Lutz Campus

18333 Exciting Idlewild Blvd.
Lutz, FL 33548

Idlewild at The Springs

8209 N 19th St
Tampa, FL 33604

Iglesia Bautista Idlewild

Main Campus, Student Building, Hall 2

Fasting and Prayer Observations and Encouragement

Fasting and Prayer Observations and Encouragement


1. Fasting is a continual exercise in renewing the mind.

2. Fasting is practiced one day, one thought, one food image, one hunger pang at a time (Make fasting bite sized).

3. There are different fasts, i.e.

  • One meal
  • One day – all day
  • 24 hours over a 2-day period – supper, breakfast, lunch
  • Vegetable fast not eating meat
  • Water only fast/water and juice only/fluids only
  • Multiple Day Fast – start with 3 days
  • 21 Days, 40 Days, other options, etc.
  • Media (other) fast – replace these excluded activities with reading and prayer
  • What is God calling you to do/He is primarily calling you to Himself/follow leading

4. Don’t think about how many days or meals you won’t be eating/one thought at a time

5. Very important – When not eating at meal time, read the Bible and pray.

6. Reading and Prayer when hungry relieves and shifts you from the food focus to God

7. Anticipate hearing from God – especially by listening and meditating on the Word and asking God to speak        (Luke 6:12) Fasting can also accompany a prayer goal (Mark 9:29)

8. OK to start smaller (maybe one meal) rather than jumping right into a 40 Day fast (David could not wear Saul’s armor – wasn’t tested, but he could manage a sling effectively)

9. Working into a longer fast may be more productive than starting “cold turkey”– i.e., exclude solid food, then back off of coffee, media, etc. Keep adding Word of God, prayer, listen to the Spirit – gain strength and adjust daily routine and rhythm as you go

10. Fasting for a longer period of time allows you to get passed the initial adjustment and to begin focusing on the Word and prayer and hearing God

11. Headaches come from detox (while eliminating some foods from routine), lack of sleep, no caffeine, etc. – Either begin reducing some foods or caffeine a few days before the fast, or work into reducing as you fast to prevent head-aches. It has been said that detox headaches are the worst between days 2-4.

12. Switching to vegetarian or vegan diets for a season can be a form of fasting and can make a full food fast an easier transition spiritually, mentally and physically.

13. It helps to avoid food aroma and images of food in media or on packages, but it is not always possible.

14. Renew your mind to your purpose in fasting and talk to the Lord through each food image or aroma at a time. It is possible to choose to enjoy the food aroma even if you will not be eating the food.

15. Give thanks and praise and pray when your stomach grumbles. Choose joy that you get to have this time with the Lord. Drinking water or juice at these times is a helpful physical response, as well.

16. You may hear chastisement in your mind for choosing to fast, or you may question why you are fasting. Remind yourself 1) of your purposes and that fasting is temporary. 2) You will most likely have the opportunity to eat all of your life. 3)This is a unique season to grow closer and more intimate with the Lord than you might experience otherwise.

(By Pastor Greg Murphy – Family Care)