A Daniel Fast is a spiritual discipline designed to help us become better connected to God. A Daniel Fast is a partial fast, where we abstain from some foods that are normally in most of our daily diets. Typically a Daniel Fast lasts for only 21 days, which is the length of time Daniel fasted while in captivity in Babylon.
This year, our fast begins on January 15 and ends February 4th!
This informational guide to the Daniel Fast will teach you about the Daniel Fast, the foods to eat and what not to eat, the purpose for our Daniel Fast and also recipes to help you with food choices during this time of fasting.
Not only will we be fasting, but we will also be praying. Our chapel will be open daily Monday – Friday during the 21 days of fasting for those who would like to come pray during their lunch hour. The chapel will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. There will be recorded worship music playing, to aid in your prayer time. Fridays we will have LIVE worship from 12 to 1 pm. Remember, fasting and prayer go hand-in-hand. Fasting without prayer is only a diet program.
You can get a print copy of the Daniel Fast Guide during any service at Abundant Grace Community Church or you may download a digital copy here for your E-reader or tablet. To download simply right-click on the link below and then click “save target as…” or “save file as…” depending on your web browser.
Please join us Sunday January 15th through February 4th in this time of prayer and fasting for souls and revival in the Rio Grande Valley!
Reading Plan/Prayer FocusDay Two:
A Call to Prayer
2 Chronicles 7:14, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Prayer is an essential component to seeing God’s kingdom purposes accomplished on the earth. This verse is not talking to the unbeliever, this is speaking to those who have been “called by My name.” Who are they? They are those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior and become part of God’s family.
The Complete Jewish Translation of the Bible says, “When My people humble themselves” not “If.” The key is to humble ourselves. Pride is an ugly thing. God does not give His grace to a prideful person but to the humble (James 4:6).
WHEN not IF we humble ourselves, pray, seeking God’s face, turning our backs on our wicked ways, THEN we receive His Grace that hears our prayers, forgives our sins and heals our land.
God had just given Daniel a vision about the coming Messiah (Daniel 9:24-27) After that Daniel went into a time of “mourning” where he fasted and prayed for 21 days before the angelic messenger came to him.
During this time he said that he ate “no pleasant food, no meat or wine.” It is believed that he only ate vegetables and drank water during these 21 days. Daniel was a high-ranking official in Babylon and the whole of the king’s kitchen was available to him. He denied himself the pleasures of the king’s “pleasant food” for the full 21 days to fast and intercede for his homeland, Israel and Jerusalem its capital.
We too, as we journey through the remainder of this time of fasting, must continue to seek God’s face on behalf of our nation, our city, our community, our church, and our family. We are encouraged by God to seek His face, and when we do, we will find Him.
During this time of fasting and prayer we are humbling ourselves before God and seeking His kingdom, Will and Purpose to be done “on Earth as it is in Heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
Be encouraged, the journey has just begun. It is worth every sacrifice along the way.
Confession of sin in itself is not enough to enable the believer to automatically walk in the Spirit. God wants all of us, not just part. One must become a yielded instrument for God’s service. Being yielded to God is to put aside our old life for new life in Christ and allowing Him to lead and direct our life. Yielding yourself involves all of you, your body, and your mind. What is conceived in the mind is carried out in the body.
Paul tells in verse 2 not to be conformed to this world’s way of thinking, but to have our mind renewed. How do we do that? It is the transforming power of God’s word that changes our mindset. In Proverbs 23:7 the way we think is important, for as the way we think, so we are. What this is saying is if you think you’re a failure, then you are. If you think you’re and orphan, you are. If you think you are the “Righteousness of God in Christ,” you are. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
It all gets to what we believe and in whom we place our trust. Jesus quoted a passage from Deuteronomy when he was asked in Matthew about the greatest commandment. He said, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37) How we think about ourselves is important and so is how we think about God, and even more so. God wants us, that’s the whole reason Jesus came to this earth, to redeem man back to Himself. Some have the mindset that God is some mystical figure way up in the sky who throws lightening bolts at people when they don’t do what He wants. Some have a hard time seeing God as a “Heavenly Father” when they grew up without an earthly father. If you think of God as some scary guy or an absentee father, then that’s what He will be to you. But when you see God for Who He is, and that you are His child and He Loves you and wants the best for you, then we are seeing God in the proper mindset. This happens when we spend time in His Word, the Bible, and let it “transform our mind” or change our way of thinking.
So how do we become a “living sacrifice”? Simply by putting ourselves at God’s mercy daily and letting Him change us through being in His word, attending church, and spending time with Him in worship and prayer. We “lay” ourselves on His “altar of sacrifice” in total submission to His will and purpose for our life. A lot of that comes from how we think, that is why it is so important to let our minds be transformed by the power if His Word.
