But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.


Daniel 1:8

Dates to Remember

  • Fast: Sunday, January 12th – Saturday, February 1st

  • The Practical Side of Fasting: Wednesdays, 01/15, 01/22, 01/29 @7pm

A Biblical Explanation of Fasting

From the beginning, people have pursued God. They wrongly built the tower of Babel to reach Him (Gen. 11:1-9).
They rebelliously carved images to please God. They arrogantly conceived and lived by legalistic laws to impress God. They constructed monasteries and isolated themselves to please God. They even fasted wrongly in an attempt to divert His attention from other things they should have been doing, but were neglecting. Fasting is best described as “the deliberate abstinence from food (and sometimes drink) for an extended period of time. While the motivation for fasting varies, the focus is consistent: it is a means by which we can worship the Lord and submit ourselves in humility to Him. We don't make God love us any more than He already does if we fast, or if we fast longer. As Galatians 5:1 states, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage".

The goal of any discipline is freedom. If the result is not greater freedom, something is wrong. One of the greatest spiritual benefits of fasting is becoming more attentive to God – becoming more aware of our own inadequacies and His adequacy, our own contingencies and His self-sufficiency – and listening to what He wants us to be and do. Christian fasting focuses on God. The results are spiritual results that glorify God – both in the person who fasts and others for whom we fast and pray. In Isaiah 58, God says that He has chosen fasts that (1) loosen the bonds of wickedness, (2) undo heavy burdens, (3) let the oppressed go free, (4) break every yoke, (5) give bread to the hungry and provide the poor with housing, (6) allow the people's light to break forth like the morning, (7) cause their health to spring forth speedily, (8) cause their righteousness to go before them and (9) cause the glory of the Lord to be their reward (or "rear guard").

What is the Daniel Fast?

It’s a biblically based partial fast based on two accounts of the Prophet Daniel’s fasting experiences (Daniel 1 and 10) and typical Jewish fasting principles. The Daniel Fast eating plan is similar to a vegan diet with additional restrictions. See the Daniel Fast Food List for a more complete outline of foods to include and foods to avoid.

The Purpose of the Daniel Fast

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 and/or a legalistic approach to the food guidelines. 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 are encouraged to seek the Lord for wisdom, knowledge & discernment regarding how you and your family should participate. Remember, this is a Fast, NOT a Diet. All handouts & class content is meant for the sole purpose of education and is not meant to replace medical advice.

Daniel Fast Guidelines

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Water only to drink

Fresh juiced or squeezed vegetable and/or fruit juices are not included so use discernment. If you feel the freedom to include, choose juices without preservatives, added sugars and limit consumption. Coffee and tea are not permitted.

The Daniel Fast should eliminate all meats, dairy, eggs, bread, coffee, tea, processed,
and fried food. Most breads contain yeast, baking powder and so on; those are
leavening agents and should be avoided. Avoid artificial additives, chemicals, or
processed foods. Vegetables and fruits 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. See Resources for more information.

Food List

All Vegetables

These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Vegetables

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chili Peppers
  • Collard Greens
  • 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
  • Veggie Burgers are an option if you are not allergic to soy

All Fruits

These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Fruits

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Boysenberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Figs
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Guava
  • Honeydew melon
  • Kiwi
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Mangoes
  • Nectarines
  • Oranges
  • Papayas
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapples
  • Plums
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tangelos
  • Tangerines
  • Watermelon

All Whole Grains

  • Whole Wheat
  • Brown Rice
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Grits
  • Whole Wheat Pasta
  • Whole Wheat Tortillas
  • Rice Cakes
  • Popcorn

All Nuts and Seeds

  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Sesame seeds

This also includes nut butters such as:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Almond Butter
  • Sunflower Seed Butter
  • Cashew Butter

All Legumes

  • Dried beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Split peas
  • Lentils
  • Black eyed peas
  • Kidney beans
  • Black beans
  • Cannellini beans
  • White beans

All Quality Oils

  • Olive
  • Coconut
  • Avocado
  • Grape Seed
  • Sesame

Avoid highly processed oils such as vegetable oil, canola oil, sunflower oil and peanut oil.

Beverages

Traditional guidelines states Water only so use discernment

  • Water (spring, distilled, filtered)
  • Vegetable or Fruit juice (fresh pressed, minimally processed, no sugar)
  • Coconut milk
  • Coconut Kefir
  • Almond milk

Food to Avoid During the Daniel Fast

  • All meat, animal, fish and seafood products including beef, lamb, pork,
    poultry, fish and shellfish.
  • All dairy products including milk, cheese, cream, butter, and eggs.
  • All sweeteners including sugar, raw sugar, date sugar, honey, syrups,
    molasses, cane juice, date honey, and stevia.
  • All leavened bread including Ezekiel Bread (it contains yeast and honey) and
    baked goods.
  • All leavening agents including yeast, baking soda and baking powder.
  • All refined and processed foods products including artificial flavorings, food
    additives, chemicals, and artificial preservatives.
  • All deep-fried foods including potato chips, French fries, corn chips.
  • All solid fats including shortening, margarine, lard and foods high in fat.
  • Beverages including coffee, tea, herbal teas, carbonated beverages, energy
    drinks, and alcohol.
Remember, READ THE LABELS so you are aware of the ingredients in the package.

