How to Begin Your Fast
Fowarded By Rabbi Yochanan Mascaro


 

How you begin and conduct your fast will largely determine your success. By following these seven basic steps to fasting, you will make your

time with Yahweh through Yahshua more meaningful and spiritually rewarding.

STEP 1: Set Your Objective

Why are you fasting? Is it for spiritual renewal, for guidance, for healing, for the resolution of problems, for special grace to handle a difficult

situation? Ask the Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit to clarify His leading and objectives for your prayer fast. This will enable you to pray more

specifically and strategically.

Through fasting and prayer we humble ourselves before Yahweh so the Holy Spirit will stir our souls, awaken our churches, and heal our land

according to 2 Chronicles 7:14. Make this a priority in your fasting.

STEP 2: Make Your Commitment

Pray about the kind of fast you should undertake. Yahshua implied that all of His followers should fast (Matthew 6:16-18; 9:14,15) For Him it

was a matter of when  believers would fast, not if they would do it. Before you fast, decide the following up front:

  • How long you will fast - one meal, one day, a week, several weeks, forty days (Beginners should start slowly, building up to longer fasts.)

  • The type of fast Yahweh wants you to undertake (such as water only, or water and juices; what kinds of juices you will drink and how often)

  • What physical or social activities you will restrict 

 

  • How much time each day you will devote to prayer and Yahweh's Scriptures

 

  • Making these commitments ahead of time will help you sustain your fast when physical temptations and life's pressures tempt you to

 

      abandon it.

 



STEP 3: Prepare Yourself Spiritually


The very foundation of fasting and prayer is repentance. Unconfessed sin will hinder your prayers. Here are several things you can do to prepare

your heart:

 Ask Yahweh to help you make a comprehensive list of your sins.


 Confess every sin that the Ruach haKodesh/Holy Spirit calls to your remembrance and accept Yahweh's forgiveness (1 John 1:9).


 Seek forgiveness from all whom you have offended, and forgive all who have hurt you (Mark
11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3,4).
 Make restitution as the Holy Spirit leads you.


Ask Yahweh to fill you with His Holy Spirit according to His command in Ephesians
5:18 and His promise in 1 John 5:14,15.

 
Surrender your life fully to Yahshua HaMashiach as your Master and Savior; refuse to obey your worldly nature (Romans 12:1,2).


 Meditate on the attributes of Yahweh, His love, sovereignty, power, wisdom, faithfulness, grace, compassion, and others (Psalm 48:9,10; 103

:1-8, 11-13).


Begin your time of fasting and prayer with an expectant heart (Hebrews 11:6).


Do not underestimate spiritual opposition. Satan sometimes intensifies the natural battle between body and spirit (Galatians
5:16,17).


STEP 4: Prepare Yourself Physically

Fasting requires reasonable precautions. Consult your physician first, especially if you take prescription medication or have a chronic ailment.

Some persons should never fast without professional supervision.

Physical preparation makes the drastic change in your eating routine a little easier so that you can turn your full attention to Yahweh in prayer.

       Do not rush into your fast.


       Prepare your body. Eat smaller meals before starting a fast. Avoid high-fat and sugary foods.


       Eat raw fruit and vegetables for two days before starting a fast.



While You Fast


 Your time of fasting and prayer has come. You are abstaining from all solid foods and have begun to seek Yahweh through Yahshua. Here are

 some helpful suggestions to consider:

 

Avoid drugs, even natural herbal drugs and homeopathic remedies. Medication should be withdrawn only with your physician's supervision.
Limit your activity.
Exercise only moderately.

Walk one to three miles each day if convenient and comfortable.
Rest as much as your schedule will permit.
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, dizziness, or the "blahs." 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 to fast, you will likely experience a sense of well-being both physically and

spiritually. However, should you feel hunger pains, increase your liquid intake.

STEP 5: Put Yourself on a Schedule

For maximum spiritual benefit, set aside ample time to be alone with Yahweh. 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 Yahweh's Word, preferably on your knees.

Invite the Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit to work in you to will and to do His good pleasure according to Philippians 2:13.

Invite Yahweh to use you. Ask Him to show you how to influence your world, your family, your set apart assembly, your community, your country,

and beyond.

Pray for His vision for your life and empowerment to do His will.

Noon

Return to prayer and Yahweh's Word.
Take a short prayer walk.
Spend time in intercessory prayer for your community's and nation's leaders, for the world's unreached millions, for your family or 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 your spouse for a brief time of praise and thanksgiving to Yahweh. Longer periods

of time with Yahweh in prayer and study of His Word are often better spent alone.

A dietary routine is vital as well. Dr. Julio C. Ruibal - a nutritionist, pastor, and specialist iin 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 percent 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. - noon

  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.


Breaking Your Fast

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When your designated time for fasting is finished, you will begin to eat again. But how you break your fast is extremely important for your physical

and spiritual well-being.

STEP 6: End Your Fast Gradually

Begin eating gradually. Do not eat solid foods immediately after your fast. Suddenly reintroducing solid food to your stomach and digestive tract

will likely have negative, even dangerous, consequences. Try several smaller meals or snacks each day. If you end your fast gradually, the

 beneficial physical and spiritual effects will result in continued good health.

Here are some suggestions to help you end your fast properly:

Break an extended water fast with fruit such as watermelon.
While continuing to drink fruit or vegetable juices, add the following:


First day: Add a raw salad.

Second day: Add baked or boiled potato, no butter or seasoning.

Third day: Add a steamed vegetable.

Thereafter: Begin to reintroduce your normal diet.

Gradually return to regular eating with several small snacks during the first few days. Start with a little soup and fresh fruit such as watermelon and

Cantaloupe. Advance to a few tablespoons of solid foods such as raw fruits and vegetables or a raw salad and baked potato.

A Final Word

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STEP 7: Expect Results


If you sincerely humble yourself before Yahweh, make teshuvah/repent, pray, and seek Yahweh's face; if you consistently meditate on His Word,

 you will experience a heightened awareness of His presence (John 14:21). Yahweh will give you fresh, new spiritual insights. Your confidence

and faith in Yahweh will be strengthened. You will feel mentally, spiritually, and physically refreshed. You will see answers to your prayers.

A single fast, however, is not a spiritual cure-all. Just as we need fresh infillings of the Holy Spirit daily, we also need new times of fasting before

Yahweh. A 24-hour fast each week has been greatly rewarding to many believers.

It takes time to build your spiritual fasting muscles. If you fail to make it through your first fast, do not be discouraged. You may have tried to fast

too long the first time out, or your may need to strengthen your understanding and resolve. As soon as possible, undertake another fast until you

do succeed. Yahweh will honor you for your faithfulness.

I encourage you to join us during this season of teshuvah/repentance and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) in fasting and prayer again and again

 until we truly experience revival in our homes, our set apart assemblies, our beloved nation, and throughout the world.

The above fasting guidance is just one example or suggestion among many.  Others are certainly possible.  This one was actually culled from a

suggested fasting schedule from the late Dr. Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ.  While I clearly disagreed with Dr. Bright on some things

involving doctrine, the man was doing the best with what Yahweh had showed him, especially with our school children.  May he rest in the shalom

 of YahshuaHishe fasting guidance is actually pretty tov.  I will not be able to respond as quickly from now on as I have many other emails to deal

 with, but I will continue to pray for you.

 

 

Shalom
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