Monday, January 2, 2012

Book Review: Usable Fasting Guide

     A big thanks goes to Tyndale Publishers for sending a complimentary copy of The Daniel Fast: Feed Your Soul, Strengthen Your Spirit, and Renew Your Body in exchange for an honest review.  Susan Gregory, The Daniel Fast Blogger, has written an amazing guide that will help the reader fast according to the standards that Daniel of the Bible followed. Gregory emphasizes that fasting is not a diet, though physical benefits may abound. Fasting is always a means to draw nearer to our heavenly Father. The participant draws on God's strength and love as they battle their physical nature during the fast, resulting in a greater handle on self-discipline, one of the fruits that eludes many followers.
     In The Daniel Fast I gained a greater appreciation for fasting as an ancient discipline that was once widely practiced in times past for the benefit of one's entire being. From the Old Testament to the New Testament many fasts were mentioned from Esther to Jesus. Daniel requested only pulse (foods from seed) and water while in the king's service. To the amazement of some, Daniel and his friends were healthier than their counterparts ten days later. Gregory not only supplies more information on Daniel and his fast, but supplies over one hundred pages of recipes in the second half of the book. I must say, from reviewing the recipes they look very appetizing. So, for you food-aficionados, lay your fears to rest.
     I was very impressed with the breadth of helpful information to begin a fast, as well as what the process during consists of. Gregory lists 5 Ps to utilize for a successful fast: pray, plan, prepare, participate and praise and process. Fasting can seem intimidating, but when an author has conquered a feared-discipline, it really takes the fear away, opening the door for many hearts to join in the ancient discipline. I am excited to fast. The guesswork and legwork is taken away for the reader, it allows more room for the heart to be prepared and open to His voice. Your experience will only be as deep as you make it to be. If you put your heart and soul into seeking the Lord, you will find Him there. Gregory only is advising what steps can be taken, as a fast will be different for everyone. It's not a prescription for a deeper faith, but it can be used as a means.
     This fast is mapped out to be 21 days long. However, it can be shortened or lengthened dependent to the user's desire and/or the Spirit's. I would advise reading this book twice before setting out on your journey, if you're new to fasting. The Daniel Fast is a user-friendly tool that can be perused and counted as a great helper. In the back, Susan Gregory did the reader an awesome service by including a 21-day devotional to accompany you on your journey. Happy and fruitful fasting!

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