Daniel Fast for Lent

By February 16, 2015Articles

Over the years, more and more Christians who fast for Lent are using the Daniel Fast as their method of fasting. While most of the practices of the fast are the same, there are a couple differences during Lent.

Lent is what is known as a called fast in that it has a very specific start date and a completion date. The fast begins on Ash Wednesday, which starts 46 days prior to Easter Sunday. Easter is a “movable feat,” meaning that it’s not always on the same date, yet it’s always on a Sunday. For 2015, Ash Wednesday is on February 18th and Easter is on Sunday, April 5th. Easter is considered the holiest day in the Christian year as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Lent is a season of the Christian year and period when followers of Christ focus on simple living, prayer, abstinence and fasting so they can draw closer to God. There are forty days of fasting during the Lenten season. Sundays are days of celebrating the risen Christ and therefore not fasting days. So, if you practice this tradition you will fast from sundown on Sunday through Saturday as sundown. Some people also fast Monday through Saturday and then don’t fast any of Sunday. So you can decide how to set your times of fasting for Lent.

If you are using the Daniel Fast as your method of fasting, you still want to prepare your spirit, soul and body for this experience. I encourage you to use The Daniel Fast book, which includes everything you need for the fast, including a background of fasting, how to keep the fast spiritual rather than carnal and all about the food, plus a complete Daniel Fast cookbook. 

Since Lent has 40 days of fasting, you also might want to get a copy of The Daniel Fast Daily Devotional for Lent. It’s an Kindle book, but can be accessed from any electronic device. I’ve been very touched that many churches use this for their Lenten readings. 

Meanwhile, be blessed as you open your heart to the Lord, prepare your body for the fast, and enter into this powerful season of Lent as you look forward the celebrating the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

84 Comments

  • Clarissa Harris says:

    I want to thank you for being a vessel God is using to share his word with others! I am following the devotions for Lent and although I read them last year, this year the blessings and strength I have received have been everything I needed when I need it! I am experiencing probably one of the greatest challenges in my life and God is using this time to minister to me like I’ve never experienced before. The Daniel Fast has been integral in my journey. So much that I am praying to continue it till my breakthrough comes.
    Your ministry is now one that I pray for. May Jesus continue His anointing upon you. Thank you so much! Blessings and peace to you

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Dearest Clarissa,

      I am very touched by your encouraging message. Thank you for taking the time to write your loving words . . . and especially for your prayers.

      Be blessed, dear one!

      Susan

  • Paul Dougherty says:

    tried a 3-week daniel fast this lent and benefitted so much particularly from fasting from coffee. I’m two years off cigarettes and my coffee habit was probably twice what it should be. I had much difficulty sleeping first 3 nights. head cold pain in my upper legs. Finally things broke the 3rd night.

    Am starting my 2nd daniel fast this week.

    Appreciate all of what you are doing.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      God is so good. Glad you are experiencing so much growth along with your breakthroughs.

      Be blessed!

  • Sharon says:

    Good Evening Susan,

    When is the fast actually over for the Lenten season? I have done the fast since Ash Wednesday. It has been a bit of a challenge, but I am truly wanting to hear what he has for me and what my true calling is. I don’t know where to go once the Lenten season is over. I want to continue my change in diet for health reasons as well as spiritual and will need guidance.

  • Dorothy L Cale says:

    Hi Susan, I started to Fast on Ash Wednesday 2.18.15. I’m in Phase 2 in which I eat vegetables. fruits, water, NO BREAD NO MEAT NO SWEETS NO SODAS NO SEAFOOD and it’s been a struggle so keep me in Prayer. I’ve been Fasting on Sundays most of the time. My Prayer life and Bible reading has been a little slack but I Pray to God for strength. The last Phase (Holy Week ) is Challenging because the entire 7 days is a total Fast — NO SOLID FOODS OF ANY KIND. I plan to do Smoothies, is this allowed? BUT GOD IS FAITHFUL. AMEN

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Hi Dorothy,

      Yes, I have prayed for you. I hope the best for you as you seek God.

