21 Day Fast - 2022
Your Guide to the 21 Day Fast
We believe that 2022 will be a year of renewal and breakthrough. To help prepare our hearts and lives for what God wants to do, we will be starting 2022 off with 21 days of fasting and prayer.
This Fast will begin Monday, January 4 and end Sunday, January 24. Then, we will gather together on Sunday, January 24 for a vision night to end our fast, worship together, and hear what God has in store for C3 Church in 2022. Here’s to 2022 being the best year yet!
If you’re new to fasting or just need some fresh reminders, we’ve provided some basic info and tips in this guide to help you along the way.
What is Fasting?
Fasting sounds really spiritual and may even sound intimidating. Yet fasting is something both basic and powerful. It is simply setting aside some of our distractions and comforts to seek God and draw closer to Him in a more focused and meaningful way.
Why Should I Fast?
Here are a few reasons:
- Jesus did it! Jesus fasted and we want to be like Him. Also – if, as the Son of God, Jesus needed to fast, how much more do we?
- Fasting gives a greater sensitivity to spiritual things. Many people notice that as they turn the volume down on some comforts and distractions of the natural world and turn the volume upon on worship, prayer, and Scripture — there is an increased sensitivity to God’s Presence, voice, and will.
- There’s power in it! One time the disciples just couldn’t get the job done. No matter how much effort, it wasn’t enough. There was no breakthrough. Jesus’ response? “This kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21 emphasis added).” Combining the fire and gasoline of prayer and fasting can sometimes bring breakthroughs to what has seemed immovable for years.
Who Should Fast?
Anyone who follows Jesus. In fact, Jesus intended for people who identified as His followers to do this on some sort of regular basis. In giving his own fasting instructions one time, Jesus stated, “when you fast…” Notice he didn’t say if – he said when. (Matthew 6:16) He desires for it to be part of the rhythms of our lives.
Why Fast Now?
We believe order is powerful. How you begin your day affects your day. And how you begin your year can affect your year. We believe it’s powerful to give God “the first and the best” (what the Bible calls “first fruits”). Many churches and individuals from all around the world have seen untold blessings and even miracles by beginning the year with God – asking Him for vision and direction and seeking Him first. We win in life when we start with God.
What Should the focus of my Fast be?
Whatever is on your heart! Get specific about your needs and desires. We have created a 21 Day Prayer Guide to help prompt you each day. Even better, the greatest point of fasting is God Himself. Jesus gave an analogy in Luke 5 about how his followers (the Bride) would one day fast when Jesus (the Bridegroom) is temporarily taken away before His return. In other words, like two people in love, fasting is a kind of inner getting-away-with-God in which we draw closer to Him in friendship, spend more time in His Presence, and lean our ears toward Him to hear His voice a little clearer.
How Should I Fast?
There are many models of fasting you can follow from Scripture. One popular fast that we will be following as a church is the Daniel Fast. This is a temporary diet consisting of only water, fruits, and vegetables. This is the most popular type of fast and you can read more about this below.
That being said, while it’s important to be committed on a fast, the power isn’t in what we abstain FROM; it’s what we incline our hearts and attention TO. The heart of a fast – whether a private one or like this corporate church one – is Jesus. The point is not to get bogged down so much in the legalism of the fast that we don’t seek and enjoy Jesus! The point is not just to not eat. The point is to replace the flesh with the Spirit – through more Scripture, more prayer, more journaling, more time with God. If we don’t eat and don’t spend time with Jesus, we just starve ourselves both physically and spiritually – and that’s no fun for anyone!
The point is laying something physical down to pick something spiritual up. And like King David from the Bible, we don’t “want to offer a sacrifice that costs nothing.” If you don’t like chocolate, chocolate is not the thing to fast! Choose something that will be a challenge.
If you’ve never fasted before, we hope you take your next step in fasting in which way you find challenging but doable. Once again, this is something God wants to be part of our everyday life.
What is the Daniel Fast?
The Daniel Fast is a method of fasting. It’s a partial fast, meaning that some foods are eaten and others are restricted.
The Daniel Fast is based on the fasting experiences of the Old Testament Prophet Daniel when he and his companions were captured in Israel by the Babylonians under the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel was a man of deep faith and devoted to God. When served the food and wine of the king, Daniel didn’t want to defile his body and so requested a different meal, Daniel 1:8-21 & Daniel 10:1-3.
The Daniel Fast is a plant-based way of eating and consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, healthy oils, herbs and spices. You will also see from the verse that the only beverage on the Daniel Fast is water. From this passage, and using various translations, the standards of sweeteners (including artificial varieties), leavening agents, deep fried foods, solid fats and sweet desserts are not allowed on the Daniel Fast. It is also from this verse that we get the 21-day period.
Check below for a full list of items you can include and exclude in your fast.
What Foods can I Eat?
Foods to Include:
- All fruits. You may eat them fresh, frozen, dried, canned; just be sure there is no added sugar.
- All vegetables. You can consume your vegetables fresh, frozen, juiced or canned.
- All whole grains. It is advisable to read the labels when it comes to grains, so you are not consuming added sugar on the fast. Whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes and popcorn are all allowable foods.
- All nuts and seeds. You can have sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, sesame and any other member of the nut and seed family. Nut milk and nut butters are also allowed, including all natural peanut butter with no added sugar (you get used to it and it is really good!).
- All legumes. Dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, navy beans and white beans, canned or dried.
- Beverages. Water is the beverage of choice when fasting, including spring water or even distilled water if you like. You will likely make some smoothies but these will be meal replacements and using unsweetened almond, cashew or soy milk.
- All meat and animal products. This includes fish.
- All dairy products.
- All sweeteners. Sugar, raw sugar, syrups, molasses, and cane juice are not allowed on the Daniel Fast. Honey is a toss-up here. Some do consume it, seeing it as a natural food. Others consider it a pleasant food that Daniel would not have eaten so we leave it up to the individual.
- All leavened bread. This includes any Ezekiel Bread that contains yeast and all baked goods, commercial or homemade.
- All processed foods. Artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour, and foods that contain artificial preservatives are forbidden.
- All deep fried foods. Examples are potato chips, French fries, and of course any breaded, fried foods.
- All solid fats. This consists of shortening, margarine, lard and foods high in fat.
- Beverages. Coffee, tea, herbal teas, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol are all prohibited on the Daniel Fast.
What to Expect?
Physical Effects - Although fasting can be an indescribable blessing, it is not always easy for everyone. In this time of discipline, self-sacrifice and reflection, do not be surprised if you experience mental and physical discomforts.
- Hunger Pangs: These are greatest usually during the first three days of the fast. Your body is adjusting from using the food in your digestive tract (which remains about three days) to consuming stored fats.
- Coldness, bad breath and heightened body odor, changes in elimination (constipation or diarrhea), lightheadedness, changes in sleeping and dreaming patterns, aches and pains.
- Also expect to go to the bathroom often (you will be drinking lots of water!)
Resources to Know
Meal Prep & Recipes
Pinterest - search Daniel Fast and you will find tons of recipes and ideas
Prayer Guide - Text Fast21 to 97000 to receive your daily prayer guide
Join our Facebook Group Facebook.com/groups/myc3.church to share recipes and encourage others along the way.
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