Why fast?

Fasting is about what we gain from the process: focus on God. Fasting is a discipline of abstaining from something good, like food, so we can concentrate on our spiritual lives and find satisfaction in God.

Fasting is all about a desire for God. The decision to fast should not be motivated by arrogance or legalism. When teaching on this topic, Jesus said,

“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

Matthew 6:16 ESV

When talking about fasting, Jesus begins, “When you fast…” Notice that he doesn’t say, “If you fast…” (Matthew 6:16). Fasting isn’t commanded in the Bible, but Jesus seems to assume that His followers would fast.

Many people fasted in the Bible: Moses (Deuteronomy 9:9-18), Daniel (Daniel 9:3-5), David (2 Samuel 12:16 and Psalm 35:13), Jesus (Matthew 4:2), Paul (Acts 9:9), and many more. People also fasted for different reasons: to mourn, to humble oneself before God, and to focus on praying to God for guidance or preparation.

God will show you that He is what we are truly desperate for.

During Jesus’ fast, He quoted Deuteronomy and said, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4) Fasting can help us understand this truth with new meaning. We can better understand that Jesus is the Bread of Life, who sustains us and supplies our greatest needs (John 6:26-35).

What is the Daniel Fast?

The Daniel Fast is a method of spiritual fasting used by millions of Christians throughout the world. It’s a partial fast, where some foods are eaten and others are restricted. The fast is most often practiced for 21 consecutive days and its purpose is to draw nearer to God and present your needs to Him.

Push the pause button on distractions and open your heart to God by entering into a time of extended prayer and fasting using the Daniel Fast. Allow God to minister to you as you seek Him and His ways.

Foods to Eat

Beans and legumes

Amaranth, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, freekeh, millet, oats, purple rice, quinoa, rye, sorghum, spelt, teff, whole grain pasta, whole wheat, and wild rice.

Nuts and seeds

Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, nut butters, peanuts (actually legumes but people think of them as nuts), pecans, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), pine nuts, pistachios, poppy seeds, walnuts, sesame seeds, soy nuts, sunflower seeds.

Vegetables

All vegetables are allowed (fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, and canned).

Fruit

All fruit is allowed (fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, and canned). However, any dried fruit shouldn’t contain added sugar (check ingredients to be sure).

Oils

Oils (such as coconut, olive, and sesame, for example) are allowed but should be used minimally. For example, you can sauté foods in olive oil but avoid deep-frying them.

Other

Unleavened bread (whole grain bread made without yeast, sugars, or preservatives

All herbs, spices, and seasonings are allowed, including salt and pepper.

Soy products (such as edamame and soy nuts) and tofu are acceptable.

Foods to Avoid

Animal Products

Meat (bacon, beef, bison, chicken, lamb, pork, and turkey).

Dairy (butter, cheese, cream, milk, and yogurt)

Fish

Eggs

Added Sugar

Agave nectar, artificial sweeteners, brown rice syrup, brown sugar, cane juice, corn syrup, honey, malt syrup, molasses, and raw sugar.

Yeast

Yeast and, therefore, leavened bread isn’t part of the Daniel Fast.

Refined Grains

White flour and white rice. Only whole grains are allowed on the Daniel Fast. A whole grain product contains the entire grain kernel ― the bran, germ, and endosperm.

Processed Food

Foods that contain artificial flavorings, chemicals, food additives, and preservatives.

Deep-fried Food

Examples are corn chips, French fries, and potato chips. (Baked chips are acceptable if they don’t contain restricted ingredients. Check the label for “baked” to be sure.)

Solid Fats

Butter, lard, margarine, and shortening.

Chocolate

Milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate syrup, and cacao.

Caffeinated and Alcoholic Beverages

Alcohol, coffee, caffeinated tea, and energy drinks.

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