What Should You Do if You Quit or Break the Daniel Fast?

By January 13, 2017Daniel Fast 2017

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of posts on Facebook from people who are feeling defeated, guilty and discouraged because they broke their Daniel Fast by giving into the flesh and eating pizza, or a hamburger, or whatever. They gave into their cravings. They gave into their flesh.

The easy response is, “Oh, don’t worry. God knows your heart. Don’t be so hard on yourself.”

And there is a lot of truth in that. At least the part about God knowing your heart . . . and maybe about not being so hard on yourself. But what I see so often is that people just brush off the experience and miss the powerful lessons they can learn and the ways they can grow.

First, if you break the fast by giving into temptation you don’t need to start fasting all over again. I’ll cover more of that later. But just like when we sin, we don’t have to “get saved again,” the same goes with fasting. Continue on the journey and recognize that you detoured from the path. Now it’s time to get back on the road.

And let me also add that God is not going to deny you of His presence or not answer your prayers. You are not fasting so He will love you more or have a better opinion of you! Jesus already took care of making you pure and perfect in God’s eyes. So shake off any of that faulty thinking and know that fasting is not going to make God love you any more or any less!

Your first step to returning to the fast is to have a little meeting with yourself. Let your “wise self” interview that self-driven part of you to find out what happened. Why did you give into temptation? Where you not prepared? And so when you got hungry you caved and ate what was easy and available?

Maybe you are so focused on the food that you feel deprived. You’re not strong in the spirit, and rather weak in the flesh. So when you hear pizza or a hamburger or soda calling your name, you answer by giving in.

Perhaps you start having an internal conversation with yourself that goes something like this, “God knows I love Him. He doesn’t really care about what I eat. So I’ll be okay to change the fast and not give up some of the foods I like.”

The key is to find out why you broke the fast. What was going on? What happened? And what will you do “next time” so you are prepared, strong and able to withstand the temptation. These are valuable lessons you can learn about yourself and your approach to the fast. The thing is, the same reason you broke the fast is probably repeated in other areas of your life. So if you can learn the lesson and develop the muscles of the overcomer, then you are growing and getting stronger in your faith and in your life.

Once you’ve figured out your strategy for being better prepared, get back on the path and continue your spiritual journey. Spend time with the Lord and allow Him to speak to your heart and show you what you can do to stay strong and spiritually fed. Allow Him to fill you with His strength as you nourish your spirit from His Word.

And finally, shake off the disappointment, the guilt, and the discouragement. Wrap yourself in the robe of righteousness that Jesus bought for you on the cross and move on with Him at your side. Be thankful for what you have learned. Continue to learn and grow. And finish the race in joy and success! Remember, it’s not how you start that determines the outcome . . . it’s how you finish. And learning valuable lessons about yourself on the fast is all part of the value of this amazing spiritual discipline.

62 Comments

  • Anne Scholl says:

    Dear Susan, this is very helpful. I have been struggling with food since I was a little girl and and I have gone off my fast a few time. I now see that I have made it all about the food and even though I feel so much better when I do the Daniel fast, in times of anxieties I turn back to my comfort food and then feel ashamed and I am guilt driven.
    Now I truly see that it is not and has never been about me. I have studied Daniel and his reverence for God is evident when he chose not to defile himself with the Royal food.
    Our congregation is studying idols and now I see that certain foods have become idols in my life and that I have placed more importance on them at times.
    The great news is that God has opened the eyes of my heart and he is showing me that he will never give up on me and that I can come to him and confess my struggles and he has already provided me with his victory.
    I humble myself before my father in Heaven and cry out that I need him to guide me through this time because this is not about success or victory but about reverence to my God. I pray to continue to grow closer to him each and every day.
    Thank you for your ministry.
    May you continue to be blessed.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Praise God. He is so good. And what a blessing to have Him show you how to walk in truth and His light.

      Blessings to you, dear one.

  • Meg Muir says:

    Hi everyone. My husband and I are planning to start a 3 week Daniel fast at the end of this week. We have been on this fast together before and it was like pressing the reset button on our spiritual life. It brought us closer to each other and to God. I remember how well I felt physically, spiritually and emotionally during the fast. We continued eating a slightly modified version of the fast at the end of the 3 weeks. I have never eaten meat since and now eat a plant based diet with oily fish. This fast is therefore for spiritual reasons however every aspect of our lives benefits. It is really encouraging to read so many positive testimonies from those who have been on the fast. I would like to encourage anyone who has had a blip to refocus asap, be gentle with yourself and keep going.

