Tag Archives: prayer

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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Throwback Thursday: Getting Direction from God

GETTING DIRECTION FROM GOD

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV

Have you ever struggled with making a big decision? Perhaps you were choosing the right job or the best school. What about the right person to marry? Big decisions must be made in God’s will.

Eliezer had to choose a wife, but not for himself. His master, Abraham had appointed Eliezer as matchmaker for his son, Isaac. What a task! Abraham did not want Isaac marrying a Canaanite woman. Isaac’s bride must come from Abraham’s former country and family, but Isaac could not go there himself.

Eliezer arrived in Nahor, stopping at a well where he prayed for success with this huge responsibility. Women were coming to the well for water, so he made a specific prayer request. He would ask for a drink of water. Isaac’s bride would be the one who would give him a drink and then offer to water his camels.

Before he could finish speaking, Rebekah approached the well. She gladly gave Eliezer a drink of water, and just as he had prayed, she offered to give water to his camels until they were finished drinking.

Eliezer watched her in amazement. Not only had God directed him to Rebekah, but she was generous and beautiful. He confirmed that she was from Abraham’s family, and then he worshiped God, giving Him thanks.

Friend, when faced with decisions, we must pray and trust God. According to our verse, we cannot lean on our own understanding. We cannot doubt the answer is from God when we have asked Him to guide us. As James says, “For he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6b). When we ask God to direct our steps, we must believe He is leading us. Times of indecision will be conquered with time in prayer.

MEMORY VERSE

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.” Ps. 37:23 NKJV

OPEN YOUR BIBLE

Read Gen. 24:1-28.

THE NAMES OF GOD

Jehovah Rohi – The Lord My Shepherd

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Ps. 23:1 NKJV

As a shepherd guides his sheep, so Jehovah Rohi guides His children. Shepherds lead sheep to good grazing areas away from high cliffs and danger. Jehovah Rohi leads believers in the paths we should take. Abraham’s servant had learned enough from his master to ask God for direction in choosing Isaac’s bride. Jehovah Rohi has not changed. He will guide us in the same way He guided Eliezer.

WALKING THE WALK

As you pray for God’s guidance, consider the following:

 

Does the decision contradict Scripture? God will never lead you to do anything contrary to His Word.

  • Is there sin in your life? If yes, you need to take care of that area of your life before making any major decisions.
  • Does the decision glorify God?

Heavenly Father,

It lifts a weight off our shoulders knowing that we can ask You to lead and direct our steps. Help us live holy lives giving You glory in all we do. Amen.

 

This devotional is from Carolyn Dale Newell’s book, Incense Rising: 60 Days to Powerful Prayer

Purchase now! https://www.createspace.com/6267879