The Daniel Fast
A fast means to abstain from something that you enjoy such as food, drinks, media, etc. I’ve met people who have abstained from talking and have gone to a place of solitude and prayer for a few days in order to pay closer attention to God’s voice. There is healing in fasting. You will notice that after a few days of abstaining from animal-derived products, you will feel healthier, energetic, and you will be more sensitive to God’s presence in your life. When we fast, we give up our daily desires to turn our focus on God and to slow down, especially after a busy holiday season. By fasting, praying, and reading the Bible, God strengthens our spiritual walk and we become more aware of God’s calling in your life. In Job 23:12 we read: “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” Our church, Spirit and Truth Worship Center in Orange, CA, embarks on this Daniel Fast for 21 days during the month of January. Fasting collectively as a church body has been a great blessing and I have personally experienced a renewed closeness with God.
In case you are wondering, the Daniel Fast is based on the occasion in which Daniel and his companions were brought to serve in the king’s palace and Daniel and the others refused to eat and drink King Nebuchadnezzar’s royal foods and wine and thus they ate vegetables and drank water for 10 days (Daniel chapter 1). As result of fasting and setting themselves apart for the Lord for 10 days, Daniel and the other young men appeared healthier and stronger than “all the men who ate the portion of the King’s delicacies,” and because of their wisdom and strength, the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar allowed these children of Israel to serve him. In chapter 10, we read that for three weeks, Daniel ate “no pleasant food, no meat or wine”. Following this fast Daniel had a prophetic dream as the result of being humble before God. As you can see, the Daniel Fast is more than just a vegan diet. For example, you must abstain from many foods that bring you pleasure such as sugar, processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, and refined grains. If you eat meat everyday, this will definitely be a sacrifice that will require great commitment to God.
During the fast, you will be invited to luncheons and potlucks and you will feel left out or bummed out not to be able to participate. All the things we love to eat like sweets, cheese, fast food, fluffy white bread, and of course, meat, will knock on your door saying: eat me, eat me! However, I can tell you that I’ve been blessed with so many wonderful miracles of provision such as veggie platters and good ol’ rice and beans just when I thought there was nothing to eat at that birthday party. Jesus takes care of the small details and His grace smiles upon us everyday as we testify of his love and our faith in Him.
Thanks for reading. My desire is for this website to be a helpful resource to you and your loved ones as you try to formulate new cooking ideas during this fast. Please join us on this fasting journey and let’s embrace this opportunity to discover what God has in store for all of us.
Portrait and food photography by Matthew George