Fasting (Matt 4:2, Matt 17:21): During this time set your mind to fast once a week (preferably on the same day each week). During the fast we do not eat any food or drink any water for 24 hours. Done correctly fasting can provide great benefits in self-control. During your fast you are likely to find that you are bothered by things more easily. You may snap at others a bit more quickly than usual, and may be moody in general. Don't worry, you're not a bad person, you're just hungry. That's the whole point! When you fast you afflict yourself, not for the sake of "affliction" but so that you can awaken your negative qualities and meet them head-on. This is a time to exercise self-control. After all, it's easy to be nice on a full stomach. Start your fast at sundown and end on sundown of the following day.
Tips for beginners:
1. DO NOT look at the clock! If you count down the hours, minutes, and seconds, until you get to eat again you're going to make this a lot harder for yourself.
2. Set your mind on something constructive like prayer, meditation, a form of spiritual study or scripture, even helping others. The last thing you want is to be hungry and bored and occupying your mind with less than worthwhile thoughts.
3. Drink LOTS of water before your fast begins, and after it ends (preferably warm water at the end).
Fasting in scripture
Fasting is an action that was commonly done in biblical days as an act of righteousness. Its purposes however went far beyond an appearance of righteousness. As humans we find that we are often dragged into negative habits that often develop into addictions. Fasting can often assist in breaking these addictions, and bad habits. Isaiah 58: 6 reads "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?" These "chains" are those habits and addictions, and we are the oppressed. Through fasting we exercise our right to be free from those negative habits and addictions that attempt to rule over our lives.
If you believe in spirits and the possibility of them exercising control over humans, then scripture provides yet another benefit of fasting. In Matthew chapter 17, the Apostles made an attempt to cast a spirit out of a child. However, the spirit proved to be more than they could handle. The Messiah intervened and cast the spirit out himself. Notice what He said when His Apostles asked why they could not cast the spirit out. In verse 21 it states "this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting".
Click here to read some of the benefits of fasting.