To ‘fast’ is to abstain from something specific for a particular reason. It enables us to draw closer to God and develop a deeper relationship with Him. Over the past 21 days, I decided to do the ‘Daniel Fast’. In short, the fast is essentially a vegan (plant-based) diet, emphasing consumption of foods in their least processed form. (There are no specific rules on the amount of food you eat, as it is more focused on which foods you eat)
The fast is based on the prophet Daniel’s spiritual and dietary experiences in the Bible:
Daniel 1:12 “Please test us for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water,” Daniel said.
- Some back-story: The king assigned a daily ration of food and wine from his own kitchens to him and the other men. But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods. He then asked to be tested for ten days on a diet and compared to the other young men who were eating the king’s food.
- At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three friends [Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah] looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king. So after that, the attendant fed them only vegetables instead of the food and wine provided for the others.
Daniel 10:2 When this vision came to me, I, Daniel, had been in mourning for three whole weeks. All that time I had eaten no rich food. No meat or wine crossed my lips, and I used no fragrant lotions until those three weeks had passed.
My main reason for fasting was to draw nearer to God so that He could reveal areas in my life that I needed to work on. I was struggling to completely surrender my life to God and submit my will to His. This time allowed me to take my eyes off the things of this world and focus completely on God. It was almost like hitting a reset button and renewing myself, particularly ahead of the new year.
It is worth noting that fasting and prayer are linked together. In Daniel 6:10, we are told that Daniel prayed three times a day. Similarly, in Luke 2:37 a widow [aged eighty-four] never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. As mentioned in a previous post, prayer is the key that unlocks faith in our life. We acknowledge our dependence on God and are still in His presence.
A personal revelation during the 21 days of prayer and fasting:
In the book of Daniel, chapter 6 verses 25-27…
Then King Darius sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world: “Peace and prosperity to you! “I decree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel. For he is the living God, and he will endure forever. His kingdom will never be destroyed, and his rule will never end. He rescues and saves his people; he performs miraculous signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”
Although Daniel was captive in a strange land, his devotion to God was a testimony to powerful rules. Before the fast, I knew I was about to enter into a new season and be surrounded by new peoples. While part of me was super excited, the other part was completely nervous. Here, God told me to take it as an opportunity to testify His power in my life. God has guided me through my darkest times this year and similar to Daniel, I must remain faithful to Him so that He can use me.