Yesterday, we launched our corporate fasting initiative and it was met with excitement from many, doubt from some and questions from others. In day 2 of our prep for the 21 Days Of Prayer & Fasting, I want to share with you a couple of things you need to know about fasting and also a guideline for the Daniel Fast (several have been asking about this)
First off, fasting that brings fruit begins with the proper motivation.
While the desire for physical benefit (better health/weight loss) is ok and important personally AND to our God, they cannot be the primary motivation for fasting (by the way…there are wonderful physical benefits that come from fasting. More on that tomorrow). Being pressured into fasting doesn’t work out so well either and as always, guilt is a lousy motivator.
No, the chief motivation for fasting must be spiritual in nature….deeper inimacy with Christ, prayer needs, power sought, hopes of a more disciplined prayer life, ect. Understanding and having the right motivation as the foundation of our fast is the real key to seeing fruit!
Also, several have had questions about the guidelines of the Daniel Fast (or fast in general) and have expressed doubts over whether or not they could keep a fast (because of certain circumstances such as diabetes, pregnancy, job related issues). Let me encourage you, no matter where you are in life…a fast is possible.
Here is what I mean.
Fasting, at its core is not so much about what you abstain from for God as it is about what you desire to gain from God.
Not every fruitful fast must be 40 Days of juice, 21 days of vegetables or a Yom Kippur (one day) fast from everything. If you are new to fasting, you may want to go simple and commit to 21 days without soft drinks/coffee/tea and only have water or even in a modern twist, 21 Days without texting or Facebook or hey…21 days of no TV. Point is, something beats nothing everytime…and everyone can do something.
That said, I really believe that anyone, no matter the circumstance can participate in a Biblical Daniel Fast. Remember, one of the great blessings of the Daniel Fast (a good beginners fast in my book) is that you aren’t limited to the AMOUNT of food you eat, only the specific type. Because of this fact, the Daniel Fast really is applicable to anyone who will COMMIT to it (that’s the real key). There are even resources such as The Diabetic Daniel Fast or The Daniel Fast Guide For Pregnant Women that I will gladly point you toward if you’d like.
While your fast is personal and as I’ve mentioned…any fast from any thing is ALWAYS better than no fast at all, I do pray that you’ll join us for the Daniel Fast for the first 21 Days of 2012. Below, I’ll list a guideline to the types of food that are allowed during the Daniel Fast (you may be surprised and hopefully encouraged)
“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
As mentioned…One of the great things about the Daniel Fast is that you are not limited to any specific amount of food, but rather to the kinds of food you can eat. The Daniel Fast is limited to vegetables (includes fruits) and water.
NOTE: Please make sure to READ THE LABEL when purchasing packaged, canned or bottled foods. They should be sugar-free and chemical-free. Keep this in mind as you review this list of acceptable foods.
Foods to include in your diet during the Daniel Fast
All fruits. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Fruits include but are not limited to 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 vegetables. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Vegetables include but are not limited to 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 whole grains, including but not limited to whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes and popcorn.
All nuts and seeds, including but not limited to sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, sesame. Also nut butters including peanut butter.
All legumes. These can be canned or dried. Legumes include but are not limited to dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, white beans.
All quality oils including but not limited to olive, canola, grape seed, peanut, and sesame.
Beverages: spring water, distilled water or other pure waters.
Other: tofu, soy products, vinegar, seasonings, salt, herbs and spices.
Foods to avoid on the Daniel Fast
All meat and animal products including but not limited to beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and fish.
All dairy products including but not limited to milk, cheese, cream, butter, and eggs.
All sweetenersincluding but not limited to sugar, raw sugar, honey, syrups, molasses, and cane juice.
All leavened bread including Ezekiel Bread (it contains yeast and honey) and baked goods.
All refined and processed food products including but not limited to artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour, and foods that contain artificial preservatives.
All deep fried foods including but not limited to potato chips, French fries, corn chips.
All solid fats including shortening, margarine, lard and foods high in fat.
Beverages including but not limited to coffee, tea, herbal teas, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and of course, alcohol.
Remember, READ THE LABELS!
See! You can Do This!!! We can do this!!! Praying for breakthrough in your life!
Gloria In Excelsis Deo! – Pastor Kyle