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21-Day Fast Information

Below, you'll find information regarding fasting in general, the Daniel fast specifically, as well as a Bible study tool called S.O.A.P. This information can also be found in print form in the Blue Room at church. We're so excited for this season and all the wonderful things God has in store for our church and in your lives personally. 

We love you,

-RSC Staff



The goal of fasting is to draw nearer to God. Biblical fasting always has to do with eliminating distractions for a spiritual purpose; it hits the reset button of our souls and renews us from the inside out. It also enables us to celebrate the goodness and mercy of God and prepares our hearts for all the good things God desires to bring into our lives. Remember, your personal fast should present a level of challenge, but it is very important to know your body, your options, and most importantly, to seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do.


At Riverside Church, we encourage fasting for 21 days each year in the month of January. This is part of a season of focused prayer as a church family. You may also choose to fast at other times during the year. You could fast a single meal, a whole day, or several days. The timing of your fast is not as important as the strength of your focus on Him as you fast.


  1. Matthew 6:16-18
  2. Matthew 9:14-15
  3. Luke 18:9-14
  4. Acts 27:33-37
  5. Nehemiah 9:1-3


This fast calls for drinking only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.


This type of fast involves removing certain elements from your diet. One example of a selective fast is the Daniel Fast, during which you remove meat, sweets, and bread from your diet and consume water and juice for fluids and fruits and vegetables for food.


This fast is sometimes called the Jewish Fast and involves abstaining from eating any type of food in the morning and afternoon. This can either correlate to specific times of the day, such as 6:00 am to 3:00 pm, or from sunup to sundown.


This fast is common for those who do not have much experience fasting food, who have health issues that prevent them from fasting food, or who wish to refocus certain areas of their lives that are out of balance. For instance, someone might select to abstain from using social media or watching television for the duration of the fast.


Daniel Fast FAQs

How Do I Get Started?

Pray and Be Specific

Ask God to show you what the purpose of your fast will be.

  1. Identify the kind of fast you want to do
  2. Identify specific prayer targets
  3. Identify a length of time you will fast
  4. Plan your meals and go shopping

What Can I Eat?

You will find some variations to this list, so use your discretion. 

All fruits. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, or canned. Fruits include but are not limited to apples, bananas, all berries, grapefruit, grapes, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, peaches, pears, pineapples.

All vegetables. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, or canned. Vegetables include but are not limited to asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, corn, cucumbers, garlic, kale, lettuce, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini.

All whole grains, including but not limited to whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas.

All nuts and seeds, including but not limited to sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, almonds. Also nut butters including peanut butter.

All legumes, including but not limited to pinto beans, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, white beans.

All quality oils, including but not limited to olive, canola, grape seed, peanut, and sesame. 

Beverages: spring water, distilled water, or other pure waters.
Other: tofu, soy products, vinegar, seasonings, natural sea salt, herbs, and spices.

What Can I NOT Eat

All meat and animal products, including but not limited to beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and fish. 

All dairy products, including but not limited to milk, cheese, cream, butter, and eggs.

All sweeteners, including but not limited to sugar, raw sugar, syrups, molasses, and cane juice.

All leavened bread and baked goods.

All refined and processed food products, including but not limited to artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour, and foods that contain artificial preservatives.

All deep-fried foods, including but not limited to potato chips, French fries, corn chips. All solid fats including shortening, margarine, lard, and foods high in fat.

Beverages (besides water and fruit), including but not limited to coffee, tea, herbal teas, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol.


Why Do I Feel Sick?

During the Daniel Fast, many people experience a physical detox during the first few days of the fast including headaches, fatigue, leg cramps, and other typical symptoms.

You can reduce these effects by weaning yourself from these foods before the fast begins and also by drinking at least 1/2 gallon of filtered water each day before, during, and after the fasting period.

Anytime you have concern about symptoms you may experience, be sure to contact your health care provider. Fasting should never be harmful to the body!


