Last February, while looking for a new reading plan on the Bible app, a plan called “Fast Like Daniel” kept popping up for each topic I searched for! I decided I had to read the blurb, then found myself reading the sample, then followed the link to the fast Like Daniel website to learn more.
Having read the reviews I would say I was interested but sceptical, so tried to convince myself that it wasn’t for me, after all I had never done anything like this before. I think God had other ideas though, because I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
I decided that if I was going to try it, I would need to have support (which Ruth was not willing to do!), so I sent the link to my 10 month group (led by Tim Sparks). After 2 weeks, I had no replies or even any humorous comments, so I brought up the subject during one of our meeting. The general consensus was “that sort of thing is not for me”, however Tim said that he would give it a go. We set up a WhatsApp group and set a date to start our 10 days of anticipated unpleasantness!
So shopping done (it’s not easy to shop for a vegan + yeast, sugar & cafine free + fussy eater diet), Tim and I encouraged each other into the first day, which wasn’t actually too bad, day 2 was the bad one! But gradually it did get better.
While the main objective of this plan is to read through the book of Daniel, focusing on the challenges which Daniel and his friends faced during their time ‘out of their comfort zone’, you are encouraged to identify an area of your life which requires attention through prayer. Considering in the first instance that I didn’t really want to be doing a fast, it couldn’t have come at a better time, as Thomas was going through a tough time at school which definitely needed ‘extra special’ prayer!
Another reason for not wanting to do a fast, with prayer as a major component, is the fact that I am terrible at praying, usually using it as an aid for sleep, yet when I lay awake at night, the last thing I want to do is pray. That’s how bad I am at it!
But, this was different. Every day, I looked forward reading the plan and praying about my chosen subject and also found myself praying for other stuff in much more depth than I had ever done before. What’s more was that I was doing this 4 or 5 times a day, driving to/from work, during breaks and at night. Completely not me!
Answer to my prayers were happening almost immediately, even if only on a basic level. One day on my way to work I asked God to present a conversation with a work colleague, which happened a couple of hours later, by someone asking me about my faith! I was able to briefly share and give her a link to a video teaching series by Andy Stanley, which we were currently doing at 10 month group. God’s timing is amazing.
By the end of the 10 days of fasting, I felt closer to God than I had done for many years, having had so many one to one moments with him during this time.
Looking back to February, I can see that substituting food for God was such a positive experience in my life and that is why I plan to do it again in February.
But rather than just sharing my story, I would like to encourage my Forge family to participate in the experience by joining me for my next ‘Fast like Daniel’ session in a few weeks. It would be a fantastic support network (which could be linked with a WhatsApp group chat) and could be a great tool to focus prayer on some major topics in our lives. I would like to suggest a common prayer focused on “the life of Forge Church” and one other personal prayer focused on a topic close to the individuals heart. Try to keep the focus on these 2 areas each day, which will hopefully see positive results.
If this interests you in any way please check out Fast Like Daniel, by Scott Williams through the Bible App or through their website.
If you would like to join me for a 10 or 21 day fast, please contact Philip Glanville at firstname.lastname@example.org, for further information.