During this time of Fasting and Prayer use it as an opportunity to get into the Word of God, let our minds be changed, renewed and transformed day by day by the “washing of the water of the Word”. (Ephesians 5:26) When we do, the Word of God goes from our mind and into our heart and that keeps our feet from sliding. (Psalm 37:31)
Sacrifices and Fasting
1 Chronicles 21:18-27
A little background…
At the beginning of the chapter, Satan tempts King David to count or take a census of the people of Israel. Joab, one of David’s officials, tried to talk him out of it as being unnecessary. Nevertheless, David’s word prevailed (verse 4). Joab gave the results of the census to David. God was very displeased with what David had done and struck Israel (verse 7). David recognized his sin and repented (verse 8)
God spoke to David’s prophet, Gad, giving three choices of punishment. It was David’s choice of three years of famine, three months defeated by his enemies, or three days of the Angel of the Lord destroying parts of Israel (verses 11-12). David being in great distress placed himself into God’s merciful hands (verse 13). The Angel of the Lord came and struck the land with a plague that killed 70,000 men (verse 14). The angel was sent to Jerusalem to destroy it and it was then that the Lord relented and stayed His hand (verse 14).
God spoke to Gad once more that David was to purchase a threshing floor, build an altar and make a sacrifice of repentance to the Lord. David did has he was commanded of the Lord, paying full price for the threshing floor and there he built the altar and made his sacrifice. God then made the angel return his “sword to its sheath” (verse 27).
During this time of fasting and prayer we are offering ourselves as the sacrifice (Romans 12:1). Our sacrifice will cost us something, we are giving our time, we are giving up foods we enjoy, all to have a greater relationship with our Heavenly Father. Giving up certain things and activities is also part of the sacrifice. A sacrifice is something that costs you. Most are unwilling to pay the price. Those who do, receive the blessing from the Lord.
There is usually a purpose and focus for each time of fasting, and prayer always accompanies the fast. If not all we are doing is a weight-loss program.
Join us for daily prayer times, Monday-Friday, 11 am to 2 pm, Tuesdays at 7 pm, Fridays for Men’s Prayer at 6 am, and Sundays at 10 am. Do not neglect the power of corporate prayer.Day Ten
How are your relationships? Your relationship with God? Your family? Others? Does your relationship with others reflect your relationship with God?
In these words of Jesus we find that if our relationship with others is not right, neither is our relationship with God. Earlier in the chapter Jesus says that He is the vine and we are the branches. If we are, then His blood is what is flowing through us. Grafted branches draw from the same root stock as the natural branches.
Jesus commands us to love others as His love and His Father’s love have been shown. Love is the fruit of the vine. He chose us to be the ones with whom He made an “everlasting covenant.” There has never been a greater example of a covenant relationship than the example of Jesus. As He loved us so should we love one another, that is His charge to us.
He said, “Greater love has no man than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends (verse 13).” From then on, Jesus stopped referring to us as servants, but now as friends. Then He says something even more interesting. He said we did not choose Him, He chose us (verse 16). Not only that, but told us to go out and bear much fruit and that the fruit should remain. Let us blossom and bear much fruit of Love.
Covenant relationship is one of love. From this day forward let love reign supreme. If forgiveness is needed, forgive. If you need to ask someone for forgiveness, ask. In so doing you are breaking down the wall and establishing a covenant relationship of love. Not your love only, but the love of Jesus being shown through us. Then, Jesus said, we could ask the Father anything in His, Jesus’, Name, and He, the Father, would give it.
Love one another and thus establish a covenant relationship of love with those in your sphere of influence.Day Twelve
The I AM of I Ams
It was by the second day that I realized there would be no set time for the teacher’s coming. He came in the afternoon.
“Do you know the Name of God?” asked the teacher.“I don’t know that I do.”
“It is made up of four Hebrew letters, the yud, the heh, the vav and the heh: YHVH. It is the most sacred of names, so sacred some refuse to say it. And yet you say it all the time.
“The sacred Name of God?” I replied. ”How could I when I never knew it?”
“When you speak of yourself, you say the Name.”
“I don’t understand.”
“When you feel happy you say, ‘I am happy.’ When you are not, you say, ‘I am sad.’ When you tell others who you are, you say, ‘I am,’ followed by your name.”
“Then we all say His Name.”
“Yes, and you have always said it. It is woven into the fabric of existence that when you speak of yourself, you must say His Name.”
“Why is that?”
“It’s because your existence comes from His existence. He is the I AM of all existence…the I AM of all I ams. Your I am only exists because of His I AM. And as you exist from Him, so it is that only from Him that you can find the reason and purpose of your existence. Therefore when you say your name, you must always speak His Name. And must always speak it first.”