  • Natalie Dale-Duncan says:

    I would like to know if I have broken the fast if I take holy communion at church

  • Pamela says:

    Susan. I have a question about fasting. So my boss and her husband bought everyone a valentine donut. I don’t know whether to eat it or be polite and say I will eat it later. I’m not sure what to do about these type of situations. This is my second year doing the Daniel fast I love it.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Hi Pamela,

      Have you read my book, The Daniel Fast? I cover that situation there using an example of when I was a guest at the home of my son (who is from Ethiopia) and his wife. When I arrived i learned that my daughter-in-law worked for hours preparing a special meal for me. It included lamb. In this case, I pushed the pause button on the fast and ate the lamb. Later that evening she presented me with a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony, which is used to show respect to others – she was showing her respect to me as her mother-in-law. I also partook of the coffee. In both these cases, love was the reason. Then I returned to the fast the very next day when I returned home.

      In your situation, you may be able to forgo the donut with a simple explanation. If you find it would be disrespectful to pass on the food, then use your judgement. Then get right back on board.

  • Arman Smith says:

    I know that we are not suppose to have sugar, but what about food that have sugar, for example 2gm or 5gm of sugar.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Arman,

      If sugar is listed as an ingredient, then it’s not allowed. If the product has sugar listed in the nutritional analysis, then it would be allowed.

      • Natalie Dale-Duncan says:

        This is my first Daniel Fast and I’ve been avoiding all sugar contents both the ingredients and also the nutritional sections. I thank you for the daily devotions as well as the videos. I am fasting and praying for my family and relatives for a breakthrough in our life. I believe and trust God for this breakthrough.

        Natalie

      • Natalie Dale-Duncan says:

        This is my first Daniel Fast and I’ve been avoiding all sugar contents both the ingredients and also the nutritional sections. I thank you for the daily devotions as well as the videos. I am fasting and praying for my family and relatives for a breakthrough in our life. I believe and trust God for this breakthrough.

  • Barbara Reddick says:

    Thanks so much for your devotional during this time of the Daniel’s fast. It was an amazing journey. I was unable to get the book at this time but the devotional and the blogs were very helpful. Again thank you so much!! God bless you!!

  • Olivia says:

    Wow what great inspiration. My church has just started with the Daniel Fasting from Midnight last night. So my first prayer is that God helps me to just get through today and I believe that God will help me to complete my 21 days fasting. I also pray and recognize that Through the 21days I will face a lot of challenges and struggles, However, I will continue to put my trust in God and allow God to continue building my character through the whole experience

  • Len says:

    Hi Susan,
    How are we supposed to transition our diet after the fast if we need to switch back to meals that include meat and fish?

  • Mandirasa says:

    Thank you for the daily devotions ,I Witnessed a Robbery Yesterday! May God continue to us you in teaching us His ways. Stay Blessed

  • Michelle Carrington says:

    Hello Susan. I didn’t start my fast. This is my first time doing the Daniel Fast. Does it have to be January or I can do it whenever?

    • Susan Gregory says:

      You can start the fast any day you desire. The Daniel Fast is a method of fasting and used at various times for groups and individuals.

      Be blessed!

    • Ashley Smith says:

      Hello- I’m starting my very first fast, God has been calling me and I have been running from Him and I don’t know why. He has been so good to me and my family. He has spoken to me and has drawn me closer to Him. I’d rededicating my life to Him and I want to show Him that I love Him and need Him, I’m doing this fast for spiritual uplifting and to be closer with Him.

  • Several times now I have wanted to do the Daniel Fast, the first day I give in to bad foods. I hate it! I know I find comfort in food when it should be Jesus. I have fasted before 3 days with no food just water but yet I struggle with the Daniel Fast. I want to fast to draw closer to Jesus, find comfort in HIM, give up stuff for HIM , have break thru and prayers answered. I am going thru alot of pain God knows. My husband wants a divorce I don’t. It’s been a emotional rollercoaster ride. Please keep me in prayer. Thank you

    • Vernita says:

      Hey I too want to walk a closer walk with God and I do want to do the Daniel Fast I have never done it and I want to know God and I want to know God as I find myself and if you love your husband just continue to pray for him and let God to the rest and keep your head up

  • AmadaMcIntosh says:

    Susan. The highlight of the fast for me has been not to have to focus on complicated menus. Kept it simple and focused instead on time with the Lord. I got really sick. Not sure if it was going cold turkey on caffeine but i ached for a whole week. Sometimes I feel the spiritual battles physically but kept in prayer about the strange pains. Jesus healed me. I have had to adjust my diet bc of present circumstances being away from home but still focused on prayer and time with Jesus. This joyful experience alone will be my main motivation to persevere. Thanks for your encouragement.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Hi Amada,

      Yes, the sickness and pain was very likely caffeine withdrawal. Keep the meals simple so they don’t need a lot of time to think about or prepare. You are on you way to a successful time with the Lord.

