Scriptures: Daniel 1:1-17, Isaiah 58:6-11
A Daniel's fast is a partial fast, its giving up meats for a time and eating only fruits and vegetables. Another way to participate is to skip a meal and spend that time in prayer.
In these verses from the book of Daniel, we read that the four Hebrew children went on a ten day fast. After the fast the Bible tells us that they: had a fairer countenance, looked healthier and better nourished. God also gave them special abilities: an unusual aptitude for learning and increased knowledge and wisdom. And Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
Let's look at the many purposes of fasting, which we find the in 58th chapter of Isaiah:
1) Fasting to get freedom from addictions: "to loose the bands of wickedness."
2) Fasting to solve a problem: "to undo the heavy burdens"
3) Fasting for revival: "to let the oppressed go free"
4) Fasting to conquer mental and emotional issues: "that ye break every yoke"
5) Fasting to meet physical needs of others: "Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house?"
6) Fasting for clearer insight in decision making: such as major life events like job offers, dating, ministry, or college. "Then shall they light break forth"
7) Fasting for health reasons for healing: "thine health shall spring forth speedily." Its here that we put things in God's hands.
The Bible gives us many clear reasons why fasting brings triumph and victory into our lives. Through the combination of prayer and fasting we get God's attention and He willingly moves in our lives. Check back next week for two more purposes for fasting and the benefits of fasting!