As our church is collectively entering into 21 days of fasting, you may be wondering what fasting really is. What is the purpose? Are there different kind of fasting? How do I decide what to do?
Fasting With Purpose
Fasting is so much more than just giving up food or drink. It’s about leaning into God, deepening your personal connection to Him, intensifying your prayer and devotional life in order to experience breakthrough and stronger intimacy with God. When you voluntarily sacrifice something of importance to set your eyes on Jesus, you will achieve new levels of faith.
In Matthew 6, Jesus outlines three duties of those who follow Him: giving, praying, and fasting. Fasting is an essential part of your walk with God. Do you need healing? Do you need God to come through in your finances? Do you have a loved one who is far from God? Or maybe you desperately need God’s wisdom for a decision. Whatever your need, fasting is a gateway to miracles. Here are some examples:
When Esther was about to risk her life and enter the presence of the king to save her people, she told Mordecai:
16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:16)
In Judges 20, the Israelites fasted and cried out to God after losing forty thousand men in battle. The next day, God gave them a major victory against the Benjaminites.
Jesus fasted for forty days in the wilderness before being tempted, which was the launch of his three years of ministry here on earth.
Moses fasted before receiving the ten commandments.
Paul and Barnabas fasted before choosing elders for each church they pioneered.
Ready to step out in faith and join us in our 21 days of fasting? Here are some practical details to help you decide what type of fast to do.
A full fast involves abstaining from all food and drink other than water or juice for a set number of days.
This type of fast generally refers to omitting a portion of your diet. For example, you could fast one meal a day, or cut out specific food items such as sugar or coffee or meat.
The Daniel Fast is based on Daniel 1, where Daniel refused to defile himself by following the king’s diet of rich food and wine and resolved to limit himself to only fruits, vegetables and water.
8 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.
Instead, he issued a challenge:
12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food.
In general, a Daniel Fast includes only food that comes from the ground, avoiding items that are processed, originate from animals, and bread products. If this sounds overwhelming, take a look at some of the recipes included below.
If you have a medical condition that prevents you from dietary fasting, consider fasting from other things in your life. This could include TV, social media, shopping, negativity, or other things that take up your time or distract you from drawing closer to God.
Search your heart and discern what God is asking of you in this season of fasting and prayer. Prepare your heart to hear His voice and experience His presence in a powerful way. Journal your thoughts and prayers, join us at our Sunday and Wednesday prayer meetings, and expect great things!
Daniel Fast Recipes