It is important to say here that a successful fast is not possible without some type of medium. For the true believer, that medium is the bible, or another holy book depending on the believer's religion. By hearing, reading, speaking and practicing the Word of God, the believer has all he or she needs to conduct a successful fast.
The believer needs no holy water, expensive oils, candles, incenses, relics and other religious items to conduct a successful fast. He may use them if they create a conducive atmosphere, and put him in a peaceful state of mind to fast, but he can do without them if he chooses. The one item the believer should always have, if he is a Christian is the bible because the Word of God is food for the soul.
While fasting you would have an extraordinary experience reading the bible. The body's demand for food would gradually subside during the fasting, indicating the soul is feeding on the Word of God to sustain itself and the body. At a time when you should be famishing for lack of food, you would feel less and less hungry, and your mind would be at peace as you focus on the Word of God.
As you continue to read the bible, your soul would feed on the Word of God, the hunger pangs would end, signaling that the demands of the body have been fully subordinated to those of the soul, at which time your attention would be focused on spiritual, rather than material things.
The practical benefit of focusing your attention on spiritual things is to enable you better understand the spiritual underpinnings of the Word of God, and how to effectively apply them to conditions in your life.
With this new understanding of the Word of God, we are able to love our neighbors, our enemies and pray for those who persecute us; the kind of love which is impossible to have without the enabling power of the Spirit of the Word.
With the sanctifying power of fasting, God prepared Jesus for the enormous task that lie ahead of him. Neither a backslider, nor a gullible person would have been useful for the undertaking God had planned for Jesus. God needed someone who would remain faithful to his salvation plan for humankind, and he found that person in Jesus Christ. To the end, Jesus remained faithful to God, even as he hung from the cross on Calvary.
So when we read the rubbish written by Dan Brown about Jesus in his book, "The Da Vinci Code", a simple reaction comes to mind: to see Dan Brown as a intellectual buffoon, a misinformed person, or a calculating purveyor of cheap thrills upon an unwary reading public, and on those grounds to ignore his chattering.
Even so, we should not hate Dan Brown, or wish him harm, but instead pray that God would open Dan's spiritual eyes to the truth he is presently unable to see.