As Christmas celebrations approach, we are looking ahead with excitement and anticipation to starting the New Year and commencing The Daniel Fast on 11th January for 21 days.
Christmas is “the most wonderful time of the year”. Days off work, quality time with family and friends, lots of yummy food and socialising and having fun with all the festivities and activities. We get so pumped and excited for Christmas that when it’s all over and January comes around, sometimes we tend to feel a little lost or enter into the New Year in recovery-mode!
For this reason among many others, as a church we feel, why should we coast into January? Let’s feed our souls. Let’s start the New Year, just as excited for the adventures that lie ahead. We want to purposefully be diligent and focused in keeping the main thing, the main thing- Jesus at the centre of our hearts and minds, the centre of our year and ultimately, our lives. So what’s this all about?
The Daniel Fast
As we collectively embark on this Fast for 21 days, it’s important to have a deep grasp of not only what it entails practically, but why as a church we feel this is such an enriching and significant step on our journey of faith.
What is it ?
The Daniel fast is simply a representation of the fast that Daniel, an Old Testament Prophet engaged in to honour God instead of honouring the King of the region at that time. It is a fast which includes a large range of natural foods whilst abstaining from others.
Why should we do it ?
Any form of fasting is crucial to our christian walk with God, if Jesus did it before he embarked on his ministry, how much more important is it for us to follow his lead and do the same for our lives, ministries, marriages, anything? Fasting and prayer enables us to refocus, refresh and realign ourselves with God again, to break from dry patterns or routines and to purposefully seek God first and encounter him afresh
How do we do it ?
The Daniel Fast is a 21-day fast based on mainly natural fruits and vegetables and some grains whilst abstaining from other foods- aka the ones we like to indulge in the most! We have carefully put together an online booklet to equip you on how to do the fast effectively.
We have written a devotional for each day of the fast to encourage you spiritually, included a food list and recipes to equip your practical preparation and will be sharing testimonies throughout to build your faith along the way! But remember, it is YOUR personal sacrifice, make sure to write down what you are expecting from this fast, write a prayer list, organise and set time aside to pray or read God’s word or simply listen for him in dedicated pockets of peace and silence
A bit more history
This fast is based on the Old Testament Prophet Daniel in the Bible in the time where he, among others were chosen to enter into the King’s service, then King Nebuchadnezzar. For a period of time, Daniel and 3 others abstained from “Royal Food” so as not to defile themselves to God. The King’s officials at the end of 10 days found that Daniel and 3 other young men had gained from the Lord all kinds of understanding, knowledge and wisdom and that Daniel himself found he could interpret dreams and visions. (Daniel 1:8-18)
These four young men found that by abstaining from what their world was offering and instead sacrificing their food to honour God, they entered into a new sense of knowledge and depth in their relationship with God. Furthermore, the rest of the book shows the incredible faithfulness, protection and power of God over these men’s lives from being unscorched in the fiery furnace, saved from the lion’s den, given gifts of interpretation dreams and much more.
In our day and age, Christians can find this to be true of any kind of fasting. That when we choose to honour God or sacrifice something in order to put God higher, there is much to be discovered and experienced in our relationship with God. God is Jehovah Roi – The God who sees, He sees our hearts and sacrifices we make and wants to bless us and wants to have a real, active, personal,
flourishing relationship with him. He longs for us to spend time with him and get to know him. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who diligently seek him.” (Hebrew 11:6)