I think there is one point that just about everyone can agree. And that is that we are living in a very stressful, chaotic, frenetic time. So many activities and so many distractions seem to be calling our name and vying for our attention.
You may have a deep calling within your soul for a reset. A time when you can center, once again, on your relationship with God, with becoming calmer in your soul and perhaps even focusing on your health and wellbeing.
Entering into a 21-day period of extended prayer and fasting might be the perfect prescription for your spirit, soul, and body. Let me invite you to see what can be available to you during this spiritual experience.
Fasting is Not About Food
First, let me point out that the Daniel Fast, like all spiritual fasts, is not about the food. It saddens me to see how so many people have turned this powerful method of extended prayer and fasting into a focus on “scrumptious Daniel Fast recipes” or “mouthwatering recipes for your Daniel Fast.” That approach to the Daniel Fast misses the purpose God designed for fasting. Learn more.
Instead, entering into an extended period of prayer and fasting is the time to simplify your life so you can focus more on God. Also, one of the most powerful lessons and experiences you can have during your time of prayer and fasting is recognizing the battle you have between the flesh and the spirit. We live in a culture that has glorified food, and consequently, it’s even happened by so many who highlight the different way you’ll eat while on the Daniel Fast.
I encourage you to keep your meals simple, easy to prepare, and not at all the focus of your fast. Instead open your heart and your soul to the powerful lessons, insights, and experiences that the Lord has for you.
Strengthen Your Spirit
Spiritual fasting is like going on a personal and private retreat for yourself. During your time of fasting, you can spend more of your time and attention on God, His Word, and the ways of kingdom living. It’s very possible that during your time of extended prayer and fasting that you’ll develop habits, routines, and practices that you can use during your fast as well as after your fast for your spiritual growth.
You may have a longing in your heart to draw near to God. Possibly you feel distant from Him. I can promise you He longs to have you near Him. He longs to be with you. And He honors your desire to connect with Him.
Most often, reconnecting with God is not something that we can do in just one or two days. And therefore, an extended period of prayer and fasting is the perfect opportunity for you to lean into Him for your support and for your strength. You can reorder your days, and your practices, so you can put your eyes on Him rather than on all of the distractions that so often gain our attention.
Feed Your Soul
Your soul is made of your intellect, your will, your emotions, and your personality. While our spirit was reborn when we accepted Christ, our soul still needs a transformation to the ways of the Lord. During your time of extended prayer and fasting, you can check in with yourself. You can examine your heart and discover areas that you want to bring into closer alignment with the ways of God and His kingdom.
Many times when I’ve been fasting the Lord has shown me lessons He wants me to learn, adventures He wants me to take, and new insights that He wants me to discover.
Jesus says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you’ll find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29. Open your heart to the Lord and see what He has to teach you during your time of prayer and fasting. He loves you so very much and He longs to have you look to Him for your needs and desires.
As you think about a reset, this may also be a time when you can look at the way you use your time, making choices about what you’ll do and what you won’t do, setting goals for the lifestyle you want to live, and designing the future you’ll have along with the Lord’s direction.
Proverbs 3:5-6 calls us to powerful promise, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Acknowledging Him in all your ways means to bring God into the center of every part of your life. And so during your Daniel Fast, you can examine your heart, take a look at your life, and find ways and opportunities to bring God in so He can show you the very best way to live.
Renew Your Body
While the Daniel Fast is not about food, because of the simple meals that you’ll be eating during your spiritual discipline, your body will reset. You’ll be eating only simple foods and drinking only water.
It’s very likely that you’ll experience healings, including lowering your cholesterol, balancing blood sugar, dropping unhealthy pounds, or reducing inflammation and therefore lessening or eliminating muscle aches and pains.
You, as the caretaker of God’s temple for His Holy Spirit, you’ll likely experience a refreshment for your whole being as you take your flesh, the world, and food off its pedestal and instead lift the Lord up and focus on Him.
I truly believe that God has anointed the Daniel Fast for this time in the history of His church. The Daniel Fast, which is a partial fast, opens up this powerful discipline of spiritual fasting to many who would not be able to go without food for an extended period of time.
My hope for you is that you’ll encounter God in new and formidable ways during your Daniel Fast. Also that you’ll keep the focus on Him, and that you’ll experience the love, joy, and peace of Christ that renews you and truly resets you for this next season in your life.
How about you? Will you use the Daniel Fast soon? I love hearing from others. Please leave your comments below.
If you want to learn more about the Daniel Fast, you can purchase a copy of the bestselling book I wrote about it, which is now considered the “go-to guide” for this method of fasting. The Daniel Fast: feed your soul, strengthen your spirit and renew your body.