Practical Tips to Prepare Physically for a Fasting

Our time of fasting should start with a few days of physical preparation if at all possible. I have noticed that several ministries who encourage fasting recommend a pre-fast 'cleansing' soup to detoxify the body before they begin the actual fast. I personally have used this cabbage/vegetable soup prior to a Daniel fast and enjoyed it enough to continue it throughout the fast. Your body will detox and you may experience headaches and body aches for 3-5 days, but afterwards you feel wonderful. Put the following in a large crockpot:
1 large head of cabbage, chopped
1 large can of chopped tomatoes
6 green onions or 1 yellow or white onion, chopped
1 or 2 green peppers, chopped (depending on your taste - I used 1/2 of one)
1 bunch of celery, chopped
1 package of Lipton dry onion soup mix

Add water to cover and 3-6 beef or chicken bouillon cubes or teaspoons of beef or chicken bouillon. Season with salt, pepper and other favorite seasonings. (I used Italian seasoning and a little red pepper) Allow it to cook overnight or about 6 hours on high. After cooling a bit, put it in a large plastic container to keep in the refrigerator and warm it up by the bowlful in the microwave as you need it. This crockpot of soup lasted 4-5 days for 2 of us eating 2 or 3 bowls a day. (You don't have to use a crockpot if you don't mind watching and stirring your soup on the stove on simmer for an hour or so.)

Eat this soup along with salads, vegetables and fruits. Begin to eliminate bread, sugar and caffeine. Drink water several times a day to help flush toxins from your body.

Here are some suggestions from Marilyn Hickey from The Power of Prayer and Fasting:

  • Drink lots of water - although other beverages are calorie-free, you are better off avoiding them. Some no-calorie beverages contain chemicals that have proven harmful to the body and brain over time. Coffee and tea stimulate the central nervous system at a time when you are trying to give your body a rest. Stick to water. Mineral water is recommended. Water helps flush toxins and waste material from the body. It is the best cleansing agent. It also helps calm hunger pangs and helps with muscle cramping. Drink at least 2 quarts of room temperature water a day.
  • Exercise moderately - it has been found that an hour of exercise a day actually reduces appetite. Avoid jogging or distance running and strenuous sports activities. Take walks, stretch, swim, ride a bike, play golf or bowl. Walking gives you a wonderful time to pray!
  • Eliminate as many food cues as possible - TV commercials, billboards, restaurant signs, and radio ads - the whole world revolves around food! As much as possible remove these cues from your life. Many people pray during the time they would normally eat a meal or a snack. Keeping busy will help you avoid temptation. Read the Bible or other Christian literature, write in your prayer journal or write a letter to a friend and pray to keep yourself busy.
  • Take your prescription medications - you should continue to take prescribed medications as you fast. People with diabetes or other chronic illness should ask their doctors how to modify their medications during a fast and how frequently they should monitor their blood sugar.

We recommend that before you begin a fast, you assess your health and consider visiting a health professional. As in all other aspects of your relationship with God, you should make a decision to participate in fasting after taking into consideration whether fasting is appropriate for you as an individual - apart from and without any involvement in a group that may be fasting. Confirm your spiritual and physical suitability before fasting for any period of time. Consider your personal health condition, contraindications of any medicines you may be taking, as well as the appropriate fasting procedure and measures to conclude a fast. These factors are the responsibility of the individual. We always recommend that a person consult his or her physician before a strict or prolonged fast. From The Power of Prayer and Fasting by Marilyn Hickey, p. 95.

Other resources that may help in your preparation:

  • Books: (Available at Amazon.com and Christian bookstores)
  • Fasting Forward, Advancing Your Spiritual Life Through Fasting by Billy Wilson, Pathway Press, 2005
  • Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough, A Guide to Nine Biblical Fasts by Elmer L. Towns, Regal Books, 1996
  • The Power of Prayer and Fasting, 21 Days That Can Change Your Life by Marilyn Hickey, Warner Faith, 2006
  • The Hidden Power of Prayer and Fasting, Releasing the Awesome Power of the Praying Church by Mahesh Chavda, Destiny Image Publishers, 1998

Websites:

Bless your efforts as you prepare for this time of fasting and prayer! We expect that as we follow the example set by Jesus and meet His expectation that His followers would fast (Mt. 6:16) that fasting and prayer will position you for breakthrough in every area of your lives!
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