For More Information, Check Out These Resources:





S. O. A. P.
Bible Study Guide                       

S.O.A.P. is an acronym describing an approach to reading the Word of God. This simple guide will help you discover a refreshing way to make your daily reading more personal and meaningful.

Select a section to read today. While you are reading carefully, select a passage that stands out to you. Write it down in your journal under the letter “S.”

What do you think God is saying to you in this passage? Summarize it in your own words and write it in your journal under the letter “O.”

How can you apply this insight to things you are dealing with right now in your life? Write your thoughts in your journal under the letter “A.”

Talk to God about insights and understanding. Ask Him questions and listen for His guidance in making His Word real in your life. Write your prayer in your journal under the letter “P.”

Don’t Forget:
1. Bible

2. Journal

3. Pen

Tips and Suggestions:

  • Set aside time each day to explore and discover God’s Word. There is no perfect time of day or length of time. Sort out what works for you and be flexible.
  • Practice clearing your mind when you start and listen for God’s voice as you  read. 
  • Set up time without interruptions. Just like an appointment with a friend, this time should be reserved for you and God alone.
  • Distractions will come. Be ready to redirect your mind as you practice digging deeper into God’s Word.
  • Start with a reasonable amount of time and make a goal to be consistent. You will get out of it what you put into it.
  • If you get off track, jump back in quickly. Don’t let an off day turn into an off week. Try again!

November Series: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

November Series: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

"How do you see yourself? A masterpiece or a mess? Survivor or struggler? Advocate or critic? Getting perspective on how God sees you might give you a new view of yourself."

Join us this Sunday at 9 or 11 a.m.


Podcast Now on iTunes

We are excited to announce that our podcast is now available on iTunes (in addition to SoundCloud, where it's been for the past year).


Follow on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/riverside-church/id1050053103?mt=2

Follow on SoundCloud: http://www.soundcloud.com/rschurchtn

Church Bonfire

Hamburgers, hotdogs, salad, chips, s'mores...

Games, activities, and a game show...

...and a GREAT time with our church family! We hope you'll join us!


OCTOBER SERIES: "Those" People

The negative neighbor. The critical co-worker. The manipulative family member. We all have difficult people in our lives. Let’s learn how we can live with—and show love to—Those People.



From This Day Forward: Adding Week 6 (Q&A)

This has been such a great series from Pastor Randy and we've decided to extend it for one more week. Sunday, September 20th, we will be hosting a marriage Q&A where questions submitted from our congregation will be directly addressed. If you missed your chance to turn in a question at church yesterday, you can fill out this form online to send it in.

Your information is, of course, completely confidential and your questions will be kept anonymous. 

Online Question Submission Form

Have a great week. We'll see you Sunday!

Refuel: Worship, Praise, & Prayer - August 23rd

Don't forget about Refuel this coming Sunday evening, August 23rd, at 6 p.m. for a great time in the presence of God! 

Childcare will be available for Kindergarten and under.

Plastic sacks needed for Mobile Food Pantry Event!

Riverside Church,

Our Mobile Food Pantry is almost here! Last time we received a lot of produce and to be ready this time around we are asking that everyone brings in plastic sacks to package up the produce. If you have that pile or stock of plastic sacks from Walmart, Publix, Kroger or whatever fine establishment you get them from please bring them with you this Saturday. Thanks for making this outreach a success!


From This Day Forward - New Marriage Series

Coming this month, a new series from Pastor Randy called From This Day Forward. At Riverside Church, we are tired of seeing marriages destroyed. We're fighting for marriage, and we want you to join us!

Invite your friends and loved ones, because they need to hear this too. We have invitations available in the lobby that you can hand out and get people here to hear the Word on Pastor's heart. He'll be covering five commitments to fail proof your marriage. 

Series begins August 16th and will run for five weeks.


Girlfriends Night!

Calling all ladies! Girlfriends Night will be Sunday, August 16th at 6 p.m., right here at Riverside Church. Please bring a Mexican food dish to share. 

This event is for ages 16 and up. We provide childcare for single moms and wives of deployed military. See you then!