I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.
Recently, I have felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to spend time in Prayer and fasting for family members, direction for Better Off Read Ministries, and for personal breakthroughs in areas that I have been battling. I became aware that International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City has recently encouraged believers to take part in a Daniel Fast from August 5-26, 2013. However, fasting is something that can be done in different ways and anytime you desire to engage in a deeper connection with God. The following is taken from Mike Bickle’s sermon notes regarding IHOP’s recent call for believers to join the Daniel Fast. CLICK HERE to view complete notes.
What is a Daniel Fast?
A. There are two primary scriptures related to the Daniel fast. In Daniel 10:3 we learn that Daniel ate no meat or tasty foods and drank no wine. In Daniel 1:12 we see that he ate only vegetables and drank water. The word that is translated vegetables in the NKJV is translated as pulse in the KJV—it comes from the Hebrew zērōa, which means “that which grows from seed.”
It includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes (peas or beans), nuts, seeds, tofu, and herbs.
I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth…[for] three whole weeks… (Dan. 10:3)
…ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. (Dan. 1:12, NKJV)
…ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. (Dan. 1:12, KJV)
B. Daniel Fast: A common approach includes eating in strict moderation vegetables, fruits, whole grains (breads or rice from whole grains), legumes (peas or beans), nuts, seeds, tofu, and herbs.
C. Many agree that Daniel abstained from all meat, sugar, dairy products, wine, and from all pleasant foods (all that enhances the flavor of food—seasonings, salad dressings, sweetener, etc.). It calls for abstaining from all pleasant foods—not only “meats and sweets.”
D. Biblical fasting is abstaining from food for spiritual reasons. A Daniel fast is more than a diet. Going on a Daniel fast mostly for health reasons is good, but it is a Daniel diet not a Daniel fast.
E. The Daniel fast is a real fast from food for the purpose of enhancing our spiritual life. It is not merely a diet or eating with moderation. It involves significantly reducing the types and amount of food that we normally eat and significantly increasing our time with the Lord.
F. The point of fasting is to embrace a season of heightened consecration and focus on the Lord. Fasting food is voluntary weakness— it weakens us physically and mentally as we position ourselves before the Lord that our heart may be tenderized and become more sensitive and able to receive more from the Lord.
G. If you have any health problems at all we encourage you to consult your physician before fasting. Pregnant and nursing mothers should consider adding fish and cheese in a Daniel fast.
The purposes of this fast
A. To personally encounter the Lord. As He does His work in us, He works more through us. We are fasting to personally encounter God and His love and for a renewal in our spiritual life. I set my face toward the Lord God…by prayer… (Dan. 9:3) “You set your heart…to humble yourself before your God…” (Dan. 10:12)
- To confess and renounce our compromises and recommit our life to fully obey Jesus. I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin… (Dan. 9:20) “Repent…that times of refreshing may come from God’s presence…” (Acts 3:19)
- To receive insight into God’s love—Daniel gained understanding that he was beloved. 11He said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you”… 18Then again…19he said, “O man greatly beloved, fear not!” (Dan. 10:11, 19)
B. To pray for a breakthrough for Jerusalem. Daniel fasted and prayed much for Jerusalem.
- The battle for Jerusalem is a spiritual, political, and military battle for the control of Jerusalem. All nations will gather against Jerusalem (Joel 3:2, 12; Zech. 12:3; 14:2; Zeph. 3:8; Rev. 16:13-14; 19:19). This most significant battlefront in the spirit culminates in Jesus’ return and Satan being cast into prison (Rev. 19:11-20:3). For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem… (Zech. 14:2)
- Jesus requires the Church to stand with Israel in their coming persecution (Rev. 12:17; Dan. 11:33-35). The battle for Jerusalem is a litmus test of the Church’s obedience, and will be used to help mature and perfect the end-time Church (Eph. 5:27).
- We have been beckoned into the “Psalm 122:6 blessing” by virtue of our Israel Mandate. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you.” (Ps. 122:6)
C. To pray for a breakthrough for our families, churches, and nation. Many of the principles employed in praying for a breakthrough for Jerusalem can be applied in praying for others.
- Angels are released through prayer with fasting for personal and national issues. “Your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.” (Dan. 10:12) “At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come…”(Dan. 9:23)
- We are crying out for a greater release of power for healing, and to see God’s power break in upon our families and upon national and international crises. “This kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” (Mt. 17:21)
D. Seeking greater understanding of God’s heart and end-time plan. The four visions in Daniel give insight into God’s plan for Israel and for transitioning the earth to the age to come. “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand.” (Dan. 9:22) 12“You [Daniel] set your heart to understand…14I [an angel] have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days…” (Dan. 10:12-14)
- One emphasis in all four visions was for Daniel to understand God’s end-time plan (Dan. 7:16; 8:15-19; 9:2-3, 22-23; 10:1, 11-14; 11:33, 35; 12:4, 9-10). Daniel intentionally sought understanding in the context of all four visions. Twice he sought it after receiving a vision (Dan. 7:16; 8:15), and twice he sought it with fasting and then God answered by giving him a new vision (Dan. 9:2-3; 10:11-14).
- Part of the mandate of IHOPKC is to function in a forerunner spirit, which includes understanding and proclaiming the biblical end-time message. There will be unique dynamics in the generation in which the Lord returns, both positive and negative ones.
- The Lord is raising up forerunners who will give understanding of both what the Lord and the enemy will do in that hour. Understanding in that hour will be essential in equipping God’s people to not be fearful, deceived, confused, offended, or seduced by sin in the context of the unique dynamics occurring in that hour. The Lord’s people are to be filled with peace, gratitude, confidence, clarity, and holy love.
- God promises to give His people grace to understand His heart and end-time plans. 33“And those of the people who understand shall instruct many…35And some of those of understanding shall fall [martyrdom], to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; … it is still for the appointed time.” (Dan. 11:33-35)
There are other types of fasts mentioned in the Bible. If you wish to learn more, check out the Prayer and Fasting board on Better Off Read Ministries Pinterest page. LH (CLICK HERE)