At Faith and Victory Church we participate in a Daniel Fast every year the first three weeks of the year. We do this as a church body and have found that this sets off our new year with an attitude of putting God first in our lives. The Daniel Fast is not mandatory but encouraged and we have a high level of participation throughout the congregation. If you have never done a Daniel Fast before please prayerfully consider it and feel free to ask any questions you may have to the pastors/members of the church.
The concept of a Daniel Fast comes from two accounts of the prophet Daniel fasting, recorded in Daniel 1 and in Daniel 10, plus typical Jewish fasting principles.
Daniel 1:8-14, “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. Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel, but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.” Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables* to eat and water to drink. 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.” So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.”[*Early Hebrew translations use the word “pulse,” which is food grown from seed.]
In this account, Daniel and his three friends had been captured. They were deported to Babylon when King Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians conquered Judah (2 Kings 24:13-14). The Babylonian Empire had expanded at such a rapid and vast rate that the king needed people with skills and wisdom. That’s why Nebuchadnezzar targeted high quality young men from Judah. Daniel was among the educated and likely upper class in Judah and thus selected for this purpose.
Daniel and his three friends were put into the Babylonian court’s “servant training program.” Part of the program was learning Babylonian customs, beliefs, laws, and practices. The king had high expectations for these servants and therefore ordered them to have excellent care. He wanted them to have the exact same diet he enjoyed – food fit for a king.
However, the food preparation practices of the Babylonians were not in complete agreement with the Mosaic Law. As a result, Daniel asked if he and his three friends could be excused from eating the meat and drinking the wine (which was likely sacrificed to Babylonian false gods and idols). Daniel asked that they eat only pulse (food grown from seed) and drink only water. A second account of Daniel fasting is found in Daniel 10: 2, 3: 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.
The Daniel Fast is a partial fast, in which some foods are restricted, but others are denied. Fasting is encouraged throughout the Scripture, but not commanded. More and more followers of Christ are choosing the Daniel Fast method of fasting to enter into this powerful and healthy discipline.
The point of the fast is to fast- not try to work around the rules to just eat differently. The more restrictive you are, the more likely you will be to reap the spiritual rewards of the fast. Use this as a time to ‘crucify the flesh’ and grow. If all you do is restrict your diet, with no spiritual application or prayer, you will only be physically miserable for 3 weeks.
Please make sure to READ THE LABEL when purchasing packaged, canned or bottled foods. Look at the list of ingredients on the label. The contents should be free of all sweeteners and free of all chemicals. Keep this in mind as you review this list of acceptable foods.
Daniel Fast is abstaining from all animal products and eating only fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and healthy oils for a certain period of time. FVC will be doing this as a church from January 4th through January 25th. We will break the fast as a church family at church with communion (on the 25th).
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Pastor Todd (firstname.lastname@example.org)