      I do want to make sure those reading this message understand that you are fasting, but that it isn’t the Daniel Fast. More of a modified fast.

      Be blessed as you continue to grow in the love and knowledge of Jesus Christ.

      • Dorothy L Cale says:

        Thank you Susan. I hope I didn’t mislead anyone cause that was not my intention. You’re right, it is the modified Fast

  • Alicia says:

    hi Susan, thanks for writing this and more so during this time of lent that we are going through now. i would like to start the Daniel Fast, and hope to get a copy of this lent fast. can i buy or how can i get a copy? thank in advance. God bless.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Hi Alicia,

      Thanks for your encouraging message. The Lenten fast is the same one in the Daniel Fast book, but it’s done for 40 days of fasting with Sunday as a “pause day.” Meaning, you can depart from the fasting guidelines on Sundays during Lent.

      I encourage you to pick up a copy of the book at your preferred local or online bookstore. The Daniel Fast by Susan Gregory

  • Mary Spence says:

    Greetings Susan
    I have done the Daniel fast once before. I did a 40 day fast.and was greatly blessed. This time I am only going to do a 21 day fast
    starting March 15 to April 5 2015. I have medical issues and battle depression and am seeking the Lord for healing. thank you for your website where i can come for inspiration and encouragement!

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Dearest Mary,

      Lean on the Lord. Trust in Him. And declare His goodness, strength and joy over your life. He is the Healer and the Lover of your soul.

      Be blessed, dear one.

  • tanya says:

    Good Day Im on a Liquid fast please help to what liquid I can drink that will help me with not feeling so sleepy all the time.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Hi Tanya,

      The Daniel Fast is not a liquid fast, so it’s not our “specialty” here on this site. There are probably several reasons you are are feeling fatigue as you drink only liquids. Your body needs certain nutrients to stay strong and vibrant. I encourage you to find more answers for your specific kind of fasting so you can make the amendments you need for the health and energy you want during your fast.

      Be blessed

  • NEDU says:

    GREETINGS TO YOU SUSAN,
    WHY IS IT THAT ANYTIME AM ON A FAST ALWAYS FEELING LOW AND GUILTY THAT AM MISSING IT AND NOT DOING IT WELL.

  • Cassander Green says:

    Susan

    I entered the fast on Feb 18 lent day. I was doing well I did this for 10 days and slipped up today Feb 28. I feel really guilty right know. I was fasting from my favorite sweet which is licorous. But today I slipped due to a disagreement with my husband. So I ran to the sweets cause I was upset. Susan, can I start over on Monday March 1st. I was doing so well praying and worshiping and reading scriptures. Can I start over ?

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Yes, Cassander, please, please resume your fast. But also, learn from your mistake. What will you do “the next time.” Now, as your heart is resolved to resume your fast, what actions can you take if you run into the same or a similar situation? Plan now. Be ready.

      Also, did the licorice do it for you? Did the licorice offer comfort? Did it hug you? Did it dry your tears or take away your stress? NO! The enemy’s lie to you is that food will solve your emotional issues or take away your stress. When in fact, not only do we overeat in these situations, but we also miss out on what our true Comforter – Jesus – can offer us.

      Think about this: Let Food Be Food. God never designed food to feed your heart or your spirit. It’s to feed your body. To nourish you. And to give pleasure in a healthy way.

      So, learn from this mistake and resume your fast in strength and knowing that Jesus is the One to heal the brokenhearted and to wipe away your tears – not licorice!

      Be blessed!

  • Kat says:

    I started the Daniel Fast on Ash Wednesday, and must say I feel good, both physically and spiritually.

    My only concern is – sorry if this is too graphic – that I have the “runs” for the past 8 days now. Does anyone have that same experience?

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Hi Kat,

      It’s part of the detox. Your system is being cleaned out as well as getting used to a high fiber eating plan.

      Be blessed!

