The Daniel Fast
Posted on: Feb 06, 2018
Every birthday is a day to thank God for His amazing love. I am thanking God for giving me life and I am on my knees with tears on my eyes by experiencing His love and recognizing your care for me. Praise God. Thank you for your cards, gifts, cakes and above all your prayers! Your thoughtfulness is leading me to the belief that MQH is a great family for me. When you call me Father, I feel the need to be your Father. Although I am away from my birth family, you make me feel like I am one of your family members and therefore I desire to behave more like a Father. It is important for a father to pray for his children. You are my children and I am praying for you on a regular basis.
As I began this new year I have decided to perform the three days of Daniels’s fasting for the prayers of all the parish family members. God is giving me the inspiration to continue with that every month.
What is the Daniel Fast?
The Daniel Fast is a biblically based partial fast referenced in the Bible, particularly in two sections of the Book of Daniel:
“Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables [pulses] to eat and water to drink.” [Daniel 1:12]
“In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.” [Daniel 10: 1-2]
Daniel was among the best and the brightest of the Israelites of his time. In the Biblical book of Daniel, it is written that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had seized God’s temple, Jerusalem. As the victor, King Nebuchadnezzar had the power to select and “enlist” young Israelite men to serve in his Babylonian palace, and he wanted only the best. So, Daniel and some of his wealthy and influential friends were “enlisted” in a three-year training program prior to entering the king’s service. During this training Daniel and his buddies—devout Israelites—are placed in a pagan palace to be trained up to serve a pagan king, a process complete with a prescribed diet of food and wine from the king’s own table. Most historians agree that the king’s menu most likely included food that had been sacrificed to idols and/or meat from unclean animals, both of which are strictly forbidden by Jewish dietary customs.
Daniel, being a man of conviction, asks to eat only vegetables and to drink only water instead of what’s on the king’s menu. That request was not approved by the king’s chief official but after some convincing, Daniel’s request was granted. Here was the deal. Daniel said, “Please test your servants for ten days. Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 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.” (Daniel 1: 12-13) The guard agreed. After ten days of only “pulse” – which consists of vegetables, fruits, seeds and grains and water—Daniel and his comrades were brought before the King. The results? Their health and appearance “appeared better than all the young men who consumed the ‘best’ food of the land from the very table of the king.”
Fast forward three years and beyond—while still eating only the pulse and water diet—Daniel continued to outperform those who ate the king’s delicacies. In fact, the king found Daniel and his buddies were “ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.” Ten times better! What’s more is that Daniel outlived the king and advised the king’s grandson, Belshazzar, roughly 70 years after the reign of Nebuchadnezzar began!
That’s the story of Daniel’s 10-day fast that turned into three years as well as how it benefited him into his later years. May I strongly encourage you to join with me the first three days of every month for the fasting of meat products and to pray for the conversion of our family members especially lost children. I am beginning this fast starting in February. Together we can impact the families of our parish.
Finally, on another topic, God is allowing me to visit Holy land during Lent. Last year when I went, one of my friends gave me five intentions to pray for during pilgrimage. Three of his intentions were directly granted including the conversion of his brother while two of his intentions were partially granted. God is a powerful God.
This year I will once again be visiting the Holy land from February 19th to March 1st, 2018. Feel free to let me know through mail if you have any prayer intentions you want me to pray for. I will place a prayer box in front of Blessed Virgin Mary statue for your convenience.
Fr. Niby Kannai, CMI
Order of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate