But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Daniel 1:8 (NKJV)
The NKJV says that Daniel purposed in his heart; the NASB says that Daniel made up his mind; the NIV says Daniel resolved not to; The Message says Daniel determined that he would not defile himself. The point is that Daniel did not leave his actions to a spur-of-the-moment response. He “purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself” . He had made a decision before God. He had found one of the great biblical secrets of spiritual success that was better known to our forefathers than it is to us: He entered into a solemn covenant in the presence of God that he would turn away from sinful behavior in whatever form it presented itself.1
Even now, begin praying to the God and ask Him to bless your fast. Before your fast starts ask God for what purposes He wants you to pray and fast for. He has specific reasons and purposes in mind for your fast. Before your fast starts, determine the purposes of your fast and write them down. “Lord, I am fasting for the spiritual purposes of: (1) Spiritual revival and awakening in my local church, (2) spiritual revival and awakening in my personal life. Under each of these major headings there could be several sub points about what you will trust God for in these areas. Focus on your need. You are going to do something that is not in your normal routine. You are choosing to fast for a purpose. Focus on what you want God to do for you. Write the need exactly; it will help you focus what you are doing in your mind and bring out your sincerity to follow through. You are entering this experience to draw closer to the Lord and to hear His direction for your life and the life of the church. Dedicate yourself and the fast to Him. Listen for His words as you purpose to position yourself humbly before Him. This is the most important step as you prepare for your fast.
The Power of Prayer and Fasting – Ronnie W. Floyd
1 Ferguson, Sinclair B. ; Ogilvie, Lloyd J.: The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Volume 21 : Daniel. Nashville, Tennessee : Thomas Nelson Inc, 1988 (The Preacher’s Commentary Series 21), S. 35