Guide to Fasting and Prayer Article by Bill Bright
Fasting is the most powerful spiritual discipline of all the Christian disciplines. Through fasting and prayer, the Holy Spirit can transform your life.
Fasting and prayer can also work on a much grander scale. According to Scripture, personal experience and observation, I am convinced that when God's people fast with a proper Biblical motive-seeking God's face not His hand-with a broken, repentant, and contrite spirit, God will hear from heaven and heal our lives, our churches, our communities, our nation and world. Fasting and prayer can bring about revival - a change in the direction of our nation, the nations of earth and the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
The awesome power can be released through you as you fast through the enabling of the Holy Spirit.
FOODS TO EAT ON THE DANIEL FAST
Amaranth, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, freekeh, millet, oats, purple rice, quinoa, rye, sorghum, spelt, teff, whole grain pasta, whole wheat, and wild rice.
Beans and legumes
Black beans, black-eyed peas, cannellini beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), great northern beans, kidney beans, lentils, peanuts, pinto beans, and split peas.
All fruit is allowed (fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, and canned). However, any dried fruit shouldn’t contain added sugar (check ingredients to be sure).
Nuts and seeds
Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, nut butters, peanuts (actually legumes but people think of them as nuts), pecans, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), pine nuts, pistachios, poppy seeds, walnuts, sesame seeds, soy nuts, sunflower seeds.
Water should be the main beverage on your Daniel Fast. Distilled, filtered, sparkling, spring, and mineral water are allowed as well. However, you may have 100% fruit/vegetable juice on occasion (just don’t overdo it). You can also use 100% fruit fruit/vegetable in recipes.
FOODS TO AVOID ON THE DANIEL FAST
Meat (bacon, beef, bison, chicken, lamb, pork, and turkey).
Dairy (butter, cheese, cream, milk, and yogurt)
Agave nectar, artificial sweeteners, brown rice syrup, brown sugar, cane juice, corn syrup, honey, malt syrup, molasses, and raw sugar.
Yeast and, therefore, leavened bread isn’t part of the Daniel Fast. (For an explanation on why it’s excluded, see #1 under “Food” on my FAQs page.)
White flour and white rice. Only whole grains are allowed on the Daniel Fast. A whole grain product contains the entire grain kernel ― the bran, germ, and endosperm.
Foods that contain artificial flavorings, chemicals, food additives, and preservatives.
Examples are corn chips, French fries, and potato chips. (Baked chips are acceptable if they don’t contain restricted ingredients. Check the label for “baked” to be sure.)
Butter, lard, margarine, and shortening.
Milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate syrup, and cacao.
Caffeinated and alcoholic beverages
Alcohol, coffee, caffeinated tea, and energy drinks.
Types of Fasts
In this type of fast, you drink only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.
This type of fast involves removing certain elements from your diet. One example of a selective fast is the Daniel Fast, during which you remove meat, sweets, and bread from your diet and consume water and juice for fluids and fruits and vegetables for food.
This fast is sometimes called the “Jewish Fast” and involves abstaining from eating any type of food in the morning and afternoon. This can either correlate to specific times of the day, such as 6:00 am to 3:00 pm, or from sunup to sundown.
This fast is a great option if you do not have much experience fasting food, have health issues that prevent you from fasting food, or if you wish to refocus certain areas of your life that are out of balance. For example, you might choose to stop using social media or watching television for the duration of the fast and then carefully bring that element back into your life in healthy doses at the conclusion of the fast.