Archive for January 7th, 2011

Why Should I Choose to Fast?

Has the pressures of the present-day world increased in your life? As a follower of Jesus Christ are you seeking a deeper and more meaningful relationship with our Lord? Do you want a faith that goes beyond Sunday morning? Do you want a faith that makes a difference in your family, your job and your everyday surroundings? Do you want to experience God in order to live a life that is Christ-centered, significant, and a positive witness to the world? Then a time of prayer and fasting is needed. The Daniel Fast is not primarily a dietary choice; it is a spiritual vow to God. You are fasting for a spiritual focus. Improved health is always a secondary result of doing the Daniel Fast. The power in fasting has less to do with food than with setting ourselves apart for a specific period of time to focus more on the Lord, prayer, and worship. The power of fasting is found when you consecrate yourself to the Lord and discipline yourself to focus on Him. Consecration is significant in relation to both God and to the world. The Apostle Paul spells out the term’s meaning in Romans 12:1-2, stressing that consecration involves a living sacrifice to God.  Elmer L. Towns wrote, “That many people who participate in a Daniel Fast testify that they are closer to God when they fast than any other time in their life. Why? He says because they are obeying God every minute of the day. When you are fasting, you are aware of your stomach all the time, which makes you aware of the reason you are abstaining from food, which is intimacy with God, as you fast. When you fast and pray, you honor the Lord with your body and soul.” 

King David said in Psalm 63, “My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods.” Pray that as you fast and become a living sacrifice that God will satisfy your soul.

Further Reading:

The Daniel Fast for Spiritual Breakthrough – Elmer L. Towns

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What is a Daniel Fast?

Here is the Daniel Fast guideline that we will follow as defined by Susan Gregory in her book “The Daniel Fast.” The Daniel Fast is a partial fast in which some foods are restricted. It’s a biblically based fast fashioned on the experiences of the prophet Daniel. The Daniel Fast is based on Jewish fasting principles and the experiences of the prophet in Daniel 1 and Daniel 10. In Daniel 1:12 we read Daniels request to the steward;

Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.” (KJV)

Pulse was food that originated from seed, including legumes and fruit. Daniel also requested that they drink only water. This reference is what anchors the Daniel Fast as a plant-based eating plan with the only beverage being water. Since the diet is totally plant based, no animal products are consumed including fish, shellfish, dairy products, or eggs.

In Daniel 10:3 we learn that during a time of great mourning, Daniel also abstained from meat, “pleasant” food, and wine. It’s on the basis of this account that we eliminate sweeteners, candy, desserts and alcohol from the Daniel Fast. Sweeteners include sugar, honey, agave nectar, Sterna, cane juice, and syrups.

Because Daniel was a man of God, we can assume that he also followed Jewish fasting principles. Jewish people removed all leavening products from their homes and did not include them in recipes. So all leavening products are eliminated, including yeast, baking powder, and baking soda. All the food is all natural which eliminates man-made chemicals, artificial flavorings, and colorings, food additives and preservatives, and highly processed foods. We also use no stimulants, including Caffeine.

PULSE — a KJV word for vegetables, or edible seeds—a simple diet that Daniel and his friends requested instead of the rich dishes offered by the Babylonians (Dan. 1:12, 16; vegetables, NKJV).1

Further Reading:

The Daniel Fast – Susan Gregory

1 Youngblood, Ronald F., F. F. Bruce, R. K. Harrison and Thomas Nelson Publishers. Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Nashville: T. Nelson, 1995.

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