1/13/08

Sacred Sunday--The Daniel Fast

My final new theme for the weeks ahead as I blog is Sacred Sunday. On Sundays my plan is to share some spiritual insights or truths that I may have learned or discovered throughout the week.

For the second year in a row, our church has participated in a Daniel Fast for the first 21 days of the new year.

A Daniel Fast is a specific fast during which you refrain from many of the rich foods you might enjoy throughout the year and simplify your diet. It is important to remember that the intent of any fast is to deny yourself something that you would normally do in order to focus more specifically on the Lord and prayer. In considering a dietary fast such as a "Daniel" fast, it is best for each believer to prayerfully determine what thing they will eat or not eat. The Bible does not give us details, but rather says Daniel refrained from the King's rich food, and ate vegetables and water.

Our Daniel fast includes whole grains, legumes, all fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts, sprouts, water, herbal tea and dairy products.

So far, this fast has gotton me more disciplined in my morning prayer and Bible reading time, which was really lacking in my life. It has also helped us focus on some problem areas that need some work, and some focused prayer time on those specific areas.

We are having special services at church this coming weekend, and have been asked to take three days this week to completely fast, water only. Today is my first day, with water only. It was interesting this afternoon, when I went downstairs to be alone and pray, and I felt like I was alone, like I wanted to reach God, but I couldn't. It was very interesting. But I am not deterred. I will continue to pray and seek wisdom on my life.

I look forward to the week ahead, and see what God will teach me.

The concept of a Daniel fast comes from Daniel 1:8-14,

“But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel, but the official told Daniel, "I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you."

Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, "Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see." So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.”The background of the “Daniel fast” is that Daniel and his three friends had been “deported” to Babylon when Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians had conquered Judah (2 Kings 24:13-14).

Daniel and his three friends were put into the Babylonian court servant “training program.” Part of the program was learning Babylonian customs, beliefs, laws, and practices. The eating habits of the Babylonians were not in complete agreement with the Mosaic law. As a result, Daniel asked if he and his three friends could be excused from eating the meat (which was likely sacrificed to Babylonian false gods and idols).

3 comments:

Inland Empire Girl said...

I love your Sunday idea. You may want to do the Sacred Sunday at http://zenamoon.typepad.com/.
This is the woman from Spokane that has a candle company and a blog. If you look at the right you'll see a banner called Sacred Sunday. Click it and read about it. You can link yours to others. I visit some now and then. Good luck with your fast.

Kendra said...

Wow, what an awesome undertaking. I really admire you and your congregation's dedication; although I've never done anything that strict, I have fasted while doing extreme soul-searching and attempting to listen to that "still small voice" within which I feel is God giving me my answers.
One thing I definitely identify with is lately also slacking a bit on daily devotions, prayer, and Biblical studies. Sure, I'd do what was necessary for my Women of the Bible study, and read in our growth group, but hadn't really been thirsting for the Word like I used to. Or hitting my knees every morning, and every night.
So my husband listened to me confessing this in our group, and what showed up under the Christmas tree? The Women's One Year Bible (NLT), which I was ecstatic to receive, and now read each section with my first cup of coffee every morning, after praying for the ability to absorb and learn from each message. It's got a portion of the Old and New Testaments, Psalms and Proverbs for every day, along with a verse in bold pink which you're encouraged to either memorize or meditate upon throughout that day. I love it!
Anyway, sorry I ramble on and on. I just had never visited your site before now, and once realizing you were a woman of faith, couldn't help but share my love of Christ as well. God bless you and keep you throughout your Daniel Fast!

Silver Valley Girl said...

IEG--Thanks for the info. I'll check it out.

Kendra--Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I was so excited to learn you were reading the One Year Bible. Everyone in our church got one, and we are all reading it. I love it how it breaks it down with Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs. It is just perfect in the morning. I have loved reading it every day!!