the daniel fast

january 3-24, 2021

What is the Daniel Fast and why should I do it?

The Daniel Fast has been a part of my life for probably 15 years.  Believe it or not, I actually look forward to the time at the beginning of each year when I set aside 21 days to do the Daniel Fast.  But, I was recently reminded that there are so many new people in the church and the Daniel Fast is probably something totally new to them.  Let me give you a few reasons and then some background as to why you should participate in the fast this year... P.D.

the reasons...

1. First Things First – As you read through the Bible, you see this pattern emerge about first things. God strongly states that the first born, the first tithe of our wages, the first sabbath and many other “first things” belong to Him. Not only do they belong to Him, but God declares them to be holy. Trust me, holiness is a big deal to God. If God declares something holy, it is set apart, separate. It has a special purpose and a special place in God’s heart. That is why I try to give Him the first part of my day, the first part of my paycheck and even the first part of a New Year.

2. Fasting Is Biblical – Fasting is a spiritual discipline throughout the Bible. Even Jesus fasted! Now, if Jesus found it necessary to fast while he walked this earth, how can we even think that we don’t need a good fast every now and then.

3. The Daniel Fast – Daniel in the Old Testament, was faced with an impossible situation. He was a captive in a godless country, yet he was chosen to be part of a special group of people to be trained in Babylonian ways, culture and language. He was given a daily allotment of food that had been offered to pagan gods. He refused the meat and chose to only eat vegetables. At the end of his fast, he was healthier than the others and the Bible says that God granted Daniel “special wisdom and the ability to understand”. That one thing is reason enough for me. As I lead the church as your pastor and lead the River of Life Conference as their Bishop, even as I lead my wife, kids and grandkids, trust me, I need special wisdom!  

4. Fasting brings breakthrough. Fasting does not give you special privilege with God, but it does get His attention. The Word says, “Draw near to me and I will draw near to you.” When we fast, we prove to God that He is first. We show Him that we are serious about our relationship with Him. And He will draw near!

So why do we do this daniel fast

Typically the Daniel Fast is a vegetarian fast. No meats, no dairy, no sugars, no preservatives and no caffeine. (that last one probably hurt for some of you) It’s not about giving up food and it’s not even about giving up certain types of food. The Daniel Fast is a time when you determine to draw closer to God. You do that by starving the flesh and feeding the spirit. Fasting must include prayer and reading the word. If it doesn’t, it becomes a diet and everyone hates a diet.

But here is how you first time Daniels fasters can take part. The object of the Daniel Fast is not just to give up something, it is to add something. Add some prayer time or some more scripture. Take away some TV and add some quiet mediation on God’s word. Get rid of Facebook and add some face to face meeting with others who are going through the fast with you. The thing I would like to see is for everyone to fast something for 21 days. Give up something that will sting a little. For me, I’ve been on a 20 year fast from sauerkraut and it is easy! But giving up my sweet tea or home made bread or a nice tall glass of milk, that hurts a little. And it should. Fasting is a discipline. I discipline my physical body so my spiritual body can grow.

I encourage all of you to join me for the next 21 days. Determine what you want to give up and then stick to it. I promise if you give up some things you love and add some things you need (prayer, the Word, etc) you will also come to love the Daniel Fast. You will gain special insight and wisdom. You will be closer to God. You will even be closer to your spouse or children or other people in your life. So let’s do this! I encourage you to make a Daniel Fast Prayer List. What are some things that have been elusive to you? What are some goals or milestones you’ve wanted to reach but were never able? What are some nagging habits or sins that you just can’t seem to break free from? All of these things are attainable when you fast.

So, thank you in advance for join me in the fast. I want to close with a list of things to pray for specifically for LifeSpring Christian Church during this fast. Please add them to your list of Daniel Fast prayer requests.

1. Pray for your pastors! (please)

2. Pray for new ideas and strategies as we continue to deal with Covid-19.

3. Pray for the lost.  Make a list of 5 names of people who know you but do not know Christ as their personal Savior.  Commit to pray for them during the fast and throughout 2021.

4. Pray for a personal awakening (a revival) in your own life, in the church, in our city, our state and our nation.  

Love you all!

Pastor Dale & Debi

The daniel fast food list

Foods You Can Have

All fruit – fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, or canned.

All vegetables – fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, or canned.

All whole grains – amaranth, barley, brown rice, oats, quinoa, millet, and whole wheat.

All nuts & seeds – almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds; unsweetened almond milk. Nut butters are also included.

All legumes – canned or dried; black beans, black eyed peas, cannellini beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), great northern beans, kidney beans, lentils, pinto beans, and split peas.

All quality oils – avocado, coconut, grapeseed, olive, peanut, sesame, and walnut.

Beverages– distilled water, filtered water, and spring water.

Other – unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, or soy milk; herbs, spices, salt, pepper, unsweetened coconut flakes, seasonings, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, soy products, and tofu.

Foods To Avoid

All meat & animal products – bacon, beef, buffalo, eggs, fish, lamb, poultry, and pork.

All dairy products – butter, cheese, cream, milk, and yogurt.

All sweeteners – agave nectar, artificial sweeteners, brown rice syrup, cane juice, honey, molasses, raw sugar, syrups, stevia, and sugar.

All leavened bread & yeast – baked goods and Ezekiel bread (if it contains yeast and honey).

All refined & processed food products – artificial flavorings, chemicals, food additives, preservatives, white flour, and white rice.

All deep-fried foods – corn chips, French fries, and potato chips.

All solid fats – lard, margarine, and shortening.

Beverages – alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee, energy drinks, herbal tea, and tea.

The fast for families

with small children

Sit down with your children and discuss the definition of the Daniel Fast.

Talk about which foods or things you are going to give up during your fast. (You can also include fasting screen-time.) Emphasize that those things are not bad or wrong, but that you are abstaining from them temporarily as a way to honor the Lord.

Make a list of things or people you want to pray for.

Go grocery shopping together. Even though it may mean more time at the store – make it a family event. Have older children select produce for you. Let a younger child hold the shopping list. You’ll make your kids feel special, and they’ll be more likely to be excited about the fast.

daniel fast recipes

We've put together a few of our favorites. Download the PDF HERE