7 Steps for Planning a Fast

Do you wan to do a fast and aren't sure where to start? Here are 7 Steps as you plan!

Step 1: Choose Your Purpose

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal why he wants you to fast. This bigger WHY can help you stay strong when you feel the hunger kicking in! Some examples: 
  • Renewed connection with God.
  • Making a big decision.
  • Praying for healing.
  • Seeking God’s help with a problem. 
  • Praying for family members or friends you desire to experience God’s Love.
  • Pray for an international team or people group God puts on your heart. 

Step 2: Decide the Details & Spiritual Practices To Add

What kind of fast do you want to do, and for how long? You’ll want to decide:
  • The length of the fast: (half a day, one day, 3 days, 1 week, 3 weeks, etc.)
  • What type of fast will you choose? (all food, Daniel fast, liquid fast, media, etc.)
  • What activities will you do to REPLACE the activities you’re fasting from? (ie, during meal times, go on a prayer walk, read the Word, etc.) Brainstorm some rhythms to your day to add to your routine. Examples:
    • Morning: sing worship songs, read scripture out loud, invite the Spirit to work, kneel in prayer or while reading Scripture, journal.
    • Mid-day: prayer walk, listen to a worship song, text other friends who are fasting. 
    • Evening: be alone with God, pray with others who are fasting, avoid screens and other distractions, journal. End your day in prayer. 
  • Choose a theme verse/Scripture passage you want to meditate on during this fast.
  • Select a worship playlist (or lists) that will set each day and help you meditate on God’s presence. 

Step 3: Find Others to Partner with

It’s much easier to fast when you’re doing it with other people. Invite friends, your Lifegroup, or family members to fast together on the same days, even if you’re fasting different things.

Text each other encouragements during the fast…this helps a lot to stay strong knowing you’re not alone!

Try to connect while you fast, such as meeting in person or a Zoom call to pray together at some point to encourage one another and agree in prayer. 

Step 4: Prepare Your Heart

Choosing to fast is a sacred spiritual discipline, and an opportunity to “clear the air” and make things right with God. Some practices to prepare your heart:

  • Ask God to bring to mind a sin he wants you to confess to Him, and trust that he will forgive you and purify you from it (1 John 1:9).
  • Forgive anyone who has hurt or offended you (Mark 11:25), and humble yourself and ask for forgiveness from anyone you’ve hurt or wronged so that you will be healed (James 5:16). 
  • Ask God to fill you with His Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
  • Surrender your heart and body to Jesus as an act of worshiping Him (Romans 12:1-2). 

Step 5: Prepare Your Body

  • Take precaution if you have underlying health issues: If you take prescription medicine or have a serious medical condition, consult your doctor before a food fast.
  • Before you start: you don’t want to cause harm to your body by going “cold turkey.” 1-2 days before you start the fast, try to avoid high fat, sugary foods, eat more raw fruits and vegetables, and eat smaller meals. Drink plenty of water before and during your fast. Doing this will help you be able to concentrate on the spiritual aspects of the fast (not so focused on the physical issues). 

Step 6 (During your Fast): Show Yourself Grace!

  • Especially if you’ve never fasted before, fasting can be challenging! Be kind to yourself if you slip up or have to modify your fast. Talk to God directly when you’re hungry (or hangry) 😂  and ask God to speak truth to you. Other practices: 
  • Text friends when you’re feeling hungry or having a hard time…you’re not alone! 
  • Avoid spaces where you’re more likely to be distracted (places with food / screens / shopping, etc.)
  • Figure out what you need to do to help you reset and not be hard on yourself if you struggle or need to modify. 

Step 7: Break your Fast & Reflect on Your Experience

Try to end your fast with others you were fasting with! And for your first meal (if you fasted from food), ideally it is a small and healthy meal…and eat slowly so you don’t get a stomach ache! 🥗 This is also a crucial time to look back and see the results of your fast. Sometimes, we won’t get the “answer” we hoped to, but we still meet God in profound ways. Some questions to ask yourself:
  • What did God show me, and how did He meet me during the fast? 
  • (If you journaled, look back and ask) What themes do I notice? What stands out from what I wrote?
  • If you fasted with others, ask them about their experience and what they learned from it. 
  • Pray together, celebrate this experience, and thank God for what he did!

More Fasting resources: Cru’s Fasting Guide.