The New Year Fast
On January 6th or January 13th, hundreds of thousands of followers of Jesus Christ will enter into an extended period of prayer and fasting. Most of those will use the Daniel Fast as their method of fasting and practice the discipline for 21 consecutive days.
Happy New Year! Oh, what a great time to start a new course and establish the direction for the coming months. Beginning the New Year with a period of extended prayer and fasting is the most perfect way to start. And especially since hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of believers around the world will all be opening their hearts to God at the same time! We are blessed to be together for this powerful spiritual experience.
So, when does the New Year Fast begin? Most churches, study groups, and individuals will begin the fast on Sunday, January 6th. However, whatever date the Lord leads you to begin your fast is the right date for you. The New Year Fast is not like Lent (a called fast) that has a specific start and end date. If you are fasting with others or with a church congregation, you will want to follow the leaders and the dates they establish.
Most people begin the fast being highly focused on the food and the changes to their menus. I encourage you to keep your meals simple and easy to prepare. One of the greatest mistakes I see today is that people put way too much focus on the food miss out on the powerful spiritual benefits of the fasting experience. Remember, this is a fast (which means to restrict food for a spiritual purpose). Keep the main thing the main thing. Eat simply. And invest most of your time and attention on your Lord.
Most people will fast for 21 consecutive days. And for the Daniel Fast, there are not times during the day when you don’t adhere to the restrictions. There are some fasts where you don’t eat at all during daylight hours and then eat whatever you desire or within some guidelines after sundown. But that is not part of the Daniel Fast.
Be sure to learn about the fast. There is so much erroneous information “out there” about the Daniel Fast. I have been using the Daniel Fast for decades and I have been teaching about it since 2007. I have researched the fast extensively and feel confident that the information you’ll find in the books I’ve written and on this site and at Daniel-Fast.com is grounded in the scriptures and is accurate. I can’t tell you the number of times discouraged people have written to me sick and not feeling well after they’ve tried to eat only vegetables and drink only water because they didn’t learn the complete background of the fast and just plunged in. So please, study the information on our Daniel Fast sites and the Daniel Fast book includes everything you need for a successful fasting experience (including a cookbook and a daily devotional).
Put your flesh where it belongs . . . under submission. One of the most powerful lessons you can learn on the Daniel Fast is how to put your flesh in its rightful place, which is under the authority of God. Your flesh may throw a fit. It might try to sabotage you and tempt you to break the fast or change the guidelines to satisfy its desires. But we are called to walk in the Spirit and not by the flesh. You can work on your self-control muscles during the fast and realize that you don’t have to give in to the whims of your flesh. I truly believe this is one of the most powerful lessons you can learn during your fast.
If you have health issues then be sure to follow the advice of your earthly physician as you pray to your Great Physician. Due to medical needs or special issues, you may need to modify the fast. Keep the core of the fast and make a slight adjustment. This is the same for pregnant or nursing mothers and for athletes who expend a lot of energy.
Get support and encouragement – we provide lots of help, tips, encouragement, and support to anyone who wants it through our websites, emails, and Facebook groups. Click on the Join the Fast link to receive daily emails. Or join our Facebook Group. Also, keep visiting our sites as we update and add helpful information and tips almost every day.
Meanwhile, open your heart to the Lord and submit yourself to Him. Allow Him to direct your steps as you begin this New Year and as you enter into this fasting experience.