The Daniel Fast

Dec 29, 2018

Blog Praying And Fasting

As 2019 gets underway, Pastor Gregg Matte is inviting the Houston's First family to pray and fast on behalf of our church and our personal lives, as well. Read ahead to learn about when to fast in January, what to pray for, and fasting in general — as well as helpful resources.

Yes! I plan to fast this January.

What is fasting?

For Christians, fasting is the act of giving up something (food, drink, entertainment, etc.) for a certain period of time in order to increase our attention on God and what He has to say. There are more than 70 references to fasting in the Bible, and among those who fasted in the Bible are Moses, Elijah, Esther, Ezra, Job, David, Daniel, Peter, Paul — and even Jesus.

Many people equate "fasting" with simply "not eating" — but there are several different types of fasts. A Daniel Fast, for example, is considered a partial fast, allowing you to consume certain types of food and drink (PDF). The fast is based on one that Daniel followed:

  • Daniel 1:12 — "Please test your servants for 10 days. Let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink."
  • Daniel 10:1-2 — "In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a message was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar. The message was true and was about a great conflict. He understood the message and had understanding of the vision. In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three full weeks."

Fasting is letting go of a physical need for a spiritual plea.

— Pastor Gregg Matte


While the staff and deacons participate in a Daniel Fast the week of Jan 7-11, Pastor Gregg invites you to participate in a fast on any dates of your choosing in January. In particular, he suggests three options as you consider how you will join in on the fast this month:

  • Follow the Daniel Fast for 5 days or longer
  • Fast at least one day in January
  • Fast at least one meal in January

What To Eat

The Daniel Fast is a partial fast, allowing you to eat a wide variety of foods. You can find a list of food and drinks that comply with the fast here. Essentially, you can eat:

  • All fruits
  • All vegetables
  • All whole grains
  • All nuts and seeds
  • All legumes
  • All quality oils

Prayer Guide

During your fast — whether for one meal or longer — join with Pastor Gregg, staff members, and deacons as we pray for our personal lives and our church. Pastor Gregg and the others followed this prayer guide during their five-day fast. We invite the church family to pray for these, as well, during your fast — whenever and for however long that might be!

Day 1

  • Your walk with Jesus Christ — for example, pray for stronger faith, a consistent devotional time, deeper trust in God
  • Gathering Our Hearts — for example, pray for power in our worship services, for God to use our events to reach people

Day 2

  • Your friends and family — for example, pray for relationships to be strengthened, for forgiveness to be extended and received, for health and security
  • Growing Our Souls — for example, pray for spiritual growth and strong community in our Life Bible Studies, for spiritual growth in our Milestones classes

Day 3

  • Your school or workplace — for example, pray for your classmates or coworkers who do not know Jesus, for opportunities to share the Gospel, for fellow believers to be united
  • Giving Our Lives — for example, pray for our many volunteers, our 2019 mission trips, our prayer ministry, our Faith Centers

Day 4

  • Your impact — for example, pray for someone to share Jesus with, for a place to serve regularly, for increased generosity in attention, resources, and time
  • Multisite Campuses — for example, pray for our Cypress, Downtown, Español, and Sienna Campuses to reach more people in their respective communities in 2019

Day 5

  • Your worries and anxieties — for example, voice your concerns to God, give them over to Him, trust that Jesus will carry them
  • Our Missionaries — for example, pray for boldness to share the Gospel, for strategic relationships in their communities, for health and safety


These resources were compiled by Houston's First staff members and other contributors to help you and your family if you opt to follow a Daniel Fast:

  • List of foods to include and avoid on the Daniel Fast (download PDF)
  • The Daniel Fast board on Houston's First's Pinterest page (visit board)

The following external resources are not associated with Houston's First, but they might provide you with additional information and ideas — especially recipes! Some of these websites reference registering for a Daniel Fast in January, but those are separate from the one we're doing at Houston's First.


Finally, CornerBooks at The Loop Campus has books to borrow if you want to learn even more. These titles are available to borrow for free using your CornerBooks library card. If you do not already have a card, fill out this form to gain access to over 14,000 titles in their collection! (Each title's call number is provided in parentheses so you can locate it on the shelves, but don't hesitate to ask a CornerBooks staff member or volunteer for assistance if needed!)

You can search CornerBooks' entire collection online for other books related to fasting, prayer — or any topic you have in mind — by visiting their online search tool.


Legacy 685: Support for Foster and Adoptive Families

Welcome, Clark Reynolds!

Come Celebrate Easter!

Protecting Your Children

Sundays Are GROWING

Fitting Together

Giving Thanks by Giving Back

Engaging Your Neighbors

Welcome Mark Cox

Legacy 685: Support for Foster and Adoptive Families

Welcome, Clark Reynolds!

Come Celebrate Easter!