Let me encourage you to join Eastwood Tulsa in the Daniel Fast as we come into the New Year. Seek the Lord with your whole heart. The Psalmist prayed, “With my whole heart I have sought You…” Psalm 119:10. Be prepared to participate at some level. Ask God to help you make a commitment and stick with it. Form spiritual disciplines that will continue throughout 2019.
If I came home from work and told my wife to pack because we are leaving on an unplanned vacation it would be a mistake; she would not go. Spontaneity can help you break out of a rut or routine but will not work when it comes to prayer and fasting. How many of you don’t plan your vacations or trips? Planning is essential to all we do. There is nothing more important that your spiritual disciplines. When you combine prayer, Bible reading, and worship with fasting it is a powerful combination! You will feel better spiritually and physically. Daniel did too!
“At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king.”Daniel 1:15 (NLT)
We are participating in a partial fast. It is called the ‘Daniel Fast’ because it is taken from the Book of Daniel chapters 1 (the diet) and 10 (the length). The food items list is located in the welcome center. The dates are January 7-27th.
Three Simple Tips to Help Prepare to Fast
First, be prepared. You know this is coming up — get ready! Second, be prayerful. Don’t wait until January 7th to start praying and reading your Bible. Ask God what He wants you to do.
Third, be practical. Consider these seven points.
- Don’t eat huge meals leading up to the fast.
- Start going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. Extra rest is needed!
- Except for your job, clear/reduce your schedule.
- Begin reviewing Scriptures that deal with prayer and fasting.
- Pray for God to reveal Himself to you. Turn away from known sins. Stop doubtful habits. Repent.
- Determine to be present at Eastwood Tulsa Sunday morning/Wed Night.
- Remember that you are fasting for God’s glory.
- If you have not done this before, don’t say no too quickly; choose to participate at some level.
- Drink liquids (no pop): water, juices, etc. when you get hungry or crave certain foods.
- If you drink coffee regularly and you fast from coffee you will probably get a headache. It will pass.
- If you are preparing food, get your ingredients at the store beforehand. Plan your meals ahead.
- If you are a diabetic eat sensibly or choose something else to fast from: TV, Social Media, Newspaper, etc.
- If you have any questions/hesitations check with your doctor.
- Spend the time you would spend preparing big meals or driving to and from a restaurant, in Bible reading/prayer and Scripture memory/meditation.
- Curtail plans to eat out with friends. Be creative in saying ‘no.’ Clear your social schedule for 21 days.
- If someone finds out you are fasting, don’t make a big deal about it. It is fine to share with other Eastwood Tulsa members. In fact, it is good to encourage one another.
- Fast some activities that take your time: TV, internet, newspapers, magazines, FB, Twitter, etc.
- Read the Bible through/regularly and plan to continue through the year.
- Put your phone on silent/off when you are praying. Let it go to voice mail (that is what that it for).
- Fasting is voluntary but Biblical. Jesus said, “When you fast…” not, “If you choose to fast…”
- Don’t say “no” until you try. Remember God will give you grace and strength to do this; ask Him.
Different Types of Fasts – Biblical, Personal, Other
- Total fast from any food and water.
-Moses, Ex. 34:28 40 days
-Esther, Esther 4:16 3 days
-Elijah, 1Kings 19:8 40 days
-Jesus, Matthew 4:1-2 40 days
- Total fast from food but drinking only water.
- Total fast from solid foods but drinking juices.
- Partial fast from certain foods/meat/wine (Daniel 10:2-3)
- Fast from entertainment and food Daniel 6:18
- Fasting from normal activities/pleasures (1 Corinthians 7:5)
- Fasting from personal hygiene (Daniel 10:2-3)
- Fasting from sleep (voluntary/involuntary) (2 Corinthians 6:5)
- Involuntary fasting because of task/situation (Matthew 15:35; Mark 6:36, 8:1; Mark 3:20, 7:2)
- Therapeutic fast—Fasting for medical reasons/getting ready for surgery
- Involuntary fasting because of famine/lack of food/poverty
Different Lengths of Biblical or Personal Fasts:
- 1 day—–Jer 36:6; Biblical fast days set for Jewish people (4th, 5th, 7thmonths of Jewish year)
- 2 days [times]—–Luke 18:12 (Not necessarily in succession but in the same week, a neg. example)
- 1 particular meal—–Breakfast/lunch/dinner
- All night—–Daniel 6:18
- 3 days—–Esther 4:16
- 7 days—–1 Chronicles 10:12; 1Sam 31:13
- 14 days—–Acts 27:33-35
- 21 days—–Daniel 10:2-3
- Many days/long time—–Nehemiah 4:1; Acts 27:21
- 40 days—–Exodus
- A time of your choosing 1 meal a week etc.; an unspecified time. 1 Corinthians 7:5
- 1 day a week throughout the year (52 days a year)
- A “tithe” of your year in fasting (36 days, not necessarily in succession)
- Eliminate one meal a day for 21 days. Just drink water or juices instead of eating.
- Don’t eat out for 21 days (Even if it is Daniel fast type food).
- Get some exercise. If you don’t have a routine, try a walk around the block or the house. Walk in the church.
- Get someone to participate with you. Pray together in person or over the phone.
- Memorize three new verses, one for each week. Go over them each day, multiple times. Quote them; pray them.
- Attend Wednesday night activities if you are not in the habit. Pray or volunteer.
- Fast from specialty coffee and give saved money to missions.
- Most of the world lives on less than $2/day. Be radical and try that for 3 days!
- Set your alarm for midnight and rise to pray. Psalm 119:62
- Read a Christian book. There are many great titles in our Church Library.
- Do something for someone who cannot repay you.
- Don’t check your status on Facebook when you are with other people. Focus on the person you are with.
- Fast from complaining and arguing.
- Fast from spending too much money on yourself. Save your money and give it to missions or other causes.
- Go to bed earlier. Wake up earlier to spend the first part of your day reading Scripture/Quiet time with the Lord.
“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31