How to prepare for the Daniel Fast

Quiet Time: Starting your day with God is a habit that will support your faith and growing intimacy with
the Lord. During your Daniel Fast, be sure to set a daily time to come before the Lord, to study His Word
and His ways.

Start with a clear personal goal in addition to our corporate goals. Be specific. Why are you fasting? Do
you need direction, healing, restoration of marriage or family issues? Are you facing financial difficulties?
Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Pray daily and read the Bible.

Prepare spiritually by confessing your sins to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of weakness. Forgive
all who have offended you and ask forgiveness from those you may have offended (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4;
17:3-4). Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ and reject the worldly desires that try to hinder you
(Romans 12:1-2).

Five tips for your successful fast

One of the first things you think about as you prepare for your Daniel Fast is the
foods that you’ll eat. And that’s all okay. However, please keep in mind that the
Daniel Fast, or any kind of spiritual fasting, is NOT about the food. It’s a Fast, NOT a
diet. Yes, you will change what you eat during your fast. And this is a time to prepare
simple meals and to reduce the importance that food has in your life.

Remember, a biblical fast is “to deny food for a spiritual purpose.” Keep the first
thing the first thing which is to have a meaningful encounter with God and to draw
nearer to Him.

Here are five tips you can use to make sure you don’t focus on the food, and instead
seek first God and His kingdom.

One: Have a little meeting with yourself.

Think about the importance of satisfying your appetite during your fast.
Are you willing to deny the flesh? Are you willing to learn how to crucify the flesh so
you can draw nearer to God? Eating more simply will help you in this part of your spiritual journey.
Prayer: “Lord, Bind My Flesh!”

Two: Set Fair Expectations.

Anytime we remove foods, especially highly processed or high calorie consumption,
our body may have side effects. These can range from thirst, false hunger, headaches,
nausea, gas, rash, or diarrhea/constipation. Don’t panic. Stay hydrated w/ water.
Move your body. Any side effects of detoxing the body usually disappear in about 3 days.

Three: Plan simple and easy-to-prepare meals.

Free up time and thought by preparing meals in advance. Remember, you won’t be
consuming as much food as usual during this time, so meals will go further.
Find simple recipes for your Daniel Fast. Over the next 21 days,
what are 3 breakfasts that you can consume? What are 5-6 dinner meals?
What are 3 snacks you can prepare and have available? How can you use leftovers for lunches?
Or what are 3-4 simple lunch menus you can plan? Use the food list and
the Resources list for Recipes. Don’t complicate your meals.

Four: If you prepare meals for others that are not on the fast, consider making the
foods you consume during your fast part of the meal you serve to others. If you have
soup with salad, then serve that to your family and then add an entree or another
side dish for them. Be an example to those around you. Remain in joy and love.

Five: Notice the changes going on in you as you change the way you eat during your
fast. Discover how cravings disappear. Notice the increased energy you experience
and the healing that your body may undergo. This is a good time to consider
journaling how your body reacts when eating or removing certain foods.

What to Expect During the Fast

When you fast your body detoxifies, eliminating toxins from your system. This can cause mild discomfort such as headaches and irritability during withdrawal from caffeine and sugars. And naturally, you will have hunger pains. Limit your activity and exercise moderately. Take time to rest. Fasting brings about miraculous results. You are following Jesus' example when you fast. Spend time listening to praise and worship. Pray as often as you can throughout the day. Get away from the normal distractions as much as possible and keep your heart and mind set on seeking God's face.

When You Fast:

  • Expect to get to know God better

  • As you demonstrate sincerity to God, you can expect to:

    • Develop strength in your inner character
    • Discover power to leave sinful habits (2 Corinthians 7:1)
    • Find power to stay focused in prayers
    • Experience a greater desire for God’s presence
    • Expect the hand of God to move to answer prayer
  • Expect resistance for the devil
  • Expect your prayers to go to a higher level
  • How to succeed in fasting:

    • Fast with friends (Matthew 18:19)
    • Fast with a purpose
    • Set a start and end date
    • Determine you will follow through
    • Fast unselfishly (Isaiah 58:1-11)
    • Spend time with God


    FASTING DOESN'T WORK IF YOU DON’T PRAY!