The Daniel Fast: Its Origin
The Daniel Fast is based on verses from the Bible found in Daniel 10:2-3. “At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.” These three weeks refer to the observance of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which take place during the first month of the year (Exodus 12:1-20).
Some also may cite the example in Daniel 1:8. However, in this verse Daniel did not want to eat the king’s delicacies because it would have included food that was forbidden by the Mosaic Law (Leviticus 11); to eat it would be defiling his body. Another reason would have been because the king’s meats had probably been dedicated to the false Babylonian idols as was their practice. Daniel believed to do so would have been to acknowledge their idols as deities, against God’s commandments.
The Daniel Fast: Its Purpose
While the Daniel Fast is cleansing your body by omitting certain foods for a limited time, the deeper and true basis of intent is for spiritual connection. The purpose of Christian fasting is to seek a more intimate relationship with God while ridding your physical body of unnatural, self-gratifying food and drink. Your focus is to be on God, not on the fleshly things of the world. Too often, the focus of fasting is on the lack of food. Instead, the purpose of fasting should be to take your eyes off the things of this world to focus completely on God.
During the Daniel Fast you will want to concentrate on prayer, Bible study, and reflection. The Daniel Fast is a great way to enter into preparation for growing in the Lord.
If you have a medical condition or are undergoing any medical treatments it is advisable to first consult your physician. You may also want to pray, consult a mature Christian or your pastor before fasting. Remember, fasting should be periodically and for limited days.
The Daniel Fast: The Guidelines
The basic guidelines for the Daniel Fast include eating:
water only to drink (to flush out toxins) Some say natural fruit juices may be included if they contain no preservatives, sugars, etc., but even those juices should be very limited. Coffee and tea are not permitted.
The Daniel Fast should eliminate all meats, pastries, chips, breads, and fried food. Breads contain yeast, baking powder and so on; those are leavening agents and should be avoided. Leaven is symbolic of sin in certain scriptures (1 Corinthians 5:6-8).
With these things listed, it is concluded that any food having artificial additives, chemicals, or that is processed should be totally avoided during the fast. Fruits and vegetables are the mainstay of the Daniel Fast and can be acceptably prepared in a variety of ways. Many fasting recipes and several cookbooks are designed for the Daniel Fast.
The Daniel Fast is a powerful spiritual discipline. With the coupling of fasting and prayer, one can open themselves to God’s Holy Spirit. Having a sincere desire to seek God, you can come to Him with a contrite and repentant heart and He will minister to you in a powerful way. God’s awesome power is transforming and you will know that with God, all things are possible.
It is important to note that the Bible nowhere commands believers to observe a Daniel fast. As a result, it is a matter of Christian freedom whether to observe a Daniel fast. At the same time, the Bible presents fasting as something that is good, profitable, and beneficial. The book of Acts records believers fasting before they made important decisions (Acts 13:2;Acts 14:23). Fasting and prayer are often linked together (Luke 2:37;Luke 5:33).
“Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping and with mourning”(Joel 2:12).