  • Barb says:

    Day 21 for me! This is my 2nd fast and with the encouragement and suggestions in your book, it has surpassed my expectations. I prayed for my relationship with God to grow stronger as I devoted my thoughts and daily activities to focus around Him first! I selected as one of my “smooth stones” Psalm 139:5 which says, “You hem me in, behind and before, and lay Your hand upon me.” I have imagined myself just that, hemmed in by His presence! He knows my name!!!!!Thank you Susan for this blog and for your book. Abundant Blessings!

  • Jessica says:

    Hi Susan God bless you, I have a question is soychorizo allowed on the fast these are the ingredients it has: Textured soy protein, water, soy oil, distilled vinegar, salt, spices, red pepper

  • Jennifer Valentine says:

    I’m so upset with myself. I’m almost 2 weeks into the fast, day 12. I just slipped up and ate a piece of pizza. My little boy had a stressful event at his dads house and he called me crying so I can pick him up. His dad and dads girlfriend were fighting terribly and he was scared. I bought him pizza. I wasn’t going to have a piece but I caved in. I also called out of work tonight. I’m a nurse and work overnight. I’m stressed. I was doing so good resisting temptation until today. This is my first fast. Please help. What should I do?

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Continue going on the fast. Learn from your mistake so you won’t repeat it. Then put the mistake behind you and move into more great days with the Lord.

  • Gerilyn Harris says:

    I wanted to encourage anyone feeling downtrodden with a testimony of Gods goodness. My husband and I committed to doing a ten day fast that just ended this week. Before the week was over, specific prayers from our time of fasting have already been answered. We asked for a financial shift and this week my husband noticed his paycheck was bigger. His boss forgot to mention that he was giving him a significant raise. Prayer answered. And in addition, one of his cases – he’s an attorney – that was nearly dead in the water was revived in a big way. Another prayer answered. My faith has been increased as my intimacy with the Father has increased. I sense Him more closely than before. I’ve even been brought to tears and laughter just sitting with Him this week as He ministers to my heart. He’s so gentle and faithful. He’s given me new insights into scripture that has greatly excited me and drawn me into deeper belief and reliance on Him.

    We saw and felt pushback from the enemy- which encouraged us that even he could sense God moving! We are eager to see what else God has in store for us. Stay the course! The Lord loves our sacrifices.

  • Samantha G. says:

    Question: How do people usually do the Daniel diet? I have some friends that do it for the week our church has prayer and fasting. I know I read a little about the Weight lost and healthy part but to be honest. So do some do a version of the diet constantly or have a few “cheat days” (as a friend likes to say) or free days?

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Most people use the Daniel Fast for 21 consecutive days. No “cheat days.” And it’s not a diet. It’s a spiritual fast. The focus is time with God and not with food. πŸ™‚

  • Hi Susan, So far during the Daniel Fast I find myself falling for the temptations of the flesh. However, after reading your article, I felt gods presence fall upon me with patience, grace, and a peace of mind. Thank you for inspiring me and other christians who’re currently going the Daniel Fast.

  • Lisa says:

    God is so amazing!! I started my fast a little later so I am on day 9. I have never done a fast for this long before now, and I have had strength that is clearly not my own. God has been with me every second.

    Susan, I am so thankful for you and for everything you have done and continue to do to help so many people deepen their faith and change their lives. Thank you for being so grounded in God’s Word that you were able to set aside any fear or doubt you may have had, and answering His call. I look so forward to your lessons every day; they are powerful, uplifting and encouraging, and absolutely necessary on this journey. This dedicated time with our Heavenly Father is what gets us through and forever changes our hearts. You truly are a blessing.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Praise God, Lisa! Our God is so good. I am delighted for you and your great experience on the fast.

      Be blessed!

  • brendetta says:

    Hello everyone out there that are really children of God by doing this fast. I need advice I’ve seem to have caught a cold while doing my fast what can I do to knock it out without any man made chemicals going in my body(or is it in the book I have)!I bought halls intense cool drops.to dissolve in my mouth throughtout the day but as we know its sugar n them I dont absolutely dont want to break my fast ive come to far HELP!!!

  • Kamara says:

    This is amazing! I recently became sick and i ended up eating crackers and rice. I feel terrible because I really want to do the fast the right way.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Start again! Repent means “to change the way you think or to change direction.” So repent and get back on board!

      Be blessed!

  • Pablo says:

    I caught a fever my 4th day into the Fast. Thought I was under some sort of attack, but the flu/common cold has been going around where I live (Seattle). However, I have been resting and taking meds since, starting to feel a lot better. I still have that hunger to deepen my relationship with Jesus and know his will through extended prayer and fasting. Pray for me as I will for you too as we Let go and Let God..

  • Susie says:

    Is coconut oil allowed on the fast? Unsweetened coconut milk for cereal or smoothies?

