2021 Daniel Fast

Get Prepared for the West Mitchell Street CME 2021 Daniel Fast!

Wednesday, January 27th to Wednesday, February 17th (21 days)

From the desk of Rev. Dr. Herman “Skip” Mason, Pastor
January 2021

On January 27th, we wil begin our 21-day period of Corporate Fasting and Prayer. Begin now seeking God as you contemplate fasting. Everyone can give up something. If you can’t fast for health reasons, you can certainly pray. Each day during the fast at 7:00pm for about 15 minutes, various boards and families will lead us in prayer. Please see the schedule below and the attachment on the fast. Also, please take some time to read this page and plan according to your health and dietary needs.  Fasting is a natural discipline that can bring supernatural results.

Fasting Benefits: Spiritual, Physical, Mental and Emotional

Spiritual benefits are a top reason for fasting and may include:

  • Fasting brings you closer to God
  • Fasting makes you more sensitive to God’s voice
  • Fasting helps break bad habits or even addictions
  • Fasting shows us our weakness and allows us to rely on God’s strength

Mental & Emotional Benefits of Fasting

Fasting benefits are different from person to person, but the following have been known to occur:

  • Fasting relieves anxiety and nervousness
  • Fasting can increase peace and shalom
  • Fasting clears your mind of negative thoughts and feelings
  • Fasting can help heal relationships in your life that have been stressful
  • Fasting decreases brain fog
  • Fasting helps increase your ability to trust God
  • Fasting clears out toxins that can make you feel sluggish or depressed

Physical Benefits of Fasting

Some benefits to the physical body have been known to include: (9)

  • Fasting helps break addictions to sugar
  • Fasting supports the body’s detoxification
  • Fasting promotes healthy weight loss
  • Fasting promoted healthy energy levels
  • Fasting improves skin health
  • Fasting promotes healthy digestion and elimination
  • Fasting supports healthy inflammation response and promotes joint comfort

 

When you fast and pray – two words that go hand-in-hand in scripture – you pursue God in your life and open yourself up to experiencing a renewed dependence on God, but it isn’t easy. It is a spiritual discipline that requires denying your physical and mental self because your stomach and your brain will most likely work overtime to remind you when and what they want to eat!

As I mentioned earlier, Daniel wasn’t the only one in the Bible who fasted. There were others, but you don’t have to be a “spiritual giant” like Daniel or put yourself through torturous fasts to draw closer to God. However, fasts can help focus your spirit, heart and mind on God and not your own eating and drinking desires. In fact, before you begin your fast, you can make a list of prayer requests you are asking God to answer. Then, every time you experience hunger pangs or food or drink cravings, ask God to work in those prayer request areas.

Also, I recommend spending quiet time with God each day and read passages of scripture from the Bible. You don’t have to be legalistic about this. There are many quality devotionals out there, so just choose one or ask a friend you trust to recommend one. After all, it’s about your relationship with God, not your performance for God.

I also suggest journaling during your fast so that you can write down what you believe God is directing you in. For whatever reasons, many people say that they “hear” God more clearly during a fast than other times.

Isaiah 58:6, 8 says “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? … Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear.” (10) The truth is that “healing” can take place spiritually, physically and mentally when you fast.

We’ve discussed some of the spiritual aspects, but there are also specific physical and mental benefits to fasting, which happens to be one of the oldest therapies in medicine. In fact, Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, believed that fasting enabled the body to heal itself. (11) How? During a fast, many systems of the body are given a break from the hard work of digesting foods that it normally has to manage. The extra energy the body gains gives the body a chance to restore itself, while the burning of stored calories gets rid of toxic substances stored in the body.

Here’s another example. The digestive tract is the body area most exposed to environmental threats, including bacteria, viruses, parasites and toxins. Plus, most of your immune system is in your digestive tract, so it needs to be in top shape. When food is broken down in the intestines, it travels through the blood to the liver, the largest organ of the body’s natural detoxification system. The liver breaks down and removes the toxic by-products produced by digestion, including natural ones and the chemicals which are typically present in our food supply and often on our daily menus. During a fast, the liver and immune system are essentially freed up to detoxify and heal other parts of the body.

