Today, I’ll break down exactly what the Daniel Fast is and how you can fast like Daniel for many days, even if it’s your first time.
Fasting is challenging.
Back in 2014, when the spirit first prompted me to fast for 21 days, I was sure I would not be able to do it. It was my first time trying a long fast.
Then I was empowered by the Holy Spirit.
By the midpoint of the fast, I had burst into another realm.
- More energy,
- better mood, lighter feeling
- Increased mental alertness and clarity of thought
- Better work-life balance,
- and felt a calm satisfaction in knowing that I had done something good for my body as well as my soul.
I’m going to show you exactly how to reap the benefits of Daniel Fast in this post.
Now let’s dive right in.
- Benefits of a Daniel Fast
- What is Daniel Fast?
- Why Did Daniel Fast?
- What You’ll Need For The Fast.
- Who is the “Daniel Fast” for?
- Various Applications in which the fast can be used?
- Limitations: What Not to Eat on the Daniel Fast
- Other Tips To Make Your Fast Successful
- Journal Each Day
- Now It’s Your Turn
Benefits of a Daniel Fast
As I mentioned earlier, the benefits are numerous, but I’ll summarize in two categories:
- Good Health
- Spiritual Energy
If fasting is done properly, your body starts to detoxify, which in turn heals cells/organs in the body. Many people are now turning to intermittent fasting because of this benefit.
As you humble the body through fasting, you also humble the mind/soul.
Your soul starts to abstain from earthly lusts and many other lusts that operate through the body. You feel lighter and more awake as time marches on. In this state, you begin to draw closer to God.
Your focus is sharpened and you become more efficient at doing the things that matter most in life. This includes meditating, contemplating, contributing, and more.
Praying and meditating becomes 10x more powerful (if one could measure).
Franklin Hall likened “fasting combined with prayer” to an Atomic Bomb.
And that’s why several spiritual teachers resorted to fasting as a lifestyle: like Jesus, Mohammed, Gandhi.
What is Daniel Fast?
It is a partial fast where you eat only vegetables and water for several days (e.g., 3,10 or 21 days, etc.) to gain spiritual, physical, or emotional benefits.
The idea comes from two places in scriptures:
- Daniel 1:12, where Daniel and his companions ate only vegetables and drank only water for 10 days. Which extended to 3 years.
- Daniel 10: 2-3, where he fasted and prayed for 21 days and “ate no choice food; no meat or wine.” No Extension; it ended at 21 days.
Some people call it fast fruit and vegetable fast.
And you can modify the duration to your convenience.
Why Did Daniel Fast?
Daniel fasted in two scenarios and mostly for just one reason: Spirituality. Take a quick look at both scenarios:
1st Fasting Scenario:
Daniel was taken captive far away from home and lived in a different culture where the food was already offered to idols before it was served.
But for Daniel (due to his Jewish heritage/laws), such food was considered unclean and eating it will make him “spiritually unclean”.
And so the only food option to avoid “unclean food” was fruits, vegetables and water.
That’s the price he had to pay to maintain his “cleanliness” or spirituality.
Results: After 10 days of consuming only vegetables and water, Daniel’s appearance was impressive and it was evident to his superiors that the diet was a good choice.
All this happened when he was around 15yrs old…
And he continued it for 3 years.
As you can imagine, it takes courage and determination to fast for 3 solid years.
If you want to try this, you should ask God for courage because we live in a food-obsessed world today.
We are blessed with freedom and opportunity to eat almost anything.
But what price do you and I have to pay to maintain our spirituality:
Fasting or maybe “selective eating”?
Now, let’s look at the next scenario.
2nd Fasting Scenario :
Daniel fasted because a building project (rebuilding of the Jewish Temple) in his home country was delayed and it will negatively affect the future of his people and country. – Check Ezra 4:4-5.
So he fasted and prayed for 21 days.
But this time around, he was around 90 yrs old…
Could you ever imagine not eating for 21days at 90 or even 70 yrs, for example?
Again, that’s how passionate Daniel was with spiritual things.
Key TakeAway: There were pressing issues that will affect future generations and Daniel had mastered the art of fasting coupled with prayers to address issues.
If you have issues in your life, you probably should learn from this.
Learn the tool of fasting coupled with prayers.
Some life issues won’t get an answer or any real progress except by prayer and fastings.
And if a 90-year-old man can fast for 21 days to fix issues, what excuse do you or I have at 20 or 40 or 60?
If you are passionate about solving important issues, you will do all it takes to get divine attention.
Whatever it takes to get an answer from God, you’ll do. Though, properly.
Result: By the 21st day, a spirit being appeared to Daniel and answered his prayers through revelation.
Isn’t that a fantastic result for passionate prayers and fasting?
As you can see Daniel valued his spirituality from when he was a boy till he became an old man.
