Note: How to Fast After An Illness is practical information based on my personal experience and is not intended to take the place of medical advice. Should you decided to fast after an illness or at any other time please consult with your physician.
During the last quarter of 2015 I found myself battling ongoing stomach problems—most of which, in my opinion, arose from me not listening to my body. From the third week of October until the beginning of December my body decided to force me to return to the dietary changes I made at the beginning of last year while participating in a church’s corporate fast. Eventually, I ended up having an endoscopy and a colonoscopy. Thankfully, nothing life threatening was presented in the test results. This led me back to making a commitment to eating what my body needs.
Some of the foods that make me feel bad are:
- beef – headaches, stomach aches, inflammation
- refined white foods (sugar, flour, etc.) – headaches, inflammation, fatigue
- breads – fatigue, inflammation, headaches
After being sick for a while, I know that it would be unwise (Ephesians 5:17) for me to do a full-fledged, no food fast. I still have a desire to participate in the corporate fast at Majestic Life, the church we’ve been attending. So I had to do some research and soul searching to decide how to fast without exacerbating my health issues.
How to Fast After an Illness
Before you fast, you must understand what a fast is, the purpose of fasting and what you hope to gain from fasting.
What is a biblical fast?
A biblical fast is essentially abstaining from food, sex or anything else that you would give up for a period of time.
What is the purpose of fasting?
The purpose of a fast is to “return to God”. In Joel 2:12-13, we are admonished to rend our hearts and not our garments. In other words, fasting is a spiritual tool used to render what matters to God: YOUR HEART.
What do you hope to gain from fasting?
This is between you, your spouse and/or your prayer partners. Isaiah 58:3-7 discusses fasting to overcome addictions. You can even petition God as shown in II Samuel 12:15-17. But you should never fast to be seen (Luke 18:1-2).
Since we’ve gotten the technical aspects of fasting out of the way, let’s look on to implementing your plan.
- Decide why you’re fasting
- Determine what you will give up (make sure it doesn’t conflict with your medical needs)
- Determine how long you will fast
- Write down the why, what you want and how long you are committed
What to Give Up During a Fast
Fasting is a submission of will. Fasting after an illness becomes challenging because traditionally we give up food and drink. While this can be done, it might not be a healthy choice to stop eating all foods. Therefore, the list below are resources and ideas you can use to help you decide what to give up.
- Majestic Life is following The Daniel Fast. It is based on the diet Daniel requested when the Chief had assigned a guard to them (Daniel 1:1-21). The requested diet was vegetables and water; he refrained from meats and all the other foods offered by the King. Rick Warren’s The Daniel Plan Journal is a good resource.
- Sex. Yeah, you can do that if your spouse agrees. And, it should only be for a short time (I Corinthians 7:5).
- Sweet or Sugary Foods
- A meal or two per day
- Gossip (Something we all indulge in from time to time.)
- Social Media
- Other areas of stronghold
What to Take On During a Fast
One of the things I learned during Encounter Retreats at Atlanta Metropolitan Cathedral is that when you put something down you must replace it with something else. Below are things you can pick up during your fast:
- More Prayer Time
- Emotional + Spiritual Intimacy with Your Mate
- Savory spices such as turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and curry.
- Vegetable proteins found in nuts and legumes.
- Physical Fitness
- Positive interactions and conversation
- Face to face communication
Fasting after an illness should help you become closer to God while you improve your health. Hopefully, these tips will help you on your journey.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”