I’ve had so many readers ask me about fasting. I have some problems teaching it because people often use fasting to almost bend God to their will. That’s really missing the point. We have to fast with the right attitude.
Jesus spoke to His disciples saying…”When you fast…” so fasting should be part of our Christian discipline. We can’t throw it out because people have used it poorly.
A Daniel fast is an excellent tool for facilitating protracted times of prayer and fasting. Let me outline how I’ve done Daniel Fasts.
How to Do a Daniel Fast
- A few days before you start the fast, make your meals lighter -eat less meat.
- Set a date and time for when the fast will start and when it will end.
- When the time comes, start off with prayer. Why are you fasting? Make sure it lines up with one of the reasons shown in Scripture. Don’t forget anything not done in faith is sin.
- Pray often, maybe at least five times more than you normally do.
- Spend time in His presence at all times and in His palpable presence more often.
Foods You Can Eat
- Whole Grains: Brown Rice, Oats, Barley
- Legumes: Dried Beans, Pinto Beans, Split Peas, Lentils, Black Eyed Peas
- Fruits: Apples, Apricots, Bananas, Blackberries, Blueberries, Boysenberries, Cantaloupe, Cherries, Cranberries, Oats, Figs, Grapefruit, Grapes, Guava, Honeydew Melon, Kiwi, Lemons, Limes, Mangoes, Nectarines, Papayas, Peaches, Pears, Pineapples, Plums, Prunes, Raisins, Raspberries, Strawberries, Tangelos, Tangerines, Watermelon
- Vegetables: Artichokes, Asparagus, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chili Peppers, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Garlic, Ginger root, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard Greens, Okra, Onions, Parsley, Potatoes, Radishes, Rutabagas, Scallions, Spinach, Sprouts, Squashes, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress, Yams, Zucchini
- Seeds, Nuts, Sprouts
- Liquids: Spring Water, Distilled Water, 100% All-Natural Fruit Juices, 100% All Natural Vegetable Juices
Foods to Avoid
- White Rice
- Fried Foods
- Carbonated Beverages
- Foods Containing Preservatives or Additives
- Refined Sugar
- Sugar Substitutes
- White Flour and All Products Using It
- Margarine, Shortening, High Fat Products
- The fast can last as long as you want.
- Do not eat meat or consume alcohol during this fast. Vegetarians and those who don’t typically consume alcohol find these easy to give up for a season.
- Stay away from sugars, sodas, cake, ice cream and other products with sugar. Honey is good, but make sure it is pure natural honey. Almost everyone finds these a bit harder.
- Make your meals vegetables, salads, fruit and water.
- Drink at least 6 glasses of water each day, more when you are experiencing weakness or headaches. Often, we do not understand just how much our body needs water, especially when fasting.
- If this is your first time, you may get a slight headache.
- 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.
The “Daniel Fast” comes from Daniel 10:2-3
In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.” Daniel 10:2, 3
But I do recommend you “anoint yourself” (ie. use deodorant) while you’re on a Daniel Fast. Jesus said something about not announcing that you’re fasting.
I would appreciate hearing about your experience fasting completely or doing a Daniel Fast. I’ve had great times with God whenever I’ve fasted. Can’t wait to hear about your past or present experiences. Leave your thoughts in the comments.