Guest Author - Pamela Chambers
Fasting is the way Christians build a better relationship with God. When Christians fast, they are denying themselves food, participation in events, abstaining from routine behaviors and placing extra emphasis on the presence of God and hearing from God's heart.
There are different types of fasts such as Partial, 3-day, Whole and Daniel just to name a few. However, I think the Daniel Fast is the most popular one of all.
The Daniel Fast is one of my favorite fasts to do. When a person is on a Daniel Fast, he eats fruit, vegetables and drinks water. The Daniel Fast is based on King James Bible, Daniel 1:12: Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat and water to drink. Daniel requested that he and his friends not eat King Nebuchadnezzar's meat and wine. After the tenth day, Daniel and his friend's countenances looked healthier than the King and others who chose to eat meat and drink wine.
One of the first things to do when preparing for a Daniel Fast is to slowly eliminate meats, sweets, and bread from your diet. This helps to prepare your body to get in the pattern of receiving beans (pulses) other vegetables and water.
This is a great move, especially if you are going to fast for a lengthy time, such as twenty to forty days. The body needs time rest and adjust to physical, mental and spiritual changes.
Another technique is to do short daily fasts, just to see how prepared your physical, mental, spiritual and emotional strengths hold up. If you have any type of illness, it is best to check with your family doctor. If you do not participate in a Daniel Fast, you could abstain from the television or computer.
If you are fasting and working at the same time, scheduling prayer will help this fast tremendously. Preparing your lunch for work will help keep you on track to help you remember that you are on a fast and provide strength for the working hours.
My favorite technique that I use is keeping a note pad during prayer to record the thoughts that come from God. You can later reflect on those thoughts and apply them to your everyday experiences.
Fasting brings creativity in the area of preparing meals and inventing new recipes. In the past, I thought I was limited to eating bland food, because I had to abstain from meat, sugar, and bread. I was able to prepare fruits, vegetables combined with a variety of spices, which added spark to my tasty meals. This also eliminated a great portion of salt and introduced me to new spices.
These are a just a few tips that allowed me to have a successful fast, while giving my body physical, emotional, spiritual rest and a stronger prayer life but a greater relationship with God and others in every day life.