By Karen Jurgens
First things first. Especially for a new 2015.
Isn’t it wonderful to begin all over again with a clean slate? Most of us join in the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions of some form or fashion. Whether it’s exercising, eating a healthier diet, or focusing better on the important things, we can all identify. It’s like cleaning out that cluttered closet and organizing those messy drawers. Lots of work, but boy, so worth the effort.
Anything we change will produce a new and different result. And isn’t that what we’re all really after–a better body inside and out and a better life in general?
But wait…how about our spirits? Don’t they need cleansing and renewing too? Let’s consider getting off to a fresh start with a Daniel Fast.
The first time I heard a minister invite the congregation to participate in a church-wide fast, I thrilled to the idea, only I had no idea how to do it. I had only heard of water and juice fasts where you drink but eat no food for a certain number of days. So how did this one work?
The Bible gives some guidelines in Daniel.
“In those days, I, Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks. I did not eat any tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth…” (10:2-3a, NAS).
No meat, no tasty food—which I interpret as any type of sugary concoctions like desserts—and no wine. Since I don’t imbibe alcohol, this personally means for me no meats and no sweets. Easy to remember.
And the spiritual cleansing? That comes through prayer and humbling yourself before God. The denial of pleasant foods reminds us that we are petitioning God during these days, as well as expecting answers from Him. This is a precious time, set aside to worship our God and seek His face.
What will be your result? Unlike Daniel, you may not have a personal visitation from Gabriel, but your spirit will be in tune with God. He will certainly answer your prayers and supplications that you lay at His feet. God has given me dreams, opened doors that were shut, healed my body, blessed my family, and so much more. Like Daniel, we can expect to receive great things from God.
Interested in finding out more about the do’s and don’ts? Here’s the list (courtesy of fastdown1.wordpress.com).
Foods to include in your diet during the Daniel Fast:
All whole grains
All nuts and seeds
All quality oils
Beverages limited to water
Foods to Avoid:
All meat and animal products
All dairy products
All leavened bread
All refined and processed foods products
All deep fried foods
All solid fats
(Want more information? Visit HERE for the specific details.)
Are you ready? I wish you a healthy 2015, full of God’s grace and answered prayers.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in all things, through prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, that passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7, NAS).
Complete the prompt below for an extra entry in our quarterly drawings! Submit your completed writing prompt via Comments.
The ladies at the Bible study chatted as they arranged their books and papers in preparation for their new semester.
Chloe, a young mother of newborn twins, opened her Bible to the book of Daniel. “I hear that our leader has a surprise this month.”
Sherry, a mom to teenagers, passed a bag of pretzels across the table, munching on a handful. “Really? I hope it involves something yummy.”
The ladies giggled, sipping their coffee.
Just then their leader, Margaret, entered the room. “Welcome to 2015, ladies. How would you all like to be part of a Daniel Fast for the New Year?
The women looked at one another, eyes questioning, silent. Margaret recognized their hesitancy before she continued. “Has anyone ever fasted before? Could you tell us a little about your experience? “
You raise your hand and respond…
photos courtesy of Corbisimages and Newlifenny