  • Wimbish says:

    Susan-
    I am so happy to have found your work! I have begun the Lenten Fast..day 7 and so far so good. God has been with me every step of the way. You also did an outstanding job helping prepare for the fast in your book. I was excited to learn of the Book for Lent. However, I am an iPad user..and can’t download. Any pointers after day 21 would be great…I was going to re-read your devotions as well as continue with my own…but would love to hear from you on this… 40 days, today seemed like a long way away.

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful experience and knowledge.

    Wimbish

    • Susan Gregory says:

      I am so glad you are receiving the powerful blessing of extended prayer and fasting. And I hope we can continue to offer your support and encouragement.

      We have many resources at our websites. This one and at http//danielfast.wordpress.com

      Also, check out the books we have at Amazon, which you can read from your iPad. We try to provide as much digital content as we can as so many people are using their phones and reading devices these days.

      Be blessed and thanks for your words of encourgement!

  • onie says:

    Dear susan. thank you so much for all the daily devotional during the 21 days of Daniel fast, they help me a lot because I work night shift it hard to stay up to read the bible and pray but, by email me every morning the daily devotions God help me to keep it up and because your help I made the 21 days. I feel so good now, on Ash Wednesday I enter the 40 days lent. I have a lot that’s going on to my life that I can not explain but, God knows it all I put my trust in him and I believe he will open all the door that are close before me. please continue to sent me daily devotions and don,t forget to keep me in your prayer. many bless for you from God for all you are doing to help me and others come close to God.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Hi Onie,

      God is so good. I praise God for the good work He is doing in your heart as you continue to put your trust in Him. He truly is the way, the truth and the life.

      Be blessed and thanks for your message!

  • nedu says:

    what of palm oil and plantain are they okay

  • althea says:

    Thanks for the reminder and encouragement. You are a blessing to us

  • Ashley says:

    Greetings, Susan, and God bless! Your teachings on the Daniel’s Fast have been truly inspirational in my life for the past couple of years and I’m happy to continue into this holy season drawing nearer to God through fasting. Is there a trick or a quick list of general ingredients that we should avoid? I want to spend less time figuring out the food and more time focusing on prayer and scripture as you’ve mentioned, but I also want to complete the fast with fidelity. Specifically I wonder about the chemicals. I’m having a hard time telling the difference between names of chemicals and vitamins. Thanks in advance!

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Hi Ashley,

      Thanks for your kind and encouraging words. I am blessed that God called me to this work in 2007. He is so good.

      The best way is to prepare most of your meals from scratch. I know that can be challenging (I hope you’ve read the part in my book about preparing meals and saving time and money).

      There are a few naturally derived chemicals that are okay during the Daniel Fast. For example citric acid and ascorbic acid are just vitamin C and often used as a natural preservative. So those would be allowed. Sugar and sweeteners come by many names. You can learn more here: http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/57-names-sugar

      I encourage you to try to keep most of what you eat as close to being whole foods as you can. And if you don’t know a chemical included in the food, don’t use it. I would like to be able to answer your question definitively, but there are so many chemicals that it would be impossible to do that in a blog post.

      Be blessed

  • Schmecka says:

    May God continue to bless you, Ms. Susan, for all the work that you do in His name. Your lessons and website have been a light-filled blessing from God to me and my family. Thank you!!!

  • ANTHONY says:

    Susan, I am doing the Daniel fast with a Fasting group at my church. We were told to have something with you at all times, that the fall off issues come when you get hungry. However, I was reading in your lesson, we should be sun down to sun up eating? are we doing the fasting wrong?

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Anthony, I don’t teach that the Daniel Fast is to abstain from only during daylight hours. It’s a 24-hour practice. Most people don’t fast on Sundays during Lent.

      A way to prepare for your successful fast is to make sure you don’t find yourself in a bind, such as hunger with no appropriate food available. So it’s a good plan to have some nuts or fruit on hand for those times.

      I hope this helps!

  • Libby says:

    Susan, I can’t thank you enough for all of your wisdom and insight about fasting. I’ve fasted many times in the pass years. I came across your book and website last month and it has given me a deeper understanding about fasting. The book is great and filled with a variety of good recipes to simplify meal planning. Also, I joined Faith Driven Life which has been a life changing experience. Again, thanks for all you do.

