Prayer & fasting is not only naturally beneficial but it has huge spiritual benefits too. It’s not something that should ever be approached legalistically but rather as an act of love for God. Whilst it can involve complete abstinence from food, this may not always be practical. In this case, it might be an idea to fast a particular type of food? Alternatively, how about fasting something which isn’t food such as social media? Whatever you choose, set a realistic time frame (perhaps 3 days) and take time to prepare for it.

Here are my top 5 tips for you to bear in mind when fasting:

1. Remember, fasting doesn’t score you points with God. That’s because you can’t make God love you any more than He already does. So fasting is not some form of penance – rather an expression of devotion.

2. Fasting should not be entered into without proper preparation beforehand. For example, check your diary and see what your schedule is like well in advance. 

3. During a fast, set aside specific periods for prayer and bible reading. For example, if you’re fasting food, then this might be at the times when you would normally eat. This discipline will not only break the monotony of not eating but will help you focus on the reason why you’re fasting and will also help keep you going for the length of time you have intended to fast for.

4. Be prepared for a rollercoaster of emotions during your fast, especially when fasting food. You’ll experience bursts of incredible energy and alertness contrasted by times when you feel lethargic. Remember that part of the purpose of a fast is learning to make God your fulfilment in whatever emotion you’re experiencing.

5. Expect God to speak to you during your fast – however long you do it for. You may come out of it with a clearer sense of direction about your life, or perhaps even a greater revelation of your involvement in Gods purpose. Often, people come out of a fast with a deeper conviction of just how much God values them. One thing is clear – if you will take time to listen, you will hear God speak to you.