Planning Your Great Fast

The pre-Resurrection Sunday fast is of such importance that pre-planning is highly recommended. A quick Internet search will give you many fasting resources.

Many people have been taught, or have at least heard, “Please give up something for Lent.” This is a nice recommendation, but comes up short of the historic depth of this fast. My preference is for the follower of Jesus to plan 40 days of thoughtful fasting. If this is your first fast, you may be benefited to eat only 2 meals a day, Monday through Saturday, and eating normally on Sunday. If you have advanced experience with fasting, I recommend eating 1 meal a day, Monday through Saturday, and eating normally on Sunday.

After you have planned the type of fasting you will do, it may be nice to also “give something up for Lent.” Giving something up and fasting are two different behaviors. Fasting, strictly speaking, involves decreasing the amount of food or beverage intake into your body. Technically you can not fast non-food items. “I am fasting television!” is not a true fast, it is the giving up of something. Your spiritual life could be enhanced by giving something up, but you will not be as helped as you will be with a fast. Both fasting and giving something up could be a grand slam winning combination.

You will want to include a devotional component in your fasting plan. I often select a reading plan to help direct my devotional thinking during the fast. I select the reading as I would a travel partner. In a way I am asking the book to travel with me through the fast.

In balance to the things I am removing from for the fast, I seek to add activities that align with my fasting theme. Most common, for me, is to add rigorous exercise that can be accomplished while praying, meditating, and thinking. Usually this is walking outdoors or on a treadmill, stairclimber, or elliptical machine.

I formulate these plans into a written Great Fast Plan that I give to my accountability brothers. They help keep me on the right path, moving toward God, and away from sin.

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