While there are several fasting techniques, it is important to understand that not everyone is ready to begin fasting. Prayer, on the other hand, can be accomplished by anyone. Those who should refrain from any kind of fast are those who suffer from certain medical conditions. This includes pregnant or nursing women, those suffering from anorexia or bulimia, those who are under treatment for a variety of illnesses or who are taking medications that must be taken with food. While it is good for Christians to be fasting, prayer will have to suffice for folks who fall into any of these groups.
While there are many Biblical examples of saints and sinners who fasted for up to forty days, keep in mind that they did not just decided to start fasting one day and then went for that long period of time! Instead, it is a good idea to start slowly. As a matter of fact, many spiritual leaders will admonish you that it is not the length of time that you are fasting that matters, but the heart you have while doing so that counts before God. If you are fasting because someone else told you to do so, and your heart is not in it, then you are really only wasting your time.
Fasting, prayer and devotion are part and parcel of the experience of being a dedicated Christian. Yet, before you begin even contemplating a fast, make sure your heart is in the right spot. Once that is accomplished, do not feel obligated to go all out and repeat the supernatural feats of Christ or Moses. Instead, start slowly.
In the book of Daniel a partial fast is described. Daniel and his friends refused to eat the delicacies of the King and instead simply lived on vegetables and water. This is a good way to start fasting. Prayer should accomplish partial fast and devotion to God should be your primary focus when eating your simple meals. When others are eating delicacies, remind yourself why you are fasting and spend some time in prayer.
Of course, if you are ready for a complete fast, there are still some important fasting techniques to observe.
Do drink water and fruit juices during your fast.
If you decide to do water only fast that will last more than two days, do so only under medical supervision.
Do not make your fast into a survival contest. If you want to see how far you can push your body before it gives out, you have lost the spiritual focus that needs to be first and foremost on your mind.
Do spend a lot of time in prayer and doing devotions while you are fasting to make sure you do not lose focus on what is important.
When you are ready to break your fast, do it slowly and carefully.
Do not repeat your fasting experience until your body had a chance to rest up a bit and until you once again had a chance to spiritually prepare yourself for your next fast.