Fasting at the start of the year is becoming a regular practice among believers today. The need to start the year on a spiritually sound footing compels many to embark on this adventure.
But what can you do to maximise your fast while having to deal with the legitimate demands of a busy work/school schedule? How do you ensure a win-win situation on both fronts?
First, a few general principles.
1. Fasting is commanded for the believer. Jesus approved the practice of fasting. Matthew 6:16, 9:15
2. Fasting is a separation from things unto God. Without the second part, the first is pointless. Nehemiah 1:4
3. It is not a competition; therefore, do not feel pressured to measure up with others. 2 Corinthians 10:12
4. Your fast should not make you less effective in your regular, legitimate daily activities. Matthew 6:18
Now onto some practical tips for attaining double-barreled impact when you choose to fast on a busy schedule.
0. Don’t tempt yourself.
This is ground zero if you want to stay on track. Unless you really need to (you’re the office chef, for example), there’s no point hanging around the canteen or snack bar. Exercise good judgement in choosing your location.
1. Define your goal and remind yourself daily.
Have it written and read it often to yourself, at least every morning before the activities of the day begin. A clear idea about why you’re fasting brings purpose to the hunger pangs.
2. Gather the spare moments.
It is quite unlikely that you will be working or studying non-stop. Gather up those fragments of time spent daydreaming or on social media. Those crumbs can be converted to monuments of fellowship with God right in the thick of the busy day.
3. Take the word on the go.
There is no substitute for a personal, dedicated time invested in studying the bible. But beyond that, deploy mobile technology in enhancing your spiritual nutrition on your fast.
Load up on relevant spiritual materials on your phone or music player. Saturate your space with God’s word. Where the nature of your activities permit, stick in your headphones and let spiritual life get pumped into your system.
4. Create times for prayer (Emphasis on CREATE).
I wish I had a way to let you see how vital this is. Fasting without the word and prayer is hunger strike. If your fast extends beyond your lunch break, how about you turn your lunch break into a prayer break?
Find a quiet place if your desk won’t do. Go on prayer walks.
Make use of the night season. If you’re like most people, you’d have ended your fast by evening. Get some sleep and wake up in the early hours of the day to invest your refreshed energy reserves in study, meditation and prayer. As far as I know, everything is just right with early morning study and prayer times.
This is the powerhouse of productive fasts. Don’t skimp on it for any reason.
5. Keep saying it.
There is tremendous power in speaking the word to yourself. Actually, that’s the biblical definition of meditation-not deep thinking per se but the act of muttering scriptures under your breath, almost imperceptibly that it can be done in the presence of other people without freaking them out. This can be done all through the day irrespective of your schedule.
As you repeatedly mutter those promises, your heart will be strengthened in faith and specific knowledge on what you must practically do with those promises will bubble up within. Speak the word to yourself at your desk, on site, between classes, enroute, anywhere and everywhere. As you do, pulses of life and power are being injected into you.
6. Hydrate if you need to.
Let’s be honest; your degree of mental concentration and physical agility may be affected by your fast. If you find you’re getting too weak to be productive in your regular activities, boost your energy levels by taking some water. Besides keeping you useful to yourself and others in the course of your day, the health benefits of this practice are enormous.
7. Manage your energy all through the day.
Consider cutting down on unnecessary movements and idle discussions (a great habit to sustain even after your fast). Your energy reserves are limited so look out for energy wasters and avoid them.
Fasting is a spiritual discipline with immense spiritual and physical rewards. Hope these tips do help you harness its full benefits.
Cheers to a year of purpose and power! Kindly share this post with a friend. I’d bet they also need this information. Thank you!
Live by Design.