So the Daniel Fast is primarily a “spiritual fast” and not a “dieting fast” like some people think it is.
Now that you know what it is and why Daniel fasted, let’s talk about what you need to start the fast.
What You’ll Need For The Fast.
Basically these 3 things:
Lots of water to keep you hydrated.
And also a container to measure your daily intake of water.
I usually target at least 2 to 3 liters per day.
Yours might be different depending on your body needs
- Fruits and vegetables:
- Vegetables can be fresh or cooked. Frozen works as well.
- Fruits: Fresh like Apples, bananas, grapes, etc. Frozen is also an option.
- Whole Grains: Like Rice, beans, oats, and several other grains cooked in water.
- Beans and Legumes: Cook and make them yourself.
- Nuts and Seeds: Roasted with no salts added, like cashew, peanuts, etc.
- Smoothies: I’m creative with this and just blend fruits and veggies together. I can share my recipes later in another post.
Out of all this, I personally just stick with fruits and veggies!
- Time to Meditate:
This one can be tough depending on your personal situation. But you’ll have to force it to happen. Otherwise it won’t.
Over the years, I’ve found that due to the nature of my job, early in the morning or at lunch time (12-1pm) works for me while I am working fulltime and fasting.
Yours might be different, but my suggestion is to find what works for you and be consistent.
Be sure to make prayer and meditation happen in your schedule.
Who is the “Daniel Fast” for?
It is for anyone wanting to transform their lives, whether on a health or spiritual level.
Various Applications in which the fast can be used?
- Renewing your health
- Drawing closer to God.
- Seeking the answer to a pressing issue.
- Looking for meaning in Life.
Elevate your purpose beyond material things and focus on immaterial during the fast.
Limitations: What Not to Eat on the Daniel Fast
Food that has been processed or refined in any way is off-limits. E.g:
- and anything else that comes from a factory.
A Daniel fast is mainly plant-based, and any food aside from plants falls on a “do not eat” list.
Here are three broad categories:
- Animal Food: Meat, Fish, or any form of animal food.
- Alcoholic drinks.
- Manufactured or Processed Foods: Like sugar, cookies, candy, mints, energy drinks, juices, oils.
- Salts: Use sparingly.
Other Tips To Make Your Fast Successful
Define a (Clear) Purpose
Before starting, you should first define your purpose.
Your goal helps focus your mind and eliminate temptations that may lead you to break your fast prematurely.
You should set out with a clear vision of what you want out of the Daniel Fast.
Remember Daniel fasting is more than just eating vegetables—it’s a spiritual fast with the added benefits of good health.
By now you’ve seen from Daniel’s story that spirituality was the highest goal.
Set a Start and End Date.
You want to set a start date, which gives you something specific to work towards.
I usually like to start on the 1st day of the month and end on the 21st.
Or on a Friday when my office workload is light.
But anytime you choose is fine, really.
Ease Into the Fast
I usually like to ease into the fast just a few days before the start date by doing two or three days of eating once each day just for my body to get used to being without “certain foods.”
That way, you reduce feeling overwhelmed (or starving) once you start.
This is optional.
Eating Out on the Daniel Fast
You’ll probably have to be around other people who eat.
So consider these tips for navigating through social situations without disrupting your fast:
- Gracefully postpone invitations to eat out if you can
- Take your own food along if it makes sense.
- Choose just water and let people know you are eating sparingly
- Eat out where the menu offers options for you.
- If you have to cook for other people like your family, be creative to stay out of temptation.
Journal Each Day
Create a folder or notebook for your journal and prayer journal, as well as any other notes that you will want to write down throughout your fast.
Journaling is an excellent tool for letting out stress and reminding yourself of how far you’ve come. If you find yourself getting stressed about your fast, consider taking time to sit down in a quiet spot each day and write in your journal about all that has happened during your fast.
Not only will it help to clear your mind, but you can also look back on these entries when times get tough.
You may be surprised by the motivation you receive!
If you haven’t done it already, then create a folder or notebook for your journal and prayer journal, as well as any other notes that you will want to write down throughout your fast.
Final Note: Always Listen to Your Body
If you are new to fasting, I recommend starting with a 24-hour fast.
To see how it will affect your body.
For example, if you stop eating at 6 pm and don’t eat again until 6 pm the next day, that would be a 24-hour fast.
If you are okay with that, repeat it every day for a couple of days.
Now It’s Your Turn
I hope this guide showed you how to go on a Daniel Fast.
Now I’d like to turn it over to you:
What day are you going to start your Daniel Fast?
Are you going to try the full 21 days? Or maybe a 3-day version for a start?
Or maybe you have a question about something you read.
Anyway, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.
And no matter which type of fast you choose, please be sure to eat healthy food on days that you aren’t fasting.
Now you’ve known a little more about Daniel fast. You may want to gain a little more knowledge about the Christian fasting in this article. Stay blessed.