“Because His existence is first and your existence flows from His. That’s the flow of existence. Therefore, you must put Him first and let everything flow from that. Let everything begin with Him and flow forth from Him. That’s the secret of life. To live only for Him, but to live your life from Him, to live from His living, to move from His moving, to act from His actions, to feel from His heart, to be from His being, and to become who you are from who He is… I AM.”
The Mission: Today, let us learn the secret of living each moment from His life, doing from His doing, loving from His love and being from His being.Day Fourteen
We have come to our 14th day of our fasting and prayer. God has been challenging us to become better, or in effect, make us “complete for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17).
God’s word should challenge us on a daily basis to improve or come up higher in our walk with Him. That’s why it is very important that we spend time in His Word each day and let Him speak to the areas which need to be improved.
Through the years people have looked at the subject of GIVING in the wrong light. It has been skewed by greed, especially when it’s the whole “give to get” prosperity message. Growing up in church I’ve heard it all. I’ve heard, “If you have a need, plant a seed.” I was taught from Luke 6:38 about giving and getting from Jesus’ own words. AS we make a positive confession over our offering at each service we confess 2 Corinthians 9:7-8 about giving cheerfully and God making sure we have an “abundance for every good work.”
Don’t get me wrong, I believe God’s word, all of it. Some pick and choose what they want to believe and what they don’t. One thing for sure when it comes to giving, you cannot out give God . However, our giving must be done correctly and with the right motives. That being said…
God is our supply. One of His Names is Jehovah Jireh which means The Lord Our Provider. He provides for all our needs, even our money. All we have belongs to Him, He supplies it to us and He asks us to return 10%, a tithe, back to Him by giving it to your home church, to the place where you are being spiritually fed. It is one of His laws. Let’s not look so much at the requirement, as much as the blessing that is attached to it.
God said through the prophet Malachi that if we do not pay our tithe we are robbing God. I don’t know about you, but the whole idea seems to be a bit scary to me to knowingly steal or rob from God. God said we are cursed if we don’t. But let’s skip that part and look what happens when we DO tithe.
The blessing is that God will rebuke the devourer and open up the windows of Heaven and pour out a blessing so big we don’t have room to contain it (verse 10). He also says that He will not destroy the fruit of YOUR ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for YOU in the field (verse 11).
So what does that mean? If we pay our tithe, I say “pay” not “give”, we cause everything in our life to come into alignment with God’s will, plan and purpose for our lives. If you want the blessings and favor of God, tithe. I’ve heard people say they can’t afford to tithe. Hogwash! What they are really saying is they don’t trust God or His word. That’s why they live from paycheck to paycheck, barely getting by. God even tells us to TRY IT and see what happens. Hey, it’s His money anyway. Why not do what He says?
I know a family whose child was sick. They were trusting and believing God for healing, but weeks went by and the child didn’t seem to get any better. My pastor at the time preached a sermon on tithing. They realized they had not been tithing and decided to start. The whole concept of doing it for their child’s healing was not even in their thought processes. God began to bless their finances. He got a raise at work and his wife was offered a promotion at her job. God was rebuking the devourer and making them prosperous.
It wasn’t the fact of how much the tithe was, but the fact they TRUSTED God and acted in OBEDIENCE to His Word. And God did exactly what He said He would do. And in case you were wondering, their child was healed and is now grown with a family of their own. I have many examples of God being true to His word because of people’s obedience, but there is not room to list it all here.
Suffice it to say, when God has our money, He has our heart. Matthew 6:21 Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” If He has our heart, He has every part of us.
So, trust God. Stop being devoured. Tithe. You’ll be glad you were obedient.
Try it! God will like it!
THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID
“On that day I will raise up the Tabernacle of David…” (verse 11). Ever wonder about the Tabernacle of David? Before we can know why God wants to restore it, we need to know what it was in the beginning. For that we must look at 1 Samuel 4. Samuel, still a young man, recounts for us the order of events.
The Philistine army was attacking Israel. The prophet Eli had two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, who were raised hearing the tales of how when Israel went into battle they carried the Ark of the Covenant and God gave them victory over their enemies. So when the Israelites were being defeated, the elders of the people came and had the Ark taken from the Tabernacle of Moses, to the battle encampment. When word spread that the Ark of the Covenant was in the camp, the people rejoiced. They shouted so loudly that the ground shook (1 Samuel 4:5).
The Philistines were frightened when they heard the shouting and remembered this had happened to them before. But they recovered their courage and defeated Israel. What?? You expected Israel to win? No. The people of Israel, because of fear, acted in disobedience by taking the Ark from the Tabernacle (the original one set up by Moses) that was set up at Shiloh. God didn’t tell them to take it, and now because of sin, God’s glory and presence had departed, and that’s the reason Hophni and Phinehas didn’t die when they entered into the Holy of Holies to retrieve the Ark.
