The Daniel Fast for the Body, Soul and Spirit

The Bible teaches us that we are a spirit, we have a soul and we live in a body. The Daniel Fast affects all three parts of us as we enter into a period of time for focused prayer and fasting.

The Body

Certainly our bodies are affected as our diet is changed, for some in very dramatic ways, during the Daniel Fast. Many men and women experience detoxing from caffeine, chemicals and sugar. The symptoms are most often headaches, leg cramps, fatigue and malaise.

Most people lose weight during the Daniel Fast. And many report healings from diabetes, allergies, arthritis and cancer.

The Soul

Frequently referred to as “the flesh” in the Bible, the soul is also greatly impacted during the Daniel Fast. The soul is the seat of our emotions, intellect, personality and will. It is in the “soulish realm” where we experience cravings, frustration, anger . . . and even happiness.

During the Daniel Fast, your soul may very well rebel against the dramatic change in your diet. Experiencing and winning this battle over the flesh is often one of the most powerful lessons of the Daniel Fast.

The Spirit

Our spirit is that born-again part of us that surrenders to God and then abides with the Father and the Son. Our spirit is filled with the Holy Spirit when we yield to Him. During the Daniel Fast, we want to put our spirit in charge of the other two parts of us. When our flesh is acting out with a craving, we take control of it with our spirit (just as a parent takes control of a rebellious child).

The Daniel Fast teaches us to deny our “selves” and instead put our spirit in control over our flesh. As you plan your meals and eat your food, keep in mind that the definition of a fast is to deny food for a spiritual purpose.

The Daniel Fast for the Body, Soul and Spirit | Eden Westside Baptist Church

One of the most powerful lessons I ever learned took place when I was trying to gain greater understanding about our make up: we are a spirit, we have a soul and we live in a body. I wanted to know more of how that relates to my Christian life. It was a simple little exercise, but the revelation was amazing and has given me so much understanding!

The understanding I gained has also helped me so much during the Daniel Fast and when dealing with emotions and circumstances. I encourage you to take a few minutes to draw a little picture. Hopefully you too will gain much insight about yourself and our relation to the Spirit.

Step One:

Get a sheet of paper and on the top half, draw three side-by-side stick figures. Under each of stick figures, name them as Spirit, Soul and Body. Now on the top of the paper, write your name. Take a couple minutes and think about this being a “portrait of YOU!” As simple as this is, this little drawing shows you as a spirit, a soul and a body.

Step Two:

It is your spirit that is born-again when you accept Christ as your Savior. It’s often referred to as the “inner man” or “the new creation.” Under the “spirit” figure, write the character qualities of the spirit. You can look up Galatians 5:16-22 and see the nine fruits of the spirit. List them under your “spirit figure.”

Step Three:

The “soul” is also referred to as “the flesh.” It is where our will, emotions and intellect reside. This is the part of us that we surrender to God to be transformed into the ways of Christ. Under the “soul” label, make a list of what comes out of the soul (i.e. anger, pride, jealousy, etc.).

Step Four:

The “body” is like a puppet and subject to what the “spirit” or the “soul” causes it to do. The Word says that our body is the “temple of the Holy Spirit.” Yet, too often we don’t treat our bodies in this esteemed state. Our soul-man feeds it foods that are not good for it or we bring destruction to it.

During the Daniel Fast, we are putting our spirit in charge over our soul and our body. When our soul cries out, “I want that cup of coffee!” or, “I want that hamburger!” out spirit tells our soul to, “Sit down and behave. I am in charge. You can’t have everything you want.” This authority from our spirit can also take place when resentment, fear or jealousy try to take command in us. Again, we say choose the way of faith. We walk in the spirit as He is in the Spirit. Instead of resentment, we choose forgiveness. Instead of fear, we choose trust in God. Instead of jealousy, we choose thanksgiving. Instead of darkness, we choose His marvelous Light. Instead of death, we choose life.

Study this simple “portrait.” Let it minister to you and bring truth to your spirit. And allow it to give you understanding as you continue through this period of prayer and fasting.

How do I Prepare for the Daniel Fast?

You will experience a more successful fast if you spend some time preparing for your time of focused prayer and fasting.

Quiet Time:

If you don’t already have an established daily quiet time with the Lord, then this is an excellent opportunity to do so.

Starting your day with the God is a habit that will support your faith and growing intimacy with the Lord. During your Daniel Fast, be sure to set a daily time to come before the Lord, to study His Word and His ways.

Prepare Your Body:

It’s a wise move to prepare your body for the fast by easing off sugar, caffeine and chemicals before your first day of fasting. Otherwise, you may experience physical detox symptoms of headaches, cramping and fatigue. Start to drink at least 1/2 gallon of filtered water each day.

How do I conclude a Daniel Fast?

Just as you prepared to start your Daniel Fast, you will want to plan for the conclusion of your fast.

Changing the way you eat: If you have been on an extended fast of 10 or more days, your physical body has enjoyed healthy and easily digestible foods. Most people realize increased energy and better health during their fast.

Reintroduce caffeine, sugar, dairy products, deep fried foods and meat slowly to keep your body from rebelling and bring you discomfort. Small portions are better and adding no more than one type of food each day will give your body a chance to get used to the change.

Keep the gems of the fast: Most likely, you have gained many powerful lessons about your health and spiritual life. Carry these positive changes into your everyday life. If you have created a habit of meeting with the Lord each morning, then continue that practice.

If you have gained understanding about healthy eating habits or broken addictions to specific foods, then continue with those good practices.

Let the lessons you learned during your Daniel Fast continue to bring more health to your body, soul and spirit all year long.

What if I Have Health Issues?

Fasting should never bring harm to the body. And if you have concerns, be sure to consult your health professional before going on the Daniel Fast or making any major dietary change.

The Daniel Fast is a very healthy way to eat! So health professionals will support this eating plan, but might suggest a few modifications if you have health issues that need special attention. For example, pregnant and nursing mothers might get instructions to add fish, chicken and cheese into the Daniel Fast, but otherwise stay the course. Diabetics may need to add more carbohydrates or include chicken and fish. Also, those who are especially active either through sports, bodybuilding or vocation may need to slightly alter the eating plan.

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