastor Brian or a mature Christian.
These days can be re-arranged in any way this week.
Day 1: Fasting distractions
Scripture: Read, meditate and pray on Matthew 6:25-34
Reading: The Purpose of Fasting article
Practice: What is one of the distractions in your life that God has shown you? Commit to set it completely aside for one day. When tempted to get/use/do that thing confess: “Lord, I do not need this. What I need is you.”
Day 2: Fasting Distractions
Scripture: Read, meditate, and pray on Exodus 20:1-4. How do distractions become idols?
Reading: Understanding Fasting article
Practice: Either continue your distraction fast from before or set aside another distraction that God has shown you. When tempted to get/use/do that thing confess: “Lord, I do not need this. What I need is you.”
Day 3: Fasting food
Scripture: Read, meditate and pray on Matthew 4:1-11
Reading: The Discipline of Fasting by Richard Foster
Practice: Set aside 1 meal and do not eat. Drink only water or some juice. Whenever you feel hunger confess: “Food alone is not what gives me life, but you and your words do.” (Matthew 4:4, Deuteronomy 8:3)
Day 4: Fasting media
Scripture: Daniel chapter 1
Reading: The Biggest Reason Social Media Could be Killing your Relationships article
Practice: Set aside all media for a day (social media, television, podcasts, music). Whenever you feel compelled to look at or do these confess: “Lord you have made me for yourself, so my soul is restless until it finds its rest in you.” (a quote from Saint Augustine).
Day 5: Fasting food
Scripture: Read, meditate and pray on Mark 8:34-9:7
Reading: Fasting by Dallas Willard
Practice: Set aside 2 meals (breakfast, lunch) and do not eat. Drink either only water or some juice. Arrange to have more time to pray, read, and meditate, even if it is multiple 5 minute periods during a work-day. Whenever you feel hunger confess: “Thank you that I get to deny myself and follow you. You gave me life and you sustain my life!”