This year for the lenten season I will be joining a dear friend in doing the Daniel Fast. Lent is typically reserved for fasting from something that separates you from God, in an effort to bring you closer to him in the season leading up to Easter. As a member of a (fantastic) non-denominational church, I use lent as a time mostly for personal reflection, and am looking to the Daniel Fast for that main reason. I completed this same fast during college, and while I got a fair amount of clarity and discipline out of it then, I hope to renew my focus and really expand my prayer life through the fast this time around.
The fast is based on the Old Testament, specifically from the prophet Daniel, and is limited to food grown from the seed. Details of the fast can be found on this helpful site. It’s a challenge, to be sure, but one that I look forward to, especially after the indulgent holiday season that just seems to drag on. Physically, I hope that this fast will increase my energy, eliminate my sleeplessness, and clear my skin(all good things). But the main component that I look forward to is the spiritual richness that comes from all types of fasting – that bended knee, all-out need for constant prayer and strength that comes directly from God. In my book, fasting has always been a link to incessant prayer, and I so look forward to that sweet time.
This year, I’ll be kicking up the prayer life a notch by adding a focus to each day of the week (note that Sunday during lenten season are mini-Easter celebrations and are not to be fasted on, but the prayer still remains). During this fast I will be praying not only for my own strength, but for the church, my family, friends, widows + orphans, hunger, slavery, and homelessness. I hope that this added aspect will enrich the fast experience, and give meaning and weight to my own personal journey through this.
I’ll do my best to keep this space of internet updated on my progress, as the fast begins tomorrow and goes through Easter Sunday (April 5). And I invite you to join me in the fast, whether you commit to the whole party or simply join me in prayer. In a world full of instant-gratification and corn syrup, a change of pace might be nice 😉