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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Connections: Kristen Feola

The Daniel Fast

Kristen Feola is author of the best-selling book The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast. She spoke recently with James Meredith, technical editor, about the Daniel fast, as well as the vital role of fasting in the life of the believer.

evangel: How were you first introduced to the Daniel fast?

FEOLA: In 2009, Pastor John Lindell announced that our church leadership team at James River Assembly was starting a Daniel fast for the launch of our second campus. On day one I began a blog, thinking it would be fun to write about the experience. As I saw how people were being helped by the blog, I sensed the Lord leading me in a new direction. My blog became the catalyst that ultimately led to my book. God has graciously given me the opportunity to share about the power of prayer and fasting with people all around the world.

evangel: How is the Daniel fast different from what we normally define as fasting?

FEOLA: Most people think of fasting as going without any type of food for a period of time. The Daniel fast is based upon Daniel 10, when the prophet sought the Lord through prayer and fasting for 21 days. In verse 3, Daniel said, “I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips” (NIV). Most commentaries say that choice foods would have included delicacies such as sweets and breads — things that aren’t necessary for survival. That’s why the Daniel fast restricts things like meat, dairy, caffeine, sugar and processed foods. It doesn’t try to imitate exactly what Daniel did, because we really don’t know. The idea behind the Daniel fast is to eat only foods needed for survival, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and oils.

evangel: What are some of the spiritual benefits of taking part in a Daniel fast?

FEOLA: In Matthew 5:6, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” What a wonderful invitation from the Lord. If we want a deeper, closer walk with Him so much that we’re willing to set aside a basic necessity of life to seek Him, He promises to answer our prayer. I encourage every believer to take hold of this opportunity. It’s in these times of denying self that we go deeper with God, we hear His voice more clearly, and we become more sensitive to spiritual things.

evangel: Fasting, like any spiritual discipline, also brings about some challenges.

FEOLA: A lot of people are intimidated by fasting. They don’t want to think about it because it involves self-denial, and we’re not very good at that. The Daniel fast, as a partial fast, can seem more doable. I like to call the Daniel fast an entry-level fast. It eases people into the world of fasting, and they gain confidence in being able to complete it.

evangel: What are some cautions and considerations a person would want to take into account before beginning a Daniel fast?

FEOLA: I encourage anyone who has any health concerns at all to talk to a physician or nutritionist. But the guidelines are really quite safe. It’s a healthy way of eating, the way we ought to be eating all the time.

evangel: What would you say to someone who has never fasted and would like to, yet they wonder if fasting is really for them?

FEOLA: I would simply say that fasting is for everyone. Remember, this isn’t something you do on your own. The Lord will help and empower you, and give you the strength you need.

For more information on the Daniel fast, see Kristen’s website,


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