How we should fast
Restrict your food intake by limiting your consumption to the church fast which is “the Daniel Fast.” (See Food List & Sample Meals)
Daniel 10:2-4 instructs, “In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.”
For 21 days, we as a church will eat no meat, poultry, fish, starches, sweets, caffeinated drinks, nor drink alcoholic beverages. In addition, we are to make a sacrifice of restricting our involvement in favorite activities, i.e. watching television, casual telephone conversations with friends, and/or surfing the net, etc. and pray without ceasing.
Confess our sins to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of weakness. Forgive all who have offended us and ask forgiveness from those who may have offended us (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3-4). Surrender our lives fully to Jesus Christ and reject the worldly desires that try to hinder us (Romans 12:1-2). In our prayers, confess intentional sins, but also unintentional ones as well. The sins of omission as well as the sins of commission experiences. These may include: worldly-mindedness, self-centeredness, spiritual indifference, and unwillingness to share our faith in Christ with others, not spending sufficient time in God's Word and in prayer, a poor relationship with our spouse, our children, our friends, our pastor, or other members of our church.
Although fasting is primarily a spiritual discipline, it begins in the physical realm. We should not fast without specific physical preparation and those on medication should consult they physician. It is recommended that we should eat lighter meals prior to fasting and reduce our intake of caffeinated beverages to ease our initial hunger or discomfort during the early stages of our fast.
We should readjust our schedules for two reasons:
The first is physical.
Throughout our fast, we may feel somewhat weaker than normal. During the first few days, we may feel tired and irritable. Lightening our workload and cutting down on strenuous exercise would be a very good idea to maintain our health and your morale.
The second reason is spiritual. Isaiah 58:1-14 (NKJV)
Fasting is not just denying yourself food. It is exchanging the needs of the physical body for those of the spiritual. Long times of prayer and reading God's Word will be very essential if you are to enter a more intimate communion with God to maintain your fast to its completion. While fasting, if we dissipate our energy on numerous busy-work to the neglect of spending special time with God, we will starve both physically and spiritually. We will find ourselves becoming discouraged and frustrated with our fast instead of being benefited and uplifted and blessed. The more time we spend with God in fellowship, worship, and adoration of Him, and the more we read and meditate upon His Word, the greater our effectiveness will be in prayer and the more meaningful our fast will be. So, we should arrange our schedules accordingly!
Dealing with the Responses of Friends and Loved Ones
Isolating ourselves from the support of other Christians, will cause us to be more susceptible to doubts and negative influences (both human and demonic). We need the prayer shield of our Christian friends and family members to help us continue when we feel alone and when the enemy tempts us to give up Our Lord as he did Jesus Christ. Eventually, people will notice you are not eating. However, some have found that unless you see certain individuals daily, they do not consider your skipped meal much of a concern. If you are asked by non-believers simply say, "I have other plans for lunch today." Or Christians should be satisfied when you answer that you are fasting today. If friends and family express concern for your health, ease their fears by telling them that you will stop fasting the moment you feel you are harming your body or if the Lord leads you to end your fast. Often when we explain the Daniel fast it eliminates worry by our loved ones. There is usually no reason for telling strangers or casual acquaintances that you are fasting.
How to Make Your Spiritual Experience the Best It Can Be
Receiving God's best blessing from a fast requires solid commitment. Arranging special time each day with God is crucial in attaining intimate communion with the Father. You must devote yourself to seeking God's face, even (and especially) during those times in which you feel weak, vulnerable, or irritable. Read His Word and pray during what were mealtimes. Meditate on Him when you awake in the night. Sing praises to Him whenever you please. Focus on your Heavenly Father and make every act one of praise and worship. God will enable you to experience His command to "pray without ceasing" as you seek His presence.