He said, "Why are you fasting?"
I had a quick response. "Because you asked the church to fast this week."
He said something that was simple but profound. "When you fast, it is good to have a purpose for your fast!"
This book was written to assist you with discovering your purpose for fasting and praying. The Daniel Fast Prayer Guide has a weekly and a daily prayer emphasis. These brief suggestions will help you grow in your prayer life. They are designed to be a small part of your daily prayer, serving as a source of inspiration to assist you with the Daniel Fast.
The second half of this book focuses on making the Daniel Fast a time for a personal revival. It provides insight to help us fast and pray with purpose.
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The Daniel Fast Prayer Guide for A Personal Prayer Revival
By D. Tony Kathy M. Willis
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2016 D. Tony and Kathy M. Willis
All rights reserved.
Daniel Fast Story
"Pastor, I'm fasting." That statement did not bring the response I expected. He said, "Why are you fasting?" I had a quick answer, "Because you asked the church to fast this week." Then he said something that was simple, but profound. "When you fast, it is good to have a purpose for your fast!" I had expected appreciation and affirmation. After all, I was following the direction he had given the church. He chose to use my declaration as a teachable moment. How easy it would have been for that pastor to feel the support from his congregation and to have said, "Good for you! I'm glad you are participating; we need more young Christians to fast." Instead, he chose to mentor me and to teach me a valuable lesson. That simple exchange has motivated me always to examine why I am fasting.
This pastor's question to me could well be addressed to all those who fast. Often, people who attend a church follow the leadership's challenge for a fast, but do so without a purpose in their hearts. They know it is a good thing to do, and they want to show support. Unfortunately, the main concern when approaching a fast seems to have become, "what can I eat or not eat on this fast?" Many books already explain the food issue, but, often the most important question-- "Why are you fasting?"--goes unanswered.
Biblical fasts always had a purpose, such as in these examples:
1. Ezra fasted for direction and protection (Ezra 8).
2. Nehemiah fasted and prayed because he received bad news about his homeland (Nehemiah 1).
3. A wicked king proclaimed a fast because he was told his nation would be destroyed (Jonah 3).
4. Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast because Judah was about to be invaded (2 Chronicles 20).
5. The Jews fasted because Esther realized her people would be destroyed (Esther 4).
Daniel's fasting serves as another good example. The book of Daniel describes various times that he fasted and explains why. A close examination of Daniel's fasting reveals he approached his fasts with a great purpose in his heart.
Daniel had been reading the writings of Jeremiah. He understood that the time of the Babylonian captivity was almost over (Daniel 9:1-2). He decided to seek the Lord for understanding about this matter and about the Jewish people's returning home. Daniel was motivated to fast and pray for the future of his people. In response, God sent him a vision and a special angelic appearance (Daniel 10). Daniel had fasted and prayed for 21 days. The angel told him God had heard his petition the first day, and gave him a behind-the-scenes revelation of what had been happening for three weeks. The answer to his prayer had been delayed by spiritual warfare in the heavens. This revelation reminds us that we must have a fierce tenacity as we war against principalities and powers. The angel touched Daniel, and he was able to get on his knees and the palms of his hands (Daniel 10:10). He received a second touch that enabled him to speak (Daniel 10:16). He received a third touch that gave him strength (Daniel 10:18). The angel revealed he had been sent to disclose the future of Israel (Daniel 10:14). Daniel fasted and prayed for 21 days to understand what would happen to his people. The purpose of his fast is revealed to us. God honored his fasting and prayer, and gave him what he sought.
Our participation in a 21-day Daniel fast will, obviously, have a different purpose. Before participating in this fast, we should consider what we want God to do, thinking carefully about why we are spending 21 days to humble ourselves and seek Him. We saw some earlier examples that taught us why several people fasted. My pastor's question is still very relevant: "Why are you fasting?"
Another matter to consider in participating relates to health issues. Some people must eat to avoid a life-threatening crisis. Still others say they eat so little that doing without food is "no big deal". So the question arises, "Pastor, how can I participate in the church fast?" Testimonies have illustrated that a different method of fasting may be more beneficial for these folks. For instance, some say they feel addicted to social media, entertainment, sports, or hobbies. Such admissions reveal that these activities may be hurting them spiritually, so they have chosen to abstain from those things during the Daniel fast. Many have testified that participating in the Daniel fast has greatly helped them in their area of struggle. You will find many books and resources dedicated to the "How to Fast" subject, but this book will focus on the purpose of fasting, as well as provide you with a prayer guide for your fast.
The Daniel Fast Prayer Guide
A 21-day Daniel fast requires discipline. It also requires focus. Though we fast with a spiritual purpose, we sometimes lack focus in our daily prayers. Many who participate do not need prayer assistance. However, others welcome help to make the Daniel fast more meaningful and rewarding. The goal of this Daniel fast prayer guide is to help us maintain focus while praying. The guide has a weekly and a daily prayer emphasis. The weekly emphasis is taken from this prayer that Jesus prayed.
"Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." (Matthew 6:9-13).
This lesson teaches us our prayers should be a time of worshipping God, of praying about our needs, and of interceding for others. These three lessons from Jesus will serve as our weekly emphasis. The prayer guide will begin with a week of upward focus on worship. The second week will have an inward focus, as we pray about our needs. In our final week, we will direct our focus outwardly, praying for others. So our prayers will have an upward look, an inward look, and an outward look.
The Daniel fast prayer guide is designed to assist with your daily prayers. All 21 days have an important prayer emphasis. The emphasis will help focus our daily prayers. We strongly recommend that you read the second part of this book in its entirety before you begin your Daniel fast. Doing so will make your time of fasting and prayer much more rewarding and will give you a greater understanding of the prayer guide.
For the next 21 days, the prayer guide will have specific directions for your daily prayer. These brief suggestions will help you grow in your prayer life. They are designed to be a small part of your daily prayer, serving as a source of inspiration to assist you with the Daniel fast. You will notice many scriptures that encourage kneeling to pray; but of course, the main thing is that you spend time in prayer during your fast.
This week we will focus on the first part of the prayer Jesus used to teach his disciples: "Hallowed be thy name." Jesus began this lesson on prayer by offering worship to his Father. For the next seven days, our daily prayer will focus on various aspects of worshipping God.
Day One: Kneel Before the Lord Our Maker The Bible gives us a wonderful invitation to bow before the Lord in prayer. Psalm 95:6 reads, "O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker." Scripture tells us "It is he that hath made us and not we ourselves" (Psalm 100:3).
Adam and Eve both knew the source of their lives. Adam may have looked at the dirt beneath his feet and realized he was made out of it. He knew that God fashioned him and breathed the breath of life into his body. Though far removed from the place where God created man, we must never be far removed from recognizing he is our source of life. It is with great gratitude we worship and bow before the Lord, our creator.
Day Two: Kneel to Enthrone Him as Your God
The Bible shows us many who were torn between different gods. Elijah told the children of Israel, that they were halting between God and Baal (1 Kings 18:21). Joshua declared that the people "should put away the gods" (Joshua 24:14). He told Israel he and his house had chosen to serve God (Joshua 24:15).
David sang, "I will praise thee, O Lord my God ..." (Psalms 86:12a). Again we see David saying, "The Lord is my light and my salvation ..." (Psalms 27:1a). (Underscoring added) We kneel today acknowledging that we have chosen Jehovah as our God. There is no other god before him. We enthrone him as our God.
Day Three: Kneel to Show Reverence and Honor
We kneel before the Lord to reverence him and to show honor. His word acknowledges that the whole world will one day kneel before him to show reverence and honor. Isaiah 45:23 reads, "I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear." The New Testament shows kings kneeling before Jesus: "... they fell down, and worshipped him ..." (Matthew 2:11). We humbly bow today to show reverence and honor.
Day Four: Kneel to Celebrate the Power of God
Jesus prayed acknowledging the power of God. "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, Amen." (Matthew 6:13b). Jesus also acknowledged that "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." (Matthew 28:18b). God's power formed the worlds. His power parted the Red Sea for the children of Israel. Through his power we have life. We know he has the power to meet our needs and to answer our prayers. We rejoice in his great power.
Day Five: Kneel to Celebrate the Love of God
John the apostle often wrote about the love of God. In John 3:16 he wrote, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son..." We see God's love for us expressed through the death of Jesus upon the cross. He also wrote, "God is love," (1 John 4:8b). His word reveals that he is full of loving kindness, and that he is longsuffering towards us. We are the objects of God's great love, kindness, and patience. We joyfully kneel to worship God for the great love he has bestowed upon us.
Day Six: Kneel to Celebrate His Mercy and Grace
Noah was one of the first men to ever discover the wonder of the grace of God. As the rain descended and the flood raged, he no doubt thanked God that he had received grace (Genesis 6:8). We acknowledge his grace and mercy has been given to us as we kneel before him. Paul wrote, "... by grace ye are saved." (Ephesians 2:5b). He also wrote about the mercy of God, "... according to his mercy he saved us ..." (Titus 3:5b). We worship him for his grace and mercy; without which we would be forever lost.
Day Seven: Kneel to Worship and Give Thanks
The Bible shows Mary the sister of Lazarus at the feet of Jesus on three occasions. In Luke 10:39 she sat at his feet and listened to him teach. In John 11:32, while grieving for her dead brother, Mary fell down at the feet of Jesus. On the third occasion we see Mary kneeling before Jesus to anoint him with a pound of expensive spikenard ointment (John 12:3). She knelt worshipping the one who had raised her brother back to life.
The original meaning of the word "worship" is "worth-ship". Bowing before the Lord in prayer is an act that shows our affection and love. Psalm 95:6 says, "O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker." A song writer once wrote, "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name." (Psalm 100:4).