  • Lindie says:

    Thank you guys I was filling guilty because I tried but failed now .Keep encouraging us we need this .Thanks again God bless

  • Gwendolyn R says:

    Thanks for those encouraging words Brendetta, I too have gone through some struggles as well, God is so good- He knows our hearts and he knows what we need before we asked – He works on his time, not ours – I am learning to be patient and wait on the Lord to answer my prayers – Like he has done so many times before – I have started the 21 days Daniel Fast and I feel blessed and wonderful – I feel a big burden has been lifted from me since I have started the Fast – Like I previously stated I too am going through some struggles and God is already opening my eyes and blessing me in a way I never thought would happen – I thank God so much for enabling me to do the Fast and not have hunger pangs like the previous fasts – I prepared and prayed to God to really help me in this journey and he has and I know he will continue to do so – Thank you God and thank you Susan for being a woman of God and helping so many people – Thank you and may God bless you always –

  • Leber says:

    Thank you Susan for this teaching it gives a new prospective on the fast,I feel stronger !more discipline ,and I want to win this raise ! I am learning as I go along with every lesson.Deeper understand who I am in Christ Jesus! yes the challenges is there daily,but with Jesus in my boat I can face the storm!!

  • Margaret says:

    I feel absolutely terrible that I caved into my fleshy temptations. I am on day 14 of my 21 day fast and I am single. I am fasting to help break soul ties along with other areas and today I gave in and had sex with my ex. I repented and asked the Lord to forgive me but I committed and separated myself. As far as eating, i have done very well so i know i have the discipline. I think I know what went wrong… I have been reading my bible every night but haven’t been seeking God’s face to allow him to help me.

  • Robin says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts because thats what we need

  • brendetta says:

    This is my first time doing a 21 day fast for the New year. I want this year to be different than the past years with my walk with our lord.I want to draw closer to him&get some unanswered prayers answered through my life I had many struggles&felt so alone but I know God is available.I want&desireeBay some breakthroughs n my life for the season im in.since starting the New year fast God has been speaking to me especially at night.I have the book daniel fast I love the chili,zoom cereal&many others i have more energy,what I love is that n the book I can take my multivitamins which is a blessing.I do daycare for my granddaughter and thought theres no way I can do this without caffeine but with God&me drawing strength from within or my inner man I can.thanks susan ive had your book for alittle over a year&finally made up my mind im going to use it&do it.im excited about what God is going to do or show speak tp me as I stay commited&devoted set apart to him with my eating.ive had weight issues all my life this is working.I encourage any Born again person or jesus believers to get the book&attempt to try it if your like me who have prayed&want breakthroughs n your life&feel like God is not answering fed up&tired&going through another year with the same prayers not being answred.try the New year or anytime submitting to GOD.I pray to continue on for the next 15 days God bless you Susan you are a soldier in Gods army

  • Stephanie Williams says:

    Thank you for this reminder

  • D says:

    Thank you needed this

  • Eviee says:

    So glad i found this page.. thank u

  • I have another method. When I go off the Fast by eating something not allowed, I don’t break the Fast or feel guilty. I pray and for every mistake I add 1 day to the Fast. Next time I think twice about eating that. 2 mistakes 2 more days.

    Never guilty. I pay my dues.

  • Monica Walker says:

    Thank God for you, I was really staring to feel as if I was giving up until I read this,I told myself not to feel bad cause I did try,and the part about learning from your break will help u the next time u fast,awesome, I was thinking that,fasting is a mental thing ,u have to be ready ,prepare yourself and when the time come you’ll be ready ,you’ll know what to do and how to handle it when Hunger accrue lol y’all be blessed and let’s get back on the journey sooner,God bless😘

  • Lisinda says:

    Thank you for that positive motivation.God bless you

  • Susan Taylor says:

    Thank you….day 5 I am still holding strong….question. It’s the weekend and I am off…I refrain from watching tv and going on Facebook all week. I have some recorded tv show is it ok to watch it after my prayer on the weekend?

    • Susan Gregory says:

      That’s up to you, Susan.

      Abstaining from television, Facebook, and other activities is not required on the Daniel Fast. However, may people add this element to their fast so they can focus more of the attention on God. Also, a great way to settle and be quiet before the Lord.

  • DENISE BREWER says:

    Thank you for these words of wisdom. Just what I needed today πŸ™‚ God bless

  • Michelle says:

    Amen! Thank you for the wisdom and Godly counsel!

  • Ruth says:

    So true, thank you for those encouraging words! God bless you! ❀️

    • Phyllis Brooks says:

      Thank you for the good words and the encouragement. I have been on the fast for 12 days. I talked to my pastor and told next year we need to have class on the fast. People need to prepare for this and have the right food at hand not waking up on the first day with nothing good in the house.

      Once again, Thank you.

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