Tag Archives: diet

My First 21 Day Daniel Fast

My First 21 Day Daniel Fast

By Carolyn Dale Newell

But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place;

and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Matthew 6:17-18 NKJV

Each January, our church sets aside twenty-one days for fasting. This was the first time I had fasted for more than two days. After this experience, I will no longer be a stranger to fasting.

Sure, after the first few days, I felt some dizziness and fatigued. The Daniel fast is based on the foods Daniel ate while in captivity. Primary fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts. If it doesn’t come from a plant, you don’t eat it. I abstained from processed foods, meat, dairy products and caffeine.

I did some research about protein, and I began drinking a protein nut milk. After that addition, I felt great.

Without caffeine, I slept better than I had in years. I had really struggled with sleeping. I mean really struggled. I found I didn’t need herbal tea and melatonin anymore. I am watching my caffeine intake, now that I am off the fast, because I don’t want to return to those sleepless nights.

I thought my age had contributed to my lack of energy. I became exhausted after my typical 1.5-mile walk. During the fast, my energy from years ago returned. Another reason to stick to this diet.

I wish I could say I lost more than six pounds, but I am glad I lost weight because it seemed all I could do before was gain it. Imagine losing weight while eating baked potatoes and whole-grain spaghetti. I also stopped experiencing digestive issues.

Now, let’s look at the spiritual effects, because a fast is spiritual. Otherwise, it is just a diet. Notice in our focal verses Jesus says “when you fast.” This indicates that fasting should be as much a part of our Christian life as giving and praying. In Matthew 6, Jesus spoke about all three topics.

Fasting is a time of prayer. You eliminate food, so you can make more time for prayer. I had three particular requests I brought before the Lord. One was to know God more intimately. That has already happened, but it is my prayer continually before the Lord. The other requests involved lost souls, and I eagerly await what God will do next.

During the fast, I read my Bible more, listening for the Lord to speak. He showed me things I hadn’t seen before.

Our worship services were immensely blessed by God. We had powerful services with lives changed. During one service, we had a prayer line, and God removed the arthritic pain in my hand.

A fast is a great way to start off a new year, corporately and personally. I highly recommend it, not just at the beginning of the year, but all year long.

Jesus fasted for forty days before embarking on His ministry. Why would Jesus, God incarnate need to fast? Though He was fully God, He was also fully man. If Jesus Christ felt the need to fast, shouldn’t we?

Lord, thank You for Your Word where we can learn how to draw near to You through fasting and prayer. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Matthew 6:1-18.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Spend time studying fasting and ask God to direct your steps.

 

Copyright 2019 Carolyn Dale Newell.

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Comfort Food

COMFORT FOOD

And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst”
John 6:35 (NKJV)

What is one of your first reactions to disappointment or bad news? How do you react when you are frustrated? Hopefully, your first reaction in both circumstances is prayer. However, is your first reaction, or at least your second one, to turn to food? Usually I stick to fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein, but when something happens; I want to grab something unhealthy. It is hard enough to control cravings when your emotions are not spinning around, but when you feel sad or you get angry, you just have to turn to that comfort food.

Wouldn’t it be better if we reached out to Jesus instead of chocolate or potato chips? Of course it would! However, I have even prayed with the food in my hand!

I didn’t realize what I was really doing until I read a novel with a character that did the exact same thing. Then I heard a sermon about Jesus, the bread of life. I was convicted about turning to food during those moments of weakness, because Jesus is the true bread of life. What does that say to God? It says that I need something more than He can give me, and we all know that is a lie.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? If so, would you join me in making a commitment to God? I want to prayerfully commit to turn to Him and Him alone when I get on the emotional roller coaster. Jesus Christ is the bread of life. He is my comfort food. He can satisfy me in ways that food cannot. When our world begins to crumble, join me at the foot of the cross to pray, and let’s not turn to comfort food, but to our Comforter.

Dear Lord,
It is only through You that we are truly comforted. Help us to turn our cravings to You – the bread of life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

DIG DEEPER
Read John 6:26-40.

HIKING THE TRAIL
One thing that helps me from turning to food the same way an alcoholic turns to the bottle, is self-discipline. Learn to turn down dessert for no other reason than to prove that you are in control. Learning to be self-disciplined will also help us in keeping a regular time of prayer and Bible study. However, we must commit all these things to prayer for it is only through God’s strength that we can accomplish them.

Copyright 2014 Carolyn Dale Newell.