Our daily prayer for the week will focus on the second part of our Lord's prayer. Jesus prayed for the Father to supply the need for daily bread. He also prayed that we would not enter into temptation, but be delivered from evil. We see Jesus teaching us to pray for ourselves.
We are encouraged to ask, to seek, and to knock. Our daily prayer will focus on our relationship with God, and upon God's meeting our needs.
Day Eight: Kneel to Celebrate Your Connection to God
Just before Jesus went to the cross, he talked about his connection to the Father and to his children. While the Father is the husbandman, Jesus is the vine and we are the branches (John 15:1-6). Salvation connects us to God, making us part of the family of God. The Bible tells us that sin separates us from God. Isaiah wrote, "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." (Isaiah 59:2). The Psalmist let us know that sin hinders our prayer: "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." (Psalm 66:18).
The Old Testament often presents the picture of Israel as a sinful nation that needed to repent and return to him. The reconnecting of Israel brought God's presence, protection, and favor.
As we kneel before the Lord, we should examine our hearts. If our hearts reveal that we have sinned, we should quickly repent of that sin. We must make sure we are connected to God, and we should celebrate being joined to the Father. Jesus did. He prayed saying that he and the Father were one (John 17:21).
Day Nine: Kneel and Pray to Be Fruitful
Jesus taught us that branches that are connected to the vine will be productive. The husbandman shapes the branches so that they will bare much fruit. When we think about God working in our lives to make us fruitful, we realize he is shaping us to be productive.
As we think about serving Him, we recognize we should pray that he will reveal how we can be fruitful. We kneel in prayer to discover our gifts, to develop our gifts, and to deploy our gifts. God will place us in the right spot, and give us opportunities to bear much fruit.
Day Ten: Kneel as an Act of Submission
Every Christian should strive to do the will of the Father. We see Jesus kneeling before the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane and submitting his will to the Father. Three times Jesus prayed to surrender his will to the Father, and that the Father's will would be done (Matthew 26:39).
There will be times in our lives when we struggle to obey the Lord. We must strive to completely surrender to him, denying ourselves and taking up our cross to follow him (Matthew 16:24). We are to submit our ways to him. The bible says, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5,6). He is the good shepherd who guides his sheep. We kneel, as Jesus knelt, to submit ourselves to the will of the Father, and to receive his direction for our lives.
Day Eleven: Kneel to Pray for Physical Needs
At times we may face physical issues. This serves to remind us that we are all susceptible to sickness. But, the Bible tells us that God has provided healing when sickness comes. Simon Peter told us that Christ had stripes placed on his back for our healing (1 Peter 2:24).
Having the physical ability to actively serve God requires good health. A pastor who has a health problem struggles to have the strength to visit, to serve as an administrator, and to prepare sermons. All those who serve God need strength and healing.
Our prayer is that God would give us good health. If we have sickness we pray for healing. We seek him for his constant strength that enables us to serve. In Mark 1:40 we see a sick man kneeling before the Lord. Jesus answered his prayer for healing and made him whole.
Day Twelve: Kneel to Pray to Be a Faithful Steward
Stewardship is like being a manager. Such a person is responsible for assuring the company runs smoothly. The owner has entrusted his company into the manager's hands. Joseph serves as a good example. Potiphar delegated the keeping of his house to Joseph (Genesis 39:3-4). Later, we see that Pharaoh trusted Joseph to run all of Egypt (Genesis 41:39-41).
God has entrusted us with the work of his kingdom. (1 Corinthians 4:1-2 & 1 Peter 4:10). We recognize that God has given us gifts, talents, and abilities. He has placed us where we can serve Him. We should recognize that as a great honor. We should also recognize that serving God gives meaning to life and offers great fulfillment. May he help us to faithfully fulfill our spiritual responsibilities.
Day Thirteen: Kneel to Pray for God's Blessings and Favor
The Old Testament tells us about a man named Jabez. 1 Chronicles 4 gives us a list of names. The writer mentions 44 people and suddenly stops to tell us about a man named Jabez. He was a man with a prayer request. It took only two verses with 33 words to give us a brief record of his prayer. His name means "pain and sorrow." Jabez was a man who wanted the blessings and favor of God. He asked God to bless him, and God answered his prayer.
We also need God's blessings and favor. The Bible assures us we can have them: Psalm 37:4 reads, "Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Psalm 115:12a-15 tells us "The Lord hath been mindful of us: he will bless us ... He will bless them that fear the Lord, both small and great. The Lord shall increase you more and more, you and your children. Ye are blessed of the Lord which made heaven and earth.
Excerpted from The Daniel Fast Prayer Guide for A Personal Prayer Revival by D. Tony Kathy M. Willis. Copyright © 2016 D. Tony and Kathy M. Willis. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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Table of Contents
The Daniel Fast Story, 3,
The Daniel Fast Prayer Guide, 7,
Prayer School, 27,
Prayer Revival, 35,
Prayer Preparation, 39,
Prayer Purpose, 45,
Prayer Posture, 49,
Prayer Closet, 55,