  • Elz says:

    When is the start of lent and when does it end? Are your books available as ebooks?

  • Pumla says:

    Dear Susan,

    Just yesterday I decided I want to fast and draw closer to God, unknown that lent starts tomorrow. Can I start the fast Sunday or its strictly 18th?

    • Susan Gregory says:

      You can certainly start Lent on Ash Wednesday, but then enter the full Daniel Fast method on Sunday. I encourage you to open your heart to the Lord and “enter Lent” for the season. Even if you need to delay the food restrictions due to other circumstances.

  • Shirley says:

    Dear Ms. Susan,I truly thank God for using you to be such a great blessing in my life. The information that you bless others with is just awesome. I am excited about doing the Daniel Fast for lent.Thank you for being such an inspiration .May God always bless you Woman Of God.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Thank you, Shirley. God blesses me by allowing me to do this work. He is so good and loves His children so very much.

      Be blessed on your fast.

  • Stephen E says:

    Thanks Susan for the tips, I was also thinking about a liquid fast for Lent. Your response was indeed helpful.

  • Gracie says:

    Hello Susan, I have had some troubles fasting in the past, starting without finishing or slipping up and I’ve always felt bad about it. I really want to try the fastening for lent with Sundays as a feast day which I think will help me a little since that’s the day that tends to get to me. I truly do want to focus on the Lord not the food and I am looking forward to completing this fast. I wanted some clarifications on the food list, silly question, I’ve been told almond milk was a no no although it is not an animal product. Also so many things have sugars in them. I enjoy having a bowl of Kind Healthy Grains with almond milk for breakfast. Please I would appreciate the clarification as I embark on this journey.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Hi Gracie,

      Unsweetened almond milk is allowed on the Daniel Fast. I don’t know the ingredients of the cereal you eat, however if the ingredients comply with the Daniel Fast then it would be allowed.

      I do encourage you to study about the fast using the book or doing your own research. You will be in a much more confident and prepared position if you understand the principles of the Daniel Fast and of the spiritual discipline of extended prayer and fasting.

      Be blessed

  • Debbie says:

    i would like to receive daily email support. This blog has been very helpful

  • MELODY GRIFFITH says:

    WHEN DO THE FAST START PLEASE FOR LENT /

  • kateri says:

    Hi Susan: May God richly bless you. This will be my first time fasting for Lent. Please keep me in your prayer.

  • Patricia says:

    Thank you, Susan. You are so encouraging I went through the 21 day Daniel fast with no hassles your devotional messages kept me going I would definitely like to do the Daniel lent fasting and I’m looking forward to receiving the devotional messages from you. Stay blessed daughter of the most high God.

  • Hana L says:

    Dear Susan,
    I have already done the daniel fast once and at first I was overwhelmed but I steadily got in the groove of things and it became very easy. Fist few days I had a headache but it subsided. I DID work on getting up early to pray, read and just spend some time with our Father. I am planning to start the fast again on Wednesday this time. I have been looking so forward to it since the last time. I have learned that spending quiet time with Him is an absolute essential part of having a relationship with Him! I want to thank you for being a vessel for God in helping others prepare and be successful! God bless you Susan! ☺️☺️☺️

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Praise God, Hana. He is doing a powerful work in you. Coming into a deeper and more meaningful relationship with the Lord is the central purpose for fasting.

      Be blessed and thanks for your message.

  • Sister Brandy Dudley says:

    Dear Susan,

    I thank God for the ministry that God Our Father has placed in your life. I just back home from the store getting all that I need to practice the Daniel Fast! I decided to practice it during the holy season of Lent this year. I am REALLY excited about God is going to do for me as I go through this fast. I have one question to ask: Since we don’t fast on the Sundays of Lent, what do you suggest I eat? I would say I could eat a little piece of meat or something during that time but I feel that wouldn’t be right. Please let me know what you think. Blessings in Christ Jesus.