Because of their disobedience Israel was defeated, the Ark of the Covenant was captured by the Philistines and taken back to their land. Hophni and Phinehas were among those killed by the enemy that day. When word reached to their father Eli, he fainted, falling off the wall on which he was sitting, breaking his neck and dying the same day as his sons.
Fast forward to 1 Samuel 16, God has rejected Saul as king of Israel, again because of disobedience, and God sends Samuel to anoint David as king, the Philistines are still fighting with Israel. Enter Goliath, and David, with God’s help, defeats the giant with a slingshot and five smooth stones.
Fast forward to 2 Samuel 5, Saul is dead, David is now king of Israel. When the Philistines heard this, they came against Israel once again. King David “inquired of the Lord” (2 Samuel 5:19) asking if he should go up against the Philistines, and God said “Go”. Because of David’s obedience, the Philistines were defeated.
Disobedience lost the presence of God. Obedience keeps it and restores the Presence. God will not stay where sin is, sin separates us from God. God is holy. Obedience to God will also defeat the enemy. Want God’s presence and blessing in your life? Be obedient to His Word.
TO BE CONTINUED…
by Jonathan Cahn
He took me to an open desert plain. It was a windy day, so windy it was almost violent.
“Come,” said the teacher. He was asking me to walk against the wind’s blowing. So I did.
“What is it like to walk against the wind?” he asked.
“It’s a struggle,” I replied.
“In the language of Scripture,” he said, “the word for wind is ruach. But it has another meaning; it also means the Spirit. In Hebrew, the Holy Spirit is the Holy Wind. So what happens if you walk against the wind?”
“It creates drag. It becomes harder to walk and you get tired.”
“In the same way,” he said, “when you walk against the Spirit, it creates a drag on your life. Everything you do becomes harder. It takes more energy to do less. So when you go against His Spirit, you’re fighting against the Wind. And you can’t walk against the direction of the Wind without getting weary and worn out.”
“And what way is the direction of the Wind, the Spirit?”
“The Spirit is the Holy Spirit. Therefore, it blows in the direction of the holy, and blows against the direction of the unholy. Now try something else. Turn around and walk back, the same way you came.”
So I did. I was now walking in the direction of the wind’s blowing.
“And what was that like?” he asked.
“It was much easier,” I said.
“That’s because there was no drag,” he said. “You were walking in the direction of the wind. And the wind helped you walk. It moved you ahead. It made your walking easier. So when you walk against the wind, it creates drag. But if you turn around, then the wind gives you power. So it is with the Spirit. If you turn, if you change your course, if you repent, if you walk in the Spirit, then the drag will dissappear. Then the Spirit will empower you and will move you forward. And then everything you do, that you must do, will become easier.”
“So if you walk in the Spirit,” I said, “life will go from being a drag to a breeze.”
“Yes,” said the teacher. “For those who walk in the Spirit, the Wind is at their back.”
The Mission: What part of your life is against the direction of the Spirit? Today, turn it around and start walking with the Wind at your back.
by Jonathan Cahn
He took me out in the desert to an immense valley surrounded by reddish mountains, which turned increasingly purple and blue as they extended out into the far distance.
“What words come to your mind,” said the teacher, “when you look at the desert wilderness?”
“Dry …barren …hot …austere …severe …hard …forbidding …”
“And when people go through hard times – times of loss, crisis, tragedy, loneliness, conflict, hardship, problems, separation, tears – they speak of going through the wilderness. And yet the wilderness is a holy place. It was in a desert wilderness that God gave His Law, His Word, and where He revealed His presence. The wilderness is holy.”
“So the hard times in our lives are holy?”
“For those who are His children, yes.”
“In Hebrew, the wilderness is called the midbar. Midbar comes from the root ward dabar. And dabar means to speak. What is the wilderness? It is the midbar. And what is the midbar? It is the place of God’s speaking, the place of His voice. It’s where God especially talks to us. Why did He bring His people into the wilderness, into the midbar? So He could speak to them. He brought Moses into the midbar to speak to him in a still, small voice. So too He brings us into the wilderness that He might speak to us.”
“What is it about the wilderness that makes it the place of God’s speaking?”
“Look around you,” he said. “What do you see?”
“Rock, sand, mountains – not much.”
“That’s why,” said the teacher. “God speaks, but we don’t hear. We have too many distractions. But in the wilderness the distractions are gone. So God brings us to the wilderness that we might hear His voice. Therefore, do not fear or despise the wilderness of your life, and don’t despise His removing of the distractions. Rather embrace it. Draw closer to Him. And listen to what He is saying. Seek to hear His voice, and you will hear Him. For the wilderness in your life is not just a wilderness. It is holy ground …the midbar …the place of His voice.”
The Mission: Put away the distractions, those things that keep you from hearing. And go into the wilderness, the midbar, and seek the voice of God.