Step 5: Put Yourself on a Schedule

Dr. Bill Bright

Your time of fasting and prayer has come. You are abstaining from all solid foods and have begun to seek the Lord. Here are some helpful suggestions to consider:

  • Limit your physical activity.
  • Exercise only moderately. Walk one to three miles each day if convenient and comfortable.
  • Prepare yourself for temporary mental discomforts, such as impatience, crankiness and anxiety.
  • Expect some physical discomforts, especially on the second day. You may have fleeting hunger pains or dizziness. Withdrawal from caffeine and sugar may cause headaches. Physical annoyances may also include weakness, tiredness or sleeplessness.

The first two or three days are usually the hardest. As you continue fasting, you are likely to experience a sense of well-being both physically and spiritually. However, should you feel hunger pains, increase your liquid intake.

A Sample Schedule

For maximum spiritual benefit, set aside ample time to be alone with the Lord. Listen for His leading. The more time you spend with Him, the more meaningful your fast will be.

Morning

  • Begin your day in praise and worship.
  • Read and meditate on God’s Word, preferably on your knees.
  • Invite the Holy Spirit to work in you to will and to do His good pleasure according to Philippians 2:13.
  • Invite God to use you. Ask Him to show you how to influence your world, your family, your church, your community, your country and beyond.
  • Pray for His vision for your life and empowerment to do His will.

Noon

  • Return to prayer and God’s Word.
  • Take a short prayer walk.
  • Spend time in intercessory prayer for leaders in your community and nation, for the world’s unreached millions, for your family or for special needs.

Evening

  • Get alone for an unhurried time of “seeking His face.”
  • If others are fasting with you, meet together for prayer.
  • Avoid television or any other distraction that may dampen your spiritual focus.

When possible, begin and end each day on your knees with a brief time of praise and thanksgiving to God. A dietary routine is vital as well. Dr. Julio C. Ruibal — a nutritionist, pastor and specialist in fasting and prayer — suggests a daily schedule and list of juices you may find useful and satisfying. Modify this schedule and the drinks you take to suit your circumstances and tastes.

5 a.m. - 8 a.m.

Fruit juices, preferably freshly squeezed or blended and diluted in 50% distilled water if the fruit is acid. Apple, pear, grapefruit, papaya, watermelon or other fruit juices are generally preferred. If you cannot do your own juicing, buy juices without sugar or additives.

10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Fresh vegetable juice made from lettuce, celery and carrots in three equal parts.

2:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Herb tea with a drop of honey. Avoid black tea or any tea with caffeine.

6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Broth made from boiling potatoes, celery and carrots with no salt. After boiling about half an hour, pour the water into a container and drink it.

Tips on Juice Fasting

Drinking fruit juice will decrease your hunger pains and give you some natural sugar energy. The taste and lift will motivate and strengthen you to continue.

The best juices are made from fresh watermelon, lemons, grapes, apples, cabbage, beets, carrots, celery or leafy green vegetables. In cold weather, you may enjoy a warm vegetable broth.

Mix acidic juices (orange and tomato) with water for your stomach’s sake.

Avoid caffeinated drinks. And avoid chewing gum or mints, even if your breath is bad. They stimulate digestive action in your stomach.

 

Next: Breaking Your Fast

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