January 08, 2016
The most common questions we receive during the fast are about what to eat and not eat. Today, we want to address this concern.
We want to encourage you to move beyond what you’re eating, and focus on your purpose behind fasting. Why are you fasting? Before you create a food list, create a prayer list.
Make your fast about the why, not the what.
If you haven’t already, write down clear fasting goals. Be specific about what you’re fasting for. Do you need healing, direction, restoration in marriage or family, finances … if it matters to you, it matters to God.
How you fast is a personal choice, but make up your mind what type of fast you will do and stick to it! Fasting until you get hungry isn’t fasting – that’s just waiting too long to eat!
Here are a few tips that may help turn your fast around and shift the focus back to God:
- Make a list of the items you’re praying about throughout the fast.
- Establish a specific time and place that you will spend in prayer, worship or study with the Lord each day.
- Make a list of the foods and beverages you want to abstain from.
- Make a list of the go-to foods and beverages you will allow yourself to have.
Carving out a specific time to spend with God and having a physical list in front of you to pray over will motivate you to keep going when it seems impossible! Answers may not appear right away—ultimately your fast is about building a deeper relationship with Christ. As God changes your heart, you’ll be amazed at how situations around you begin to change, too!
Many people choose to do a Daniel Fast and that’s where lots of the “What’s allowed?” questions come into play. From a broad description, the Daniel Fast removes bread, meat and sweets from your diet. We don’t have a published menu or food list, but you can search online and find many resources to help you build a menu or food plan. It’s always important to consult your physician if you have health concerns about fasting.
Creating a do and don’t list of foods for your fast will help take the focus off eating and allow you to plan ahead for meals without compromising your decisions.
Fasting is a discipline. It’s a sacrifice. Daniel refused food from the King’s table. Let this fast be your opportunity to take a step back from the tempting delicacies the world offers and take your portion from the Lord!
And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables. As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. — Daniel 1:15-17