WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU MEAN BY FASTING?
In the life of the Christian, fasting is giving up something as an act of devotion to Jesus. Generally, fasting involves giving up all food and only drinking water or juice for the duration of the fast, but some people will choose a variation of this—eating no solid foods, eating only fruits and vegetables, or giving up a particular kind of food for the duration of the fast. If fasting is new to you, you may also choose a partial fast—giving up a meal or two meals a day for the duration of the fast. Although there are many different ways to fast, what is most critical is that you set aside time for prayer each day. Without prayer, fasting is merely dieting.
Fasting is a spiritual discipline that every believer should have in their lives. Jesus did not say “if you fast.” He said “when you fast.” (Matthew 6:16)
THE DANIEL FAST
In the Old Testament, there are two passages that describe the fasts of Daniel. Combining those two brief descriptions, the Daniel Fast is now commonly used to refer to a fast that only includes vegetables and fruits to eat and water to drink. Dairy, meats, breads, and processed foods are avoided completely.
Daniel 10:1-21 – In the third year of Cyrus, King of Persia, a word was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar. And the word was true, and it was a great conflict. And he understood the word and had understanding of the vision.
(2) In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks.
(3) I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks.
(4) On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river (that is, the Tigris)
(5) I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. …
The only beverage intake is water and 100% natural juices. The primary foods are fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. There are no sweeteners on the fast, no processed foods or chemicals. (Please consult with your physician for specific guides.)
When fasting, it is necessary to turn away from distractions and spend quality time in prayer. Think of two or three things most pressing on your heart and make that your focal point. You may want to write them down and be prepared to hear God speak to your heart, as He draws you closer to him.
Clearly, the purpose of the fast is to draw closer to God. During your fast you will want to focus your time with God for a specific purpose or to gain His advice, intervention or direction in your life.