Daniel 6:18 (KJV)
Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him.
It is important I think to remember that Darius was not a godly man. He was however a friend of Daniel and likely his practice of fasting would have been learned from Daniel. It is therefore instructive concerning the practice of fasting.
First, this fast was not even a full day
I can imagine a whole night spent without food. Fasting isn’t as much about not eating (though that would certainly be an element) as it is about spirit and purpose.
Second there was no music
The king didn’t make time go by quickly through entertainment. The same drive that prevented eating prevented such entertainment.
Thirdly there was no sleep
The burden of his soul was so powerful it kept him from eating, entertainment, and sleep
My understanding of this fast then is that the primary element is not what was skipped but what it contained, a burden. There was fervency and heartfelt concern.
That sort of fasting (and prayer) is effectual.
To my readers:
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Daniel 6:18 The Sort of Fasting
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