What Is the Daniel Fast?
Turns out eating your fruits and vegetables wasn't entirely Mama's idea.
Fasting gets a bad rap. Most people seem to think it’s reserved for Old Testament characters and the religious elite. But in reality, fasting is still widely accepted and commonly practiced. Even movie stars like Christ Pratt and Nicole Kidman often take part.
The Daniel Fast, one of the most popular approaches, is based on the prophet Daniel’s spiritual and dietary practices, recorded in the Book of Daniel in the Bible. It involves removing sweets, meats, and bread from your diet and consuming only water, juice, fruits, and vegetables. The Daniel Fast is most often practiced for 21 consecutive days, and many churches do this at the beginning of each new year. It’s largely based on Daniel 10:2: “In those days, I, Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks. I did not eat any tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth, nor did I use any ointment at all until the entire three weeks were completed.”
But fasting isn’t one size fits all. There are several methods with one common goal: drawing nearer to God. The purpose is to eliminate distractions for a spiritual commitment; it’s seen as a type of reset button for the human soul that renews people from the inside out. But there are many ways to do it. A partial fast involves not eating any type of food in the morning or afternoon, and yes that includes Mama’s homemade biscuits. A complete fast is the practice of drinking only liquids such as water and light juices; of course, it’s best to consult a doctor first if you’re committed to this version. And a selective fast involves removing certain elements from your diet; the Daniel Fast falls under this category.
Every fasting experience is different, but the hope is to practice a renewed dependence on God. As we fast and pray, two words that often appear together in the Bible, we refocus our heart and mind on God and prepare ourselves to receive his abundant blessings.