Even as you read these words, thousands of males and females throughout the world are seeking an answer to prayer and a better relationship with Jesus Christ with prayer and fasting. Perhaps the most popular type of fasting today is The Daniel Fast.
So what is the Daniel Fast and how did it come about?
If you study the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament, you will discover 3 different accounts of the prophet's fasting experiences. Keep in mind that fasting is withholding food and/or beverage for spiritual functions.
In Daniel 1, we find out that Daniel refused the meat and wine formerly offered to Babylonian gods so that he would not defile his body consecrated to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Therefore, Daniel asked those in charge to allow him and his friends to eat in a different way, "Please check your servants for 10 days, and let them offer us vegetables to eat and water to drink." Daniel 1:12. It's most likely that "vegetables" also consisted of fruit.
Exactly what was the outcome? The Bible says, "And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the boys who ate the section of the king's specials. Therefore the steward eliminated their section of specials and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them veggies." Daniel 1:15, 16.
Daniel 9:3 includes an additional account of the prophet fasting. Right here Daniel writes, "Then I set my face towards the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes." This was probably a more typical three-day fast with Daniel consuming no food and drinking only water. As Daniel prayed and sought the Lord, the angel Gabriel saw him and informed the prophet about what was to come.
The third fast that Daniel discusses is in Chapter 10. Due to the fact that he was upset about a dream, Daniel engaged in a longer, partial fast. "In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was disclosed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar. The message was true, but the designated time was long; and he comprehended the message, and had understanding of the vision. In those days I, Daniel, was mourning 3 full weeks. I ate no enjoyable food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till 3 whole weeks were satisfied." Daniel 10:1 -3. From this we see that Daniel denied some foods, however still ate something.
These accounts, in addition to Jewish tradition and nutritional laws, are the basis for the Daniel Fast exercised by millions of Christians every year. If you desire a total list of foods that are included and those not permitted on the Daniel Fast, simply click on the links at the end of this post.
The Daniel Fast is not linked to any specific time of year, nonetheless numerous churches and individual Christians participate in the 21-day spiritual fast beginning the first Sunday in January as a means to begin the New Year.
And while many people follow the Daniel Fast for 21 days, it is not a time requirement. Many believers use the Daniel Fast Guidelines for a shorter 3-10 day fasting duration and for as long as a 50-day fast.
The main factor with the Daniel Fast is that it is a biblically based partial fast that offers sound standards for one to follow. Not just can the fast be an effective spiritual experience, however it is also very good for one's physical health considering that sugar, alcohol, preservatives and animal items are all not permitted on the Daniel Fast.
That's why I call the Daniel Fast a "whole body experience." It's wonderful for your spirit, your soul and your body!