Now let’s talk specifically about the elements of the Daniel Fast, including vegetables, fruits and water. The dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in vegetables and fruits help to add vibrancy to your health. (12) A diet high in vegetables and fruits is known for halting bodily inflammation and oxidation – two primary processes that can lead to ill health. No wonder Daniel and his friends looked better than the others!

 

What Is a Fast?

Fasting is abstaining from something like food, drink or entertainment for a period of time to create some type of benefit in body, mind or spirit.

There are many types of fasts, which include:

  • Standard Fast (water only)
  • Absolute Fast (no water or food)
  • Partial Fast (restrict certain food and drink categories)
  • Intermittent Fast (only eating during a small daily window, for example: 1 p.m.-6 p.m.)

There are many variations on these fasts, but they can all have spiritual benefits when we devote the time spent eating to focus on God and serving others. If you are looking for a healing breakthrough in body, mind and/or spirit, then you may consider doing a Daniel Fast.

 

What Is a Daniel Fast?

Many people wonder what did Jesus eat? Did Jesus eat meat? The Daniel fast isn’t based on what Jesus ate, but it is based upon what one of Jesus’ followers consumed and this follower was not surprisingly Daniel.

The Daniel Fast or Daniel Diet is based upon the prophet Daniel’s dietary and spiritual experiences as recorded in the Book of Daniel in the Bible. It’s a partial fast that focuses very heavily on vegetables and other healthy whole foods, but leaves out any animal sources of protein. Many users of this biblically-based fasting method follow it for 21 consecutive days. (2)

The Daniel Fast is specifically referenced in the Bible in two sections of the Book of Daniel:

  • Daniel 1:12, which states, “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables [pulses] to eat and water to drink.” (3)
  • Daniel 10: 2-3, which says, “In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.” (4)

You may be familiar with the Daniel Fast already if you’ve read The Maker’s Diet Revolution by Jordan Rubin. The Daniel Fast only includes clean foods as described in Leviticus 11. (5) Unclean foods in the Bible include things like pork and shellfish.

So: Does the Bible say not to eat shrimp? Actually, it does in Deuteronomy 14:10 where it states “And whatever does not have fins and scales you shall not eat; it is unclean for you.” (6) Shrimp is a type of shellfish and as such it does not contain fins or scales. There are also some fish, such as swordfish and shark, that should also be avoided if you’re following a Biblical diet because these sea creatures do not have both fins and scales. For more info, check out the infographic: Which Animals Does the Bible Designate as ‘Clean’ and ‘Unclean’?

Knowing clean and unclean animal proteins according dietary laws in the Bible is helpful to know, but while on the Daniel Fast you won’t be consuming any protein from animal sources at all.

 

Daniel Fast: Food List

According to our understanding of the Hebrew definition of “pulse” that was used in the verse for vegetables can actually mean a range of foods. Here is the Daniel Fast food list of what you are allowed to eat:

Beverages

  • Water only – it must be purified/filtered; spring or distilled water is best
  • Homemade almond milk, coconut water, coconut kefir and vegetable juice
 

Vegetables (should form the basis of the diet)

  • Fresh or cooked
  • May be frozen and cooked but not canned

Fruits (consume in moderation; 1-3 servings daily)

  • Fresh and cooked
  • Ideally low glycemic index fruits like stone fruits, apples, berries, cherries and citrus fruits
  • May be dried but should not contains sulfites, added oils or sweeteners
  • May be frozen but not canned
 

Whole Grains (consume in moderation and ideally sprouted)

  • Brown rice, oats quinoa, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, barley cooked in water

Beans & Legumes (consume in moderation)

