Our Church is going through a season of intensified prayerfulness. Along with the sermon series, ONE PRAYER, we are also inviting the entire church to partner in one (or more) of 8 unique prayer initiatives.
The first initiative to be launched is one of the most challenging. It is known as the Daniel Fast. In the Bible, Daniel fasted in two different contexts, the first was to abstain from the foods king and his men ate, which ended up being a testimony to God's ability to sustain and strengthen him on an unlikely diet. (Daniel 1) Then, Daniel fasted for three weeks to discern God's will and seek out the plan that God has for Him. (Daniel 10)
So, starting today, a group of about 40 of us are entering into a 21 day fast that will press us deeper into prayer and cleanse our bodies and minds of years and years of mistreatment. The 21 day fast is not a fast from all foods, but instead is 21 days eating only fruits and vegetables and drinking water. Here is the description of the 'shalls and shall nots'
Foods to include in your diet during the Daniel Fast:
All fruits. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Fruits include but are not limited to apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, guava, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, prunes, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangelos, tangerines, watermelon
All vegetables. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Vegetables include but are not limited to artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chili peppers, collard greens, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, ginger root, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, onions, parsley, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, scallions, spinach, sprouts, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, yams, zucchini, veggie burgers are an option if you are not allergic to soy.
All whole grains, including but not limited to whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes and popcorn.
All nuts and seeds, including but not limited to sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, sesame. Also nut butters including peanut butter.
All legumes. These can be canned or dried. Legumes include but are not limited to dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, white beans.
All quality oils including but not limited to olive, canola, grape seed, peanut, and sesame.
Beverages: spring water, distilled water or other pure waters.
Other: tofu, soy products, vinegar, seasonings, salt, herbs and spices.
Foods to avoid on the Daniel Fast:
All meat and animal products including but not limited to beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and fish.
All dairy products including but not limited to milk, cheese, cream, butter, and eggs.
All sweeteners including but not limited to sugar, raw sugar, honey, syrups, molasses, and cane juice.
All leavened bread including Ezekiel Bread (it contains yeast and honey) and baked goods.
All refined and processed food products including but not limited to artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour, and foods that contain artificial preservatives.
All deep fried foods including but not limited to potato chips, French fries, corn chips.
All solid fats including shortening, margarine, lard and foods high in fat.
Beverages including but not limited to coffee, tea, herbal teas, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol.
So, over the next 21 days, I'm going to walk through the struggles, victories and revelations of what God is doing. If you're doing the fast, feel free to journey with us in the Comment section...give us updates to how to pray for you, some meal options that you've found pretty tasty, etc. If you're just checking out the blog, please continue to do so and pray for me and others doing this fasting journey.
Day One Update:
Apparently, mountain dew has caffeine in it...and apparently if you randomly stop drinking a bunch of caffeine, it will cause headaches. :-) But I am content today. I am convicted that food is a borderline idol for me...and I will not find my security or dependence there any longer.
Prayer Focus today: John 3:30 "That God might increase, but I might decrease." God will you help our eyes to be fixed on you and not on hunger or discomfort. Let this be a day where we can make much of you and continue to work more and more on making less and less of ourselves. Amen.
Day One Food
Breakfast...piece of cantaloupe and an orange with a glass of water
Lunch...Some whole wheat, all natural, unleavened crackers with some all natural peanut butter (Didn't realize that natural peanut butter had oil separated from the peanuts that you have to stir back together...learn something new every day) and some raisins with a glass of water.
Snack...Grapes and Blueberries
Dinner...Homemade Vegetable Soup (Recipe below)
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks, white part only (from approximately 3 medium leeks)
2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds (approximately 2 medium)
2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
2 cups fresh green beans, broken or cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 quarts vegetable broth
4 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
2 ears corn, kernels removed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup packed, chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 - 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice