Sam's Instructions for Fasting
What is fasting? Fasting is a temporary abstaining from something for the sake of fervent prayer. James tells us that the fervent effective prayer of a righteous person accomplishes much. Most of the time, when people fast, they give up food. It is a statement that says, “God I would rather have your will done, your blessings come, and your glory shown in this situation than to satisfy my daily need for sustenance.” There are a lot of good reasons to fast but there are also things to avoid while fasting. The word tells us that we are not to fast to be seen by men, but to be seen by God. It tells us that when we fast we should be promoting righteousness and justice. It tells us that fasting just to check a box is worthless, but it also tells us that fasting done right works. 

The Bible talks about several kinds of fasts, the harshest being no food or water. You can only fast this way for three days without harming your body. The people of Nineveh fasted this way after Jonah preached to them and Paul fasted this way after seeing Jesus on the road before being healed of blindness. Next you have a water only fast. The longest you can go with this kind of fast is 40 days before it can become dangerous. This is why, when Jesus was brought into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit and tempted by Satan the word tells us that Jesus became hungry. That is when Satan tempted Him to turn stones to bread. The fact that Jesus felt hungry shows that his body was close to starvation and was warning Him of the danger He was in. These first two fasts are not safe for children, really if you are younger than 12 you should not fast in these extreme ways. Sometimes people will do a juice fast instead of water only, this is what I have most commonly done in fasting. Third, the restricted diet fast. This is the kind of fast Daniel did while he was waiting for a word from the Lord about a vision he had had but could not understand. This kind of fast is safe for anyone in degrees. Examples of this would be, no refined sugars, only eating eggs and vegetables, eating only one meal or two meals a day, and so on. Though it is not found in the bible I think media fasts and other things like that can be a good idea also. Lastly there is a fast for married people, but that is for married people. 

Having fasted many times let me give some practical advice on fasting. First, if you are not praying in place of whatever it is you are fasting from you are not fasting at all, just dieting. There really will be no spiritual benefit from it, only physical ones. If you fast food, that means you are praying and reading the word during meal times. Bring a journal and write down what you think the Lord is speaking to you. When you are hungry, those are God’s reminder to you to pray. You must fast with a purpose. You need a focus or goal for your fast. If you are fasting food, drink tons of water, don’t eat huge meals before you start, drink tons of water, come out of the fast slowly (I love breaking fasts with watermelon), drink tons of water, do not be around people who are eating if you are not experienced with fasting, drink tons of water, the first day is not that bad, drink tons of water, the second and third days are the hardest (or 4th and 5th if you are doing a juice fast) because your body is fighting you and your addictions are fighting you, drink tons of water, after your digestive system has gone into sleep mode your fast will become much easier because your body will no longer be trying to force you to eat food, and drink lots of water for many reasons, it will help with headaches and it will keep your stomach larger so that you can go back to normal sized meals faster. Be careful how you start and end the fast because if you eat a ton before you start and have all that food in your intestines when your digestive system shuts down it might start to rot inside you and because your system needs time to wake back up after it has been shut down from three days or more. Ending a fast well is one of the hardest parts of fasting! Fruit is an awesome way to break a fast, juice is better, but try to avoid harsh things like orange juice for at least a day or so. As I said before, watermelon is awesome for breaking fasts because you can eat a good amount of it since it is basically water. Soup is also a good idea depending on the soup. I just realized how long this email has become, so if you have specific questions feel free to email me at

To sum up the practical advice section I say this, know why you are fasting and define how long you are going to fast for, avoid what you are fasting and spend as much time as you can in focused prayer and reading of the word, let your longings for the things you are fasting from drive you to prayer, have a journal when you fast, and drink tons of water. Fasting is hard, but it is worth it. 

Guys, I am excited to see how God is going to move this year. And I am excited to compare notes with you about what you feel like God has been saying for the trip and what specific areas need the most prayer. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal in nature but they are mighty in God.