Over the past many weeks, I have mentioned I will be participating in a Daniel Fast beginning Ash Wednesday, February 17. The Daniel fast is taken from the story of the Old Testament prophet Daniel and lasts twenty-one days. As I mentioned this past Sunday, there are plenty of resources on the web to learn more about how to observe a Daniel Fast. There are many plans and ideas. People disagree about what they should and should not eat while on the fast. To me, overthinking the fast with rules and regulations diminishes the journey I hope to share with the Lord. Here is what I will be doing this year.
Daniel 10:2-3 states, "At that time I, Daniel, had been mourning for three weeks. I had eaten no rich food, no meat or wine had entered my mouth, and I had not anointed myself at all, for the full three weeks." – NRSV
Beginning on Ash Wednesday, I am not going to eat any meat, bread, or cheeses. I will only drink water. I am going to have milk in my oatmeal and cereal only. For me, removing caffeine is the hardest part of the fast. Then, the removal of meat is second. However, this presents a beautiful opportunity for me to simplify and become more disciplined.
Preparing for a Daniel Fast is as important as the fast itself. The first question to ask yourself is if you are physically able to undergo a twenty-one day fast. Asking your primary care physician is a great beginning. Doing this will enable you to begin the fast with greater hope of completing this journey.
Once your physician says you can begin the fast, it is now time to start to pray! There are different types of fasting, and a Daniel Fast is just one of many possibilities God can call you to during a time of devotion and discipline. If you have never fasted before, you may want to begin with a less strenuous fast. Some start to dive into fasting by fasting from lunch one day a week and intentionally spending that time in prayer and reading God's word.
To encourage one another through the fast, a special online engagement opportunity will be available. Beginning Wednesday, February 24 at Noon, a special Facebook LIVE prayer time will be available (Follow us on Facebook @ServantOKC). You will be able to join together and share your experiences, join in prayer, and study God’s Holy Word each Wednesday at Noon. For more information about the Daniel Fast, go to https://ultimatedanielfast.com/.
Please remember that completing the fast is not the only goal you should have. Discovering what God is up to and how He wishes to spend more time with each of us is the real goal of fasting. I look forward to hearing from you about your fasting journey this Lent!