We encourage anyone who wishes to accomplish the following to consider a Daniel Fast:
* Draw Closer to God
* Renew Your Vision
* See Breakthrough in Areas of Your Life
* See Breakthrough in Your Community, Church and Our Nation
* Seek God for Intervention During a Crisis
What is a Daniel Fast?
Regarding food, this is a partial fast, which means we will eliminate some common things from our daily diet, but will have generous options of other foods and liquids available. Specifically, we will avoid all meat, sweets and dairy. We will eat generous portions of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, including rice, legumes (beans), etc, and drink lots of filtered water.
But the focus of the Daniel Fast is not about the food - it is about "feasting" on what is truly important: the powerful Word of God. It is about seeking the Lord in focused prayer like Daniel faithfully did, on a daily basis and also in times of crisis. Daniel understood how to set himself apart from the negative influences of the culture and he heard from God like no one else in his day.
More About the Daniel Fast
The concept of a Daniel fast comes from Daniel 1:8-14, “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel, but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.” Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.”
The background of the “Daniel fast” is that Daniel and his three friends had been “deported” to Babylon when Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians had conquered Judah (2 Kings 24:13-14). Daniel and his three friends were put into the Babylonian court servant “training program.” Part of the program was learning Babylonian customs, beliefs, laws, and practices. The eating habits of the Babylonians were not in complete agreement with the Mosaic law. As a result, Daniel asked if he and his three friends could be excused from eating the meat (which was likely sacrificed to Babylonian false gods and idols.)
Further Scriptures on Fasting...
1 Kings 21:9 Isaiah 58:4 Matthew 6:16-18
Nehemiah 9:1 Isaiah 58:6 Matthew 9:15
Esther 4:3 & 16 Jeremiah 36:6 Mark 2:18
Esther 9:31 Jeremiah 36:9 Mark 9:29
Psalm 35:13 Daniel 9 Luke 2:37
Psalm 109:24 Joel 2:12 Acts 13:2
Isaiah 58:3 Matthew 4:2 Acts 14:23
7 Steps for Observing a Daniel Fast
1. Be Specific
Daniel was not vague in his objection to the Babylonian diet. He defined the problem immediately. Daniel 1:8
a. The king’s food was against Jewish dietary laws.
b. Daniel and his friends had vowed against wine.
The king’s food could have been offered up to idols/demons.
2. Fast as a spiritual commitment.
The Daniel Fast involves a spiritual commitment to God. “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.” Daniel 1:8
3. Reflect inner desire by external discipline.
Many people have an inner desire for better health, but they can’t discipline themselves to avoid junk food, and other foods that are not good for health. The physical health you seek from God may be more than an answer to prayer. Your physical health may be linked to any of the following factors:
a. Your food choices.
b. The level of your spiritual commitment, as reflected in constant prayer during the fast.
c. Your time commitment. If you determine to fast for a certain time, keep it. For example, if you determine to fast ten days, don’t stop on day nine.
d. Your testimony commitment. Your fast is a statement of faith in God. You want God to heal your body. Faith is foundational to the Daniel Fast.
4. Pray to see if sin has a role in your health or sickness. (Read James 5:13-20)
Healing and Health Observations:
• Actions and attitude are important. James said, “Are there any among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.” James 5:13
• The sick person must call for the elders. James 5:14
• Sin may be related to the cause of sickness. James 5:15
• Lack of health or healing may be the result of spiritual rebellion. James 5:15
• Lack of health or healing may be due to a sin of wrong consumption, i.e., poor diet, drugs, pornography, etc.
• Repentance is linked to health. James 5:16
• Prayer alone may not gain healing, faith in God is the major factor. James 5:15, 17-20
5. Fast a statement of faith to others.
Daniel was making a statement of faith when he asked for only vegetables to eat and water to drink, then dared the overseer to compare the appearance of the four sons of Israel with the young men who ate the king’s food.
6. Learn the effects of the food you eat.
Why are some foods good for us, and other foods not? What does certain food do to your body? If we really knew, there would likely be some things we would never eat again.
7. Yield all results to God.
Daniel said, “As you see fit, deal with your servants.” Daniel 1:13
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