Tag Archives: healing

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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Incense Rising Online Study 20

Today, we are looking at the second prayer of King Hezekiah. Everyone can relate to this prayer, a prayer for healing.

Hezekiah was a young man in his thirties when this illness threatened his life. Read 2 Kings 20:1-11.

When God tells someone to get their house in order for their death is soon, it seems imminent. This death sentence came from God. Hezekiah was bold to pray for healing when God had already handed him a death sentence. Hezekiah did not directly request God to heal him. Instead, his prayer was for God to remember his loyalty and obedience.

Hezekiah didn’t go to the house of the Lord as he did previously. Possibly, he was too sick, too weak, or too distraught. Both prayers were answered favorably, even though one was upon the altar and the other at home.

Why do you think Hezekiah turned his head toward the wall to pray? Many think it may have been the direction of the temple, but his reason could be simply privacy.

Hezekiah prayed, weeping bitterly. Perhaps his entire prayer was not recorded. It is possible that his prayer was brief but his spirit was praying through his tears.

Likewise, the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Rom. 8:26-27 NKJV)

I have been praying when the sobs come, or is it really the Spirit’s groanings? Words are not uttered, but what about weeping? Many theologians differ on this.

Use a commentary or study Bible and prayerfully consider Romans 8:26-27.

King Hezekiah’s answer came immediately. God spoke to the prophet, Isaiah before he had gone far.

In this instance, God gave Hezekiah instructions. Obedience precedes blessing. Noah was obedient by building the ark in the midst of mocking. Abraham was ready to sacrifice Isaac in obedience to God.

Where was Hezekiah directed to go on the third day?

Other than healing and adding fifteen years to Hezekiah’s life, what other two things did God promise him?

Then Isaiah gave Hezekiah a prescription, as if to demonstrate God’s blessing on medication. A lump of figs was laid on the boil.

Do you know someone who does not believe in using medicine for religious reasons? Many times, lives could be spared if they would use the prescriptions the doctors write or have the procedure the doctor recommends.

Read 1 Timothy 5:23.

As a confirmation, Hezekiah requested a sign from God. God encouraged Hezekiah with a miraculous sign. What did God do?

Personally, I seek confirmation from God, and it is never anything as wondrous as what Hezekiah witnessed. I regard it as a reassurance that I heard God correctly. It is comforting that Scripture gives us a picture of seeking confirmations. We must never be hasty concerning the direction in which God is leading. Once we receive a confirmation from God, we trust Him. Do you seek confirmations when you pray?

This sums up our study on the prayers of Hezekiah, the obedient king who sought to glorify God.

Lord, as You lead and direct our steps, help us clearly seek Your will. Help us walk obediently and be loyal followers like Hezekiah. Amen.