the BLOG of stuart mcdonald

Starting the New Year Off With a Fast
December 30, 2009, 9:53 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

At the beginning of every year, I, along with my church family (Destiny Metropolitan Worship Church in Atlanta, Georgia) embark on a 21-day fast in order to sharpen our senses, deepen our relationship with God, & gain insight, wisdom, & purpose for the upcoming.

For the first 21 days of January, beginning at 6am on the 1st, we remove the following things from our diet: meat, dairy, breads, sugars, caffeine, and sweets. Essentially, we eat only fruits & vegetables. This is called a Daniel Fast.

It’s taken from the story of Daniel in the first chapter of the Biblical book bearing his name:

8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”

14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.

11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah,1213 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.

During this time, many people also take a break from media, such as TV, music, and movies, or perhaps social media as well. This allows us to eliminate any distractions that would fully prevent us from hearing the voice of God during this time.

The idea is that we take the time we would normally spend eating or watching TV, or listening to music, and instead spend it in fellowship & communion with God. It’s also a time where we gain control over our fleshly desires and bring our bodies into submission by taking away something (in this case, food) we enjoy.

Why am I tell you all this? Two reasons: A) I’d love for you to join me if you feel so inclined; B) my blogging will likely change a bit during the fast to focus more on spiritual and personal things that I may be experiencing. I’ll be doing more journalling & writing in general during the fast, but it’s likely that a large portion of those writings won’t be published just yet. There’s no telling what I’ll be writing about, but I wanted to give you a heads up that it may not be “business as usual” for a few weeks.

If you’ll be joining me, I’d love to hear about it! I’ll also be posting some tips & things to help you make it through. I promise it’s not as hard as you’re making it out to be. Our bodies can do a lot more than we think they can, trust me.


6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I, too, will join the church this year in fasting. It will be my first time participating, so I am anxious and excited. I would welcome any tips you may offer, any foods, or recipes, or anything would be helpful.

Comment by DivafromSC

I just came across your blog and wanted to let you know about my blog, Those Who Hunger, which provides recipes for people and churches doing the Daniel Fast. I pray that it will encourage you as you seek the Lord. The address is

Comment by Kristen Feola

Awesome resource! I’ll have to include that in an upcoming post with some tips. Thanks!

Comment by CreativeStu

Hey! I am DEFINITELY willing to join you. Will you be doing the Daniel fast during the entire 21 days or will it transition into something different?


Comment by Kira

I’ll be doing at least a Daniel fast through the entire 21 days. Normally I step it up for the last week (or at least the last 3 days) just to make it a little harder. But it’s really up to you. I always recommend starting off easier and getting harder as opposed to the other way around.

Comment by CreativeStu

Hmm.. I tried a fast for lent last year, but nothing of this magnitude. I’m thinking about starting this year off with a transition into the Daniel Fast for the lent season. Thanks for the blog and many thanks to the commenter for posting her blog. There are some great recipes on there. Happy New Year.

Comment by Krystle

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