    Exhorter Sister Brandy Dudley

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Hi Sister Brandy,

      Yes, you can have a small portion of meat and other foods not allowed on the fast. The key is to enter into your Sundays in thanksgiving and celebration of the risen Lord. That is why we don’t fast on Sundays for the Lenten Season. We want to recognize and acknowledge the great miracle and work that Jesus accomplished when He was raised from the dead, ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of our Father and is there as our Advocate and High Priest.

      So as you eat your portion of meat, do it in celebration . . .

      I hope this helps.

  • Ruth says:

    Grest idea. I am in for lent.

  • Grace (bbtb) says:

    Dear Susan: God bless you. for being a beautiful child of the most high God
    and for being there when I need to talk and ask question about things I do not understand
    and for just being you a Bless child of God.

  • Wendy B says:

    Hello Susan,
    I am curious to know what your thoughts are on the use of almond milk as opposed to soy.I look forward to your response
    Blessings;
    Wendy

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Hi Wendy,

      Using unsweetened soy or unsweetened almond milk is really a matter of choice. I use soy milk most often, but also sometimes use almond milk.

      Whatever you prefer is okay for you 🙂

      Be blessed.

      • Felicia says:

        Can u fast while even though u drink coffee

        • Susan Gregory says:

          Are you asking if you can use the Daniel Fast, but still drink coffee?

          If so, there is a bigger question. Why don’t you want to sacrifice the coffee for 21 days? The reason this is an important question is that so many times we want to continue to feed the flesh, which keeps us carnal and not going deep with God. And usually these kinds of issues also show up in other areas of our lives.

          The Daniel Fast can be a very exposing experience as we learn about ourselves, our values, our willingness to submit to God, and the obstacles to faith that we may be erecting ourselves.

          Something to think about . . .

  • AvrilChase says:

    Dear Ms. Gregory,
    I would like to do lenten fast. My week three of the Daniel Fast begins on the first day Lent. Do I just continue on through?
    Thank you

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Yes, Avril,

      However, you do encourage you to take some time to acknowledge the good work the Lord has done in you for the first part of your fasting experience.

      During Lent, you can chose to not fast on Sundays, also. So it will be a bit different.

      Be blessed!

  • Barbara Gould says:

    Dear Susan, I have spent the last few weeks preparing for my Daniel Fast, mostly weaning off coffee (very rough time). I plan to actually officially begin on Ash Wednesday and see it thru til Easter. I have never fasted before for spiritual reasons, and I am very excited to begin. Although, I am already enjoying some of the benefits because of the preparation. I ALREADY feel much closer to God, and much more disciplined and prepared to do His will. I have already spent more time in prayer these past few weeks than I spent in prayer the past six months. i have read you book. Thank you. Barb

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Dearest Barb,

      You already are experiencing some of the “secrets” that are in the fasting discipline that people don’t really understand unless they enter it themselves. I am so happy for you. I know for sure that you will have a richly blessed time as you focus on the Lord (and not the food). He has so much He wants you to know about Him. And He has blessings to shower on you!

      Be blessed as you enter into this holy time.

      • Barbara Gould says:

        Hi Susan. I have completed three successful days following the Daniel fast food recommendations. It feels so good to eat such healthy foods. Thankfully the caffeine withdrawals are behind me. Normally, I’m a daily coffee drinker. I woke up very earlier this morning to begin my morning devotions and it is awesome. I am concentrating my Bible time on the last 24 hrs of Jesus life. I am really enjoying reading the Gospels again. I have a few things I am specifically praying about, and will let you know the outcome. God Bless. In Christian Love, Barb

  • Lisa says:

    First I want to say thank you Susan for the Daniel Fast program. I have had great success with it. I just recently ended my 21 days and still don’t want it to end. I am going to continue through Lent, but would LOVE to see you daily inspirational messages during that time. I have battled my with my weight since I was a teenager and tried every kind of way to feel better about myself. Nothing has worked until I tried the Daniel Fast. Our society places too much emphasis on being model thin – which is unrealistic. However, I can be a healthy weight for the rest of my life, like myself, boost my self esteem and show my children how to draw closer to the Holy Spirit. Blessings, Lisa N.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Great thought, Lisa! Thanks for writing and my hope for you is that you continue to open your heart wider and wider to the ways of the Lord (that’s a prayer I say for myself, too).

