Wednesday, February 27, 2008

No Such Thing as a Daniel Fast

There is no such thing as a Daniel fast.
James
Thanks for your very short but important e-mail James!

People have at least two reasons to say there is no such thing as a Daniel Fast.

Many people, myself included at one point in my life, don't know that there is a second definition of the word fasting. Merriam Webster's Dictionary says the following about "fasting":

Main Entry: fast
Function: intransitive verb
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English f├Žstan
Date: before 12th century
  1. to abstain from food
  2. to eat sparingly or abstain from some foods
So we use the 2nd sense of the word fasting. In the Daniel Fast Diet, we are abstaining from many foods, but not all foods.

The second reason I know of why people say there is no such thing as a Daniel Fast, is because the word "fast" is not used in the English text of the book of Daniel.

The issue here is that we are describing Daniel's choice to abstain from certain foods using the word "fast".

We include the word "diet" at our website. So you would likely agree that there is such a thing as a Daniel Diet, even if you didn't know that in English, fasting can mean to abstain from food, or to eat sparingly, or abstain from some foods.

Does this help you James? Did I answer your concern about calling Daniel's Diet a Fast?

Here is a very important Scripture about fasting. I find it very convicting. God gives us yet a third definition of fasting.
Isa 58:3 But they also complain, 'Why do we fast and you don't look our way? Why do we humble ourselves and you don't even notice?' "Well, here's why: "The bottom line on your 'fast days' is profit. You drive your employees much too hard.
Isa 58:4 You fast, but at the same time you bicker and fight. You fast, but you swing a mean fist. The kind of fasting you do won't get your prayers off the ground.
Isa 58:5 Do you think this is the kind of fast day I'm after: a day to show off humility? To put on a pious long face and parade around solemnly in black? Do you call that fasting, a fast day that I, GOD, would like?
Isa 58:6 "This is the kind of fast day I'm after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts.
Isa 58:7 What I'm interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families.
Isa 58:8 Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way. The GOD of glory will secure your passage.
Isa 58:9 Then when you pray, GOD will answer. You'll call out for help and I'll say, 'Here I am.' "If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people's sins,
Isa 58:10 If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
Quoted from The Message Bible
Isn't that a powerful passage?!

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Read the Bible and Pray

My question is, while on the Daniel Fast, how often do you have to read the Bible and pray? We have our chores we do during the day. Thank you for this information. Buck

Dear Buck,
Try to set a regular time to read the Word, whether it be ten minutes or an hour. I listen to an Audio Bible on my mp3 player while I exercise in the morning.

My goal for prayer, whether doing the Daniel Fast Diet or not, is to pray without ceasing. That has many manifestations. Some times it is doing my chores to the best of my ability to the glory of God. Other times it means praying with my eyes open for people and things I see as I go through the day. Sue and I use the ACTS prayer method every night before bed. Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. Pray for 3-10 minutes each category. Mike

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