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The Daniel Fast is a spiritual fast intended to honor God. This fast is being done by Christians and Non-Christians around the world. The fast is modeled on an incident that occurred in the Book of Daniel in the late sixth century B.C. The Daniel Fast is based on a restricted diet, much different than another diet called Lent by standard Christians, often at a different time of the year (usually in January).
Chapter 1 records Daniel rejecting the 'royal food and wine' to avoid "defilement" in accordance with strict Mosaic dietary restrictions. Therefore, Daniel requested that he and his companions eat only vegetables and water. This resulted in Daniel and the others prospering physically and spiritually above all others in the king’s quarters. Strictly speaking this was not a fast but a desire to please God by observing the law of Moses.
Chapter 9 records once when Daniel practiced a "true" or "complete" fast, which is no food and only water. Israel had been in bondage to the Babylonians for 70 years by this time and their exile had been prophesized by Jeremiah. Yet, rather than Daniel sitting idle and waiting for the final breakthrough and the changed governments, he prayed and fasted. This resulted in an appearance from the angel Gabriel who told Daniel of what would happen in the future.
Chapter 10 recounts another incident of Daniel restricting his intake of certain foods. Some have attempted to show this as an example of fasting but was actually a lack of desire to eat certain foods a result of a dream that caused him to mourn. This caused him to eat no delicacies, eating no meat, and drinking no wine for three weeks. The result of this dietary restriction was Daniel receiving another visitation by an angel and prophesies concerning Persia and Greece, all of which took place.
It is this last recount that serves as the primary model for the most popular version of the Daniel Fast. While many enter into the Daniel Fast throughout the year, the most popular time is in January at which time tens of thousands of Christian men and women consecrate themselves, for three weeks. During these three weeks they adhere to a simple diet of fruits, vegetables, and water. They also concentrate on prayer and drawing into a closer relationship with Christ.