      Be blessed, dear one, as continue your journey toward a lifestyle of health and well-being.

      Susan

  • Stefanie says:

    I did the Daniel Fadt last year for lent but did the full 46 days. I only had one hiccup my mom passed away during that period and the funeral lunch had a set menu and I broke my fast on that one day other than that all went well

  • Rita Walker says:

    Dear Ms. Susan Gregory, Thank you for all your support. You have been so very helpful. God Bless You. Keep Me in your prayers as I go on this journey. Praying and fasting to be come closer to My Savoir, The Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Shannon says:

    Thank you. I am prayerfully (and fearfully to be honest) considering the Daniel fast to be used for Lent. I have been preparing my heart over the past few weeks. I haven’t fasted in a long time (bacially since I have worked full time and can not risk being unable to function in a job that requires energy and focus.) I’m nervous about giving up my tea with vinailla cream that gets me out of bed in the a.m., or through a rough afternoon at work, and giving up animal proteins. (Love my eggs!)
    Thank you for the additioanal information on Lent.

  • Katie says:

    Thanks so much! This article is very affirming!

  • Jennie says:

    Awesome information. Thank you.

  • keitumetse says:

    Good day beautiful daughter of the most high,so I’ve never fasted for the 40 days of lent but am really keen on doing it this year.The only problem, is that I’m the only one who’ll be fasting during that period, so could I opt for a liquid fast maybe? Because I partook in the 21 day Daniels fast at the beginning of this year and it was quite challenging as I always had to cook my own separate food each day. But now with exams coming along, I don’t think I’ll have time to prepare myself different food each day. I’d really appreciate it if you could give me a few pointers on what to do
    Thank you.
    Stay blessed

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Yes, you can totally do a liquid fast. Be sure to have enough protein as a liquid-only fast for 40 days can be physically challenging.

      Be blessed in all you do and thanks for your words of blessing and encouragement!

      • Phophi says:

        I am also in 40 days fasting without food, today I am in day 34. and so far I have lost 13 kg and I feel good about it.Susan do you think not eating anything at all will have an impact on my health. Cause now I have a problem of always spiting saliva every now and then like a pregnant woman. But I drink a lot of water, I am in water therapy

        • Susan Gregory says:

          Hi Phophi,

          Entering into a water-only fast for 40 days should be done only under the Lord’s direction. Our bodies are powerfully resilient and if you are in good health can handle long periods without food. However, keep in mind that fasting should never bring harm to your body. So if you are having some negative symptoms consider modifying that last part of your fast by adding some nourishment.

          I hope this helps.

  • Karen says:

    Dear Susan, God bless you on being a shepherd of light to flocks far and wide. As I was reading this your message, my sank a bit because I wanted to join the fast, however, I have not yet had the opportunity to feast on oxtails, since the last fast.
    This is a favorite family dish I prepare as a Sunday meal with family. My plan was to make it this Sunday, so I got disheartened but right away grew enlightened when you wrote that can feast on Sunday during this Lenten fast season.
    God bless you in all you do. What a joy to be in fellowship with other like believers. God is awesome!! I praise Him and thank Him for His Goodness and mercies to me.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Yeah! God is so good. So great that He led you to this message.

      Be blessed, dear one! And happy cooking!

      Susan

    • Yimila says:

      My first time in all my life actually wanting to fast for lent.. With Daniel fast it’s 40 days and only eat on Sunday I’m confused??

      • Susan Gregory says:

        There are 40 days of fasting in Lent. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. The last day of fasting is Easter Eve. That’s 46 days. The tradition is to fast Monday – Saturday and Sunday is not a day of fasting, and instead we celebrate the risen Lord Jesus.

        This is different than the 21-Day Daniel Fast and adapted for those who want to use it as their method of fasting.

        Be blessed

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