The Daniel Fast
From the Pastor's Desk...
As we begin this New Year of 2014, let us together give of our first fruit sacrifice to our Lord through fasting. What greater gift than to cleanse our temple so that we may have a greater powerful spiritual experience to help followers of Jesus Christ develop a more intimate relationship with the Lord, seek answers through prayer, and grow in the love and knowledge of the Savior.
New to fasting, fasting when coupled with prayer, serves as a powerful vehicle to draw closer to God. This is a God-designed discipline to enable you to enter into a focused time of seeking the Father and His wisdom, intervention and direction. It is a time to seek God’s direction for our lives, to renew our commitment to Him and to empty ourselves of sinful practices that limit our growth development and our effectiveness in life and ministry.
Lastly, as a ministry I will decide our focus for the fast, however personally you must determine your focus for the fast and draw closer to God. But this is also an excellent opportunity to seek God for the challenges you may be facing right now.
The Greater Antioch Church Focus for this Daniel Fast are:
Healing of the Church Community
Winning Souls to Christ
I along with First Lady Cooper ask that you daily confess the word of God over your life. If you have concerns in your life that cause you worry and stress, give these needs to the Lord during the fast. Please utilize the information we have for you and embrace each opportunity through this experience and enriching journey.
Pastor A.D. & First Lady Cooper
Get Ready with Expectancy during the Fast!
Preparing for the Daniel Fast is important. Of course, you will want to get all the menus planned, the recipes gathered, and the food purchased.
Let’s focus on preparing spiritually for the Daniel Fast. God’s Word actually has some very important teachings about fasting and how to make it one that is pleasing to the Lord.
Fasting is FOR the Lord! Isaiah 58 is one of the chapters in the Bible you will want to read as you plan your fast. Here the Lord addresses the very important issue of priorities in fasting. He responds to the religious people who fast and then ask of the Lord, “Why have we fasted and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and you take no notice?”
The Lord admonishes the people because He could see the motive of their fast. They were not fasting for Him… but instead for themselves or to impress others who might see them. The people may have been fasting by not eating food – but they were leaving God and His desires for their lives out of it. He said, “Behold, on the day you fast, you seek your own pleasures,” In other words, they were centering the fast on themselves! Theirs was a self-centered fast, rather than a God-centered fast.
So He asks the people, “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it to not share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from our own flesh? Isaiah 58:6, 7
Now was God saying that we are not to fast, but rather address our attention to the poor and oppressed? No! Instead He was admonishing these people because while they were focusing all their attention on the religious act of fasting, they were missing the heart of God. Their lives were not pleasing to Him and so there was no way He could “notice” their fast.
The Lord goes on to tell the people what He will do for them if they align their hearts to His heart, “Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend time on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”
The Daniel Fast is a very healthy way to eat and is full of nutritious and healthy foods. However, if you have special dietary needs, you should consult your health professional before you start this fast. You can then modify the fast to meet your specific health needs.
Foods to include during the Daniel Fast
All fruits. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Fruits include but are not limited to apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, guava, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, prunes, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangelos, tangerines, and watermelon.
All vegetables. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Vegetables include but are not
limited to artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chili peppers, collard greens, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, ginger root, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, onions, parsley, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, scallions, spinach, sprouts, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, yams, zucchini, veggie burgers are an option if you are not allergic to soy.
All whole grains, including but not limited to whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes and popcorn.
All nuts and seeds, including but not limited to sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, sesame. Also nut butters including peanut butter.
All legumes. These can be canned or dried. Legumes include but are not limited to dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, white beans.
All quality oils including but not limited to olive, canola, grape seed, peanut, and sesame.
Beverages: spring water, distilled water or other pure waters.
Other: tofu, soy products, vinegar, seasonings, salt, herbs and spices.
Foods to avoid on the Daniel Fast
All meat and animal products including but not limited to beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and fish.
All dairy products including but not limited to milk, cheese, cream, butter, and eggs.
All sweeteners including but not limited to sugar, raw sugar, honey, syrups, molasses, and cane juice.
All leavened bread including Ezekiel Bread (it contains yeast and honey) and baked goods.
All refined and processed foods products including but not limited to artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour, and foods that contain artificial preservatives.
All deep fried foods including but not limited to potato chips, French fries, corn chips.
All solid fats including shortening, margarine, lard and foods high in fat.
Beverages including but not limited to coffee, tea, herbal teas, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol.
When you shop for foods remember to READ THE LABELS to make sure the only ingredients in packaged foods are suitable for the Daniel Fast. You will want to be especially aware of chemicals, dairy products and sweeteners - all of which are not allowed on the Daniel Fast.
For more information, lots of recipes, and answers to frequently asked questions, visit the Daniel Fast at: http://www.daniel-fast.com/
Click here for more recipies!
FAST GUIDELINES CONSTANTS FOR EACH WEEK:
► Prayer at least twice/quiet times daily (with family); pray for specific requests.
► Each week study/meditation
7…14…21 Day Options
By Faith and Discipline YOU CAN DO IT!!!
7 DAY: 2 reasonable servings daily.
14 Day: 1 Week with 3 reasonable serving, 1 week with 1 reasonable meal daily.
21 Day: Follow guidelines below.
Week One Week Two Week Three
Reasonable meals Reasonable meals Reasonable meals
Positive electronic Positive electronic Positive electronic
Media intake after media intake after media intake after
3 pm 6 pm 6 pm
Positive music Positive music Positive music
Pray, Pray, Pray Pray, Pray, Pray Pray, Pray, Pray
7 – 10 - 21 Day Daniel Fast
Well, we are in the New Year, which on January 13th will begin the10-Day Daniel Fast for us. The 21-Day fast is the most popular, primarily because that is the model set out by Daniel in Chapter 10:2-3 – “In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.”
First, our desire is to give you enough information to be successful on your fast. One thing I want to advise: be prepared have the right kind of foods in the house that you can eat for the Daniel Fast. See the Daniel Fast Guidelines. Also, plan your menus and prepare the foods so they are available to you. See the following recipes, plus there are many recipes on the Internet that you can make ahead.
Second, you might want to get rid of or at least put away foods that are tempting. Kind of like the biblical accounts of Jewish women as they prepared for the Passover by cleaning their houses from top to bottom and removing all yeast from their homes. Many Jews engage in this same practice today when they prepare for the Passover.
Third, plan time to prepare meals as they will likely take a little longer than when you are not fasting. Most of the meals you prepare will be from scratch since there are so few prepared products that don’t have chemicals in them. So you will want to set aside enough time to prepare your meals, not only for those you will have at home, but also those you will have at work or when you are traveling.
Fasting Intentions and or Goals
As you begin this fast, it is important that you set intentions. Without set intentions or goals, this time of fasting will only be a test of your human will as opposed to a time set aside for God to deal with your heart. Before writing down any goals, take some time before the Lord in prayer and ask Him to reveal to your heart what He would like to minister to you doing this time of consecration. Perhaps God has already been speaking to your heart over the past few weeks. If so, ask Him to bring those things back to your memory.
What is your personal reason for joining in the 10 Day Daniel Fast?
Set your intention for this fast: Example: I want God to reveal to me the things that keep me from becoming unified with others.
What are some things that you will do during this time of fasting that will help you to draw closer to God? Example: I will begin morning devotion before I begin my day so that I can hear from God.
Many people experience a physical detox during the first few days of the fast including headaches, fatigue, leg cramps and other typical symptoms. You can reduce these effects by drinking at least ½ gallon of filtered water each day before, during and after the fasting period.
If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult a physician or other healthcare professional before beginning this fast.
Greater Antioch C.O.G.I.C. is not responsible or liable for any claims from the promotion of this fast.