Set Your Objective
Why are you fasting?Is it just as a tradition of the church or Is it for spiritual renewal, for guidance, for healing, for the resolution of problems, for special grace to handle a difficult situation? Ask the 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 God 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.
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 God to help you make a comprehensive list of your sins.
Confess every sin that the Holy Spirit calls to your remembrance and accept God’s forgiveness.(1John 1:9)
Seek forgiveness from all whom you have offended, and forgive all who have hurt you. (Maek 11:25, Luke 11:4, 17:3,4)
Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit according to His command in Ephesians 5:18 and His promise in 1 Johns 5: 14,15.
Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master; refuse to obey your worldly nature (Romans 12:1,2).
Meditate on the attributes of God, His love, sovereignty, power, wisdom, faithfulness, grace, compassion, and others (Psalm 48:9,10, 103: 1-8, 11:13.
Do not underestimate spiritual opposition. Satan sometimes intensifies the natural battle between body and spirit (Galatians 5:16.17).
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 the Lord 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.
“Fasting is a gift: When we realise the benefits of fasting, we find that it is a blessing from God. Fasting precedes every grace and service: Through fasting, we prepare ourselves to receive every blessing that God offers us. Feasts bear for us certain blessings. This is why fasting precedes every feast. Communion bears for us a special blessing that is why we fast to be ready for it. The faithful, who fast, gain the blessings of the Holy Spirit during the Church sacraments. The unwise man has confidence in his power and intelligence but he who is aware of his weakness appeals to God through fasting when in trouble. “For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now I will arise,” says the Lord; “I will set him in the safety for which he yearns.” (Ps 12:5). Fasting is a time to let God know of our every problem. It is a period for the contrite heart to lament and for God to hear.”
Pope Shenouda III
This was part of the Talk given to St Barbara & St Noufer COC Sunday School yr 10-12 on 27/11/2010