The Daniel's Fast (February 22nd. - April 7th.)
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). Therefore, a Daniel Fast is eating only fruits and vegetables for a certain amount of time and abstaining from meat products. Some people use a Daniel Fast as a dieting method. Some people use a Daniel Fast instead of fasting from food entirely. The Bible does not command believers to observe a Daniel Fast. As a result, it is a matter of Christian freedom whether to observe a Daniel Fast. Seven tips for observing a Daniel Fast 1. Be specific Daniel was very clear in his objection to the Babylonian diet. He defined his objection immediately. Daniel 1:8 a.The king’s food was likely, not kosher, against Jewish dietary laws. b.Daniel and his friends had vowed against wine. c.The king’s food could have been offered up to idols or demons. Write out and sign a commitment that outlines: 1.Why you are fasting. 2.How long you are fasting. 3.From what you are fasting. 2. Fast as a spiritual commitment The Daniel Fast involves a spiritual commitment to God. "Daniel proposed in his heart that he would not defile himself." Daniel 1:8 Ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance! 3. Reflect inner desire by external discipline Most people desire better health, but don't discipline themselves to say no to junk food and other unhealthy foods. Our physical health is more than answered prayer. Our physical health is normally linked to many of these factors: a.Your food choices. b.The level of your spiritual commitment as reflected in constant prayer during the diet of Daniel and his friends. 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 the role of sin in your relative health or sickness Read James 5:13-20 KJV James 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms. 14Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 16Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Observations: ·Our actions and attitudes are vital. 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 is something 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 sin of wrong consumption, i.e., poor diet, drugs, pornography. James 5:15 ·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. John Piper says in A Hunger for God, "Fasting is God’s testing ground-and healing ground." 5. Daniel fasted as a statement of faith to others Daniel made a statement of faith when he asked for only vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then Daniel asked the overseer to compare the appearance of the four sons of Israel with the other people who ate the king’s food. 6. Learn the effects of the food you eat What makes some food good for us? What makes other food bad for our bodies? What are the negative effects of some foods to our bodies? If we answer these questions, there would certainly be some foods we would never want to eat again. 7. Yield all results to God Daniel said, “as you see fit, deal with your servants.” Daniel 1:13.We don't know if Daniel or his friends ever again ate the king’s food. Steps to a Daniel Fast The Daniel Fast can be found in the Bible in Daniel, chapter 10. It is patterned after the request of Daniel and his three friends to eat only vegetables and drink only water. At the end of an approximately ten-day trial period, the king tested the knowledge of his apprentices and found that Daniel and his three friends were MUCH smarter than the average of their class. You too, can gain a healthier body and clearer mind by following this "fast" in moderation. STEPS:
Make your meals somewhat lighter for a few days leading up to your fast.
2. Avoid distractions. This is a sacred time between you and God, so avoid secular television or radio shows. 3. Start with an unselfish prayer several times during the day.
Spend time with God praying and studying the Bible.
Envision and create goals and work on plans to enrich and improve the quality of your life.
Pray often. Increase the frequency of your daily prayer time by a factor of five or more.
7.Ask for God's guidance in your life. TIPS:
The fast can continue indefinitely if need be.
Do not eat meat during your fast. Daniel and his friends became vegans for this period of time.
Avoid sugars, sodas, cake, ice cream, desserts, and other products with sugar.
Make your meals vegetables, salads, fruit, whole grains, and water.
If you are experiencing weakness or headaches, drink at least eight or more glasses of water each day. Often, we do not understand just how much our body needs water, especially when fasting.
Understand that fasting is a very personal thing between you and God. Be sure to make time to pray to become closer to Him.
Keep your diet simple. Avoid highly processed foods in favor of simply prepared or raw foods.
During the time of fasting, you will face temptations, resist them in the name of Jesus Christ.
When you have finished fasting, eat light meals and slowly build back up to your normal diet.
THINGS YOU’LL NEED:
A place and times to pray.
Daniel Fast Suggested Food and Suggested Servings Breakfast ~ 2 Items and Water Brown rice and beans Cinnamon hot apples Creamy fruit smoothie with tofu Nut mix Celery sticks with peanut butter Sweet potato hash with chopped walnuts Tomato slices Lunch ~3 Items and Water Apple slices Baked sweet potato Black bean soup Broccoli spears Fruit salad Grilled salmon Hearty garden salad Mashed sweet potatoes with caramelized onions Soup – veggie, minestrone or lentil Tuna salad with mustard and sage Vegetable chili Vegetable and brown rice soup Dinner ~ 3 Items and Water Baked yams Broccoli mandarin orange salad Brown rice and lentil stew Brown rice and vegetable stir fry Cod fish tacos with salsa Coleslaw with apples Corn Cucumber and tomato salad Fruit salad Dinner ~ 3 Items and Water (continued) Grilled or sliced peaches Grilled or baked tilapia Jamaican beans Mexican pizza with refried beans and grilled vegetables Oven-fried vegetable fries-zucchini, squash, sweet potatoes Poached salmon with sweet bell peppers Seasoned navy bean soup Side salad with vinaigrette dressing White bean chili Wild rice Snack ~ 1 Item and Water (two times per day) Baby carrots and walnuts Celery sticks with peanut butter Fresh fruit Fruit salad and nuts Marinated cucumbers Apple slices with peanut butter Tortilla Chips and salsa FOODS AND INGREDIENTS TO AVOID Caffeine Carbonated beverages Foods containing preservatives/additives High-fat and fried foods Honey-roasted nuts which contain sugar Margarine, butter, and shortening (may use olive oil) Meat except for grilled or baked fish (or chicken per dietary needs) Milk and milk products Sugar and sugar substitutes White rice