A Partial Fast

Steve Arterburn

Do you feel like your being swallowed up by life?  Fasting can be an effective means of keeping you from being consumed by your surroundings.  Daniel’one of the leading Jewish young men taken into captivity by King Nebuchadnezzar’undertook several disciplines in order to maintain his faith and identity.  His decision to fast was one of the most visible ways by which he avoided being fully absorbed into that culture.  

Daniel did something in particular that you might find helpful.  He frequently practiced partial fasts in which he abstained from certain items but not from food altogether.  A partial fast is a limitation of food or drink but not a complete abstention from them.  A good way to develop the discipline of partial fasting is to begin with a fast from lunch one day to lunch the next.  You can choose to give up soda or certain types of food you’d normally eat during this time.  Instead of eating, take time to pray and read your Bible.  

A normal fast can often be more disruptive to daily life’and that’s a good thing at times.  But at other times you may sense the need to support your prayers or spiritual activities with fasting, but feel the need to sustain your food intake.  In such times, you may give up certain items’and these don’t have to be limited to food. How about fasting from video games, Internet surfing, or television?

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