What is a Fast?
They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 1 Cor. 10:3-4
Biblical fasting is a spiritual disciple that requires a Christian to (voluntarily) go without eating food for varying lengths of time. This spiritual disciple should not be taken lightly.
Fasting Scriptures: I Samuel 1:6-8,17-18; Neh 1:4; Neh 9:1-3; Dan 9:3, 20; 10:3; Joel 2:12; Esther 4:16; Ex 34:28; 1 Sam 7:6; 1 Kings 19:8; Isa 58; Zech 7:5-8; Ezr 8:21, 28; 10:6; Ps 35:13; Jer 36:9; II Chron 7:14; Joel 2:12; Matt 6:17; Luke 2:37; 4:2; Acts 9:9, 11; Acts 10:30; Acts 13:2; Acts 14:23; 1 Cor 7:3-6; Heb 11:1-6
Fasting is a personal decision that should be made at the discretion of the individual. If you have health concerns, or are under the care of a physician we encourage you to consult with your medical professional prior to committing to fast. (Eccl 4:4-6).
Before You Fast: Seek God with prayer and supplication concerning fast type, duration of fast, and purpose of your fast Obtain your spouse’s agreement (1 Cor 7:3-6) Ø Explain fasting to your family so they can understand and support your commitment. Plan ahead to ensure you have the necessary foods or beverages conveniently available. Planning for your family should be discussed and planned in advance. Prepare your heart and mind toward the spiritual things of God.
How to Begin Your Fast:
1. Your fast should begin when you’re awake in the morning. Your last meal should be normal/light in consumption and at your normal dinner time.
2. Drink at least 1/3 of your body weight in water upon awaking in the morning. Continue to drink increments of water throughout the day until you exceed one half of your body weight.
3. Read the Word of God at the start of each day. Give yourself to Worship and Praise before the Lord. Saturate yourself with the things and ways of God throughout each day.
During Your Fast
1. Diligently seek God all throughout the day (STAY FOCUSED)
a. Read the Word
b. Pray the Word
c. Listen to the Word
d. Speak the Word
2. Avoid foolishness
a. Gossip; unhealthy conversations
b. Negative thoughts
c. Pessimistic emotions
3. Abstain from sexual intimacy (1 Cor 7:3-6)
4. Minimize your normal daily (non-spiritual) activities
a. Watching favorite TV shows
b. Listening to non-spiritual music
c. Playing video games
5. Exercise with caution
a. Absolute/Complete or Partial/Normal Fasters should not do ANY strenuous
exercise especially weight/strength training
b. Extreme cardio should be avoided
c. Normal paced to brisk walking is discretionary per the individual
d. Do NOT exercise alone during fasting
How Your Body Might Respond: Headaches; Fatigue; Nausea; Light headedness; Weakness/Exhaustion; Sluggish; Insomnia; Hunger Pains; Film or thick coating on your tongue; Irritability.
How Fasting Effects Your Body: Fasting detoxifies your body so that your organs begin to function effectively; Fasting cleanses your body and your soul; Fasting promotes healing; Fasting relieves nervousness & tension; Fasting gives your digestive system a rest; Fasting lowers blood pressure and cholesterol; Fasting prevents sickness; from common colds and flu to heart disease; Fasting regenerates the body, mind, and spirit (promotes focus and clarity of thought); Fasting relieves stress-related exhaustion; Fasting relieves irregular menstrual cycles and hot flashes
How to Break Your Fast
1. End your fast at sundown on the final day with prayer and worship to
2. Break your fast with room temperature water 30 minutes before your meal
3. Your first meal after fasting should be very light; soup, vegetables, fruit
4. Junk food or fast food is not recommended
5. If coming off an absolute fast, break it with a cup of vegetable broth as your first meal
6. Gradually increase your caloric intake with whole foods
Types of Fasting in the Scriptures
1. Complete/Absolute Fast:
Exodus 34:28, Matthew 4:2; Luke 4:2
No food and No water allowed on this fast
If you are under the care of a physician, or taking medication, and depending on your health, this fast should only be done under the care of medical consultation and supervision.
Be certain you have heard clearly from the Lord concerning this fast type and length. This fast should be done for shorter durations.
2. Partial/Normal Fast:
1 Kings 17, Matthew 4:2; Luke 4:2
No food but water is allowed on this fast
You must drink plenty of water! At least half your body weight in consumption each day. Choose good quality water
For longer durations clear vegetable broth and fresh pure juices may be considered for enduring strength.
Pure juices are those with fewest ingredients.
No artificial or natural flavorings. Make it a point to dilute the juice with one part water and one part juice.
3. Daniel/Plant-Based Fast:
Fruits and Vegetables Only
Plant-based foods only on this fast. No Meats. No Sweets. No Dairy. No Breads (unless they are vegan).
No Wine (alcohol beverages).
You must drink plenty of water! At least half your body weight in consumption each day.
Practical Fasting Tips:
The Bible speaks about significant lengths for fasting, which include three days, seven days, twenty-one days, and forty days. However, there are also mentions of half-day fasts and twenty-four hour fasts. Because there are many variations of fasting, it is important for each individual to seek God for personal direction. There is no set formula for the amount of days a person may fast. If you choose to fast for one day it should be for a full 24 hour period.
For example: begin fast on Monday upon waking and end on Tuesday upon waking.
A half day fast should begin upon waking and end at sun down of the same day.
But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?
Jesus said unto them...My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.
Daniel Fast Food List
Special Note: if you have health issues, please be sure to contact your health professional for advice before committing to any fast including the Daniel Fast. If you would like a list of the foods included and excluded in the Daniel Fast to show your doctor, just copy the contents of this page.
Please make sure to READ THE LABEL when purchasing packaged, canned or bottled foods. They should be sugar-free and chemical-free. Keep this in mind as you review this list of acceptable foods.
Foods to include in your diet 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, boysenberries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, honeydew, melon kiwi, limes mangoes, raspberries, tangelos, watermelon.
All vegetables: These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Vegetables include but are not limited to artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, celery, chili peppers, collard greens, corn, ginger, okra, potatoes, radishes, sweet potatoes, watercress, yams, veggie burgers are an option of 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 included but are not limited to dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black 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; no sodas or wine.
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, port, 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, date honey, agave stevia and cane juice.
All leavened bread including Ezekiel Bread (it contains yeast and honey) and baked goods.
All refined and processed food 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.
Remember – READ THE LABELS!