  • Dried and cooked in water
  • May be consumed from can as long as no salt or other additives are contained and the only ingredients are beans and water

Nuts & Seeds (sprouted are best)

  • Raw, sprouted or dry roasted with no salt added

 

Common Foods for Daniel Fast

Here is a list of some common foods you can consume while following a Daniel Diet plan:

Vegetables (preferably organic and fresh or frozen)

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Collard greens
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Green beans
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Mustard greens
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes
  • Rutabagas
  • Scallions
  • Spinach
  • Sprouts
  • Squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips
  • Yams
  • Zucchini

Fruits (preferably organic and fresh or frozen)

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries
  • Coconuts
  • Cranberries
  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Guava
  • Honeydew melons
  • Kiwi
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Mangoes
  • Melons
  • Nectarines
  • Oranges
  • Papayas
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapples
  • Plums
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tangerines
  • Watermelon

Legumes (preferably organic)

  • Black beans
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Mung beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Split peas
  • Nuts & Seeds (preferably organic, raw, unsalted and soaked/sprouted)
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Chia seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts

Whole Grains (preferable organic)

  • Amaranth
  • Barley
  • Brown rice
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Oats (groats soaked)
  • Liquids
  • Water (spring, distilled, filtered)
  • Vegetable juice (fresh pressed)
  • Coconut milk
  • Coconut kefir
  • Almond milk

 

Foods to Avoid

On the Daniel Fast, you should not consume any of the other foods or beverages listed below. And, I want to mention that on the Daniel Fast some allow sea salt or Himalayan salt and others do not. My recommendation is to only use a bit of sea salt when necessary in flavoring dishes. Here are foods you definitely want to refrain from eating:

  • Iodized salt
  • Sweeteners
  • Meat
  • Dairy products
  • Breads, pasta, flour, crackers (unless made from sprouted ancient grains)
  • Cookies and other baked goods
  • Oils
  • Juices
  • Coffee
  • Energy drinks
  • Gum
  • Mints
  • Candy

NOTE: Nutritional supplements are optional. If any are taken while on the fast then they would preferably be in line with the accepted foods/ingredients that are listed.

The List: Nightly Prayer Leaders: WMSCME 21-Day Corporate Fasting and Prayer Schedule

7:00pm Nightly: Starting Wednesday, January 27th
Line Opens at 6:50pm via Conference Line Only: 701.802.5023; Access Code: 4426349

  • Wednesday, 1.27: Pastor Mason
  • Thursday, 1.28: Rev. Amber and Jerry Woodfork
  • Friday, 1.29: The Outreach Ministry
  • Saturday, 1.30: The Senior Birthday Ministry
  • Sunday, 1.31: The Sunday School
  • Monday, 2.1: The Lay Ministry
  • Tuesday, 2.2: Steward Board
  • Wednesday, 2.3: Stewardess Board
  • Thursday, 2.4: Usher Board
  • Friday, 2.5: Music Ministry
  • Saturday, 2.6: Board of Christian Education
  • Sunday, 2.7: Pastor’s Aide Board
  • Monday, 2.8: Members Care Ministry
  • Tuesday, 2.9: The Williams Sisters and Family
  • Wednesday, 2.10: The John Wesley Gilbert Club + The Broughton/Bates Family
  • Thursday, 2.11: The CYF/Youth and Young Adults
  • Friday, 2.12: The Dance Ministry
  • Saturday, 2.13: The Hope Adams Family
  • Sunday, 2.14: The Gray/Johnson Family
  • Monday, 2.15: Ministry to Men/The Owens Family
  • Tuesday, 2.16: Sister Jeweline Jones/Prayer Line Ministry + Rev. Latisha Jackson and Family
  • Wednesday, 2.17: Virtual Ash Wednesday Service with Flipper Temple, Friendship Baptist Church and Central United Methodist Church (host)

May God continue to bless each of you and your family. Help us to continue to be a good neighbor!