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What The Bible Say About Fasting

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The Time You Have To Focus

HOW TO FAST || What the Bible says about Fasting & Prayer!

Fasting requires intense focus on the reasons for your fast and on listening to God during this period of time. Youll want to clear your calendar of extraneous activities so you can calm your heart and mind as you seek Gods face. Ideally, setting aside specific time in your calendar to focus on prayer and study during your period of fasting will help. Spending an overnight in a location where you can get away from city lights and noise or the distractions of family obligations can increase the effectiveness of the fast.

The Ultimate Guide To Fasting In The Bible

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Have you ever wondered what the Bible says about fasting? Or even the types of fasting in the Bible?

Perhaps youve considered fasting and were curious what the rewards and benefits of a biblical fast were.

Were going to cover all that and more in this post so that you can learn more about fasting in the Bible and how to fast for a spiritual breakthrough.

Dont Fast To Be Seen As Spiritual

17. Matthew 6:17-18 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

18. Luke 18:9-12 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: God, I thank you that I am not like other peoplerobbers, evildoers, adulterersor even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.


19. Luke 18:1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

20. Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

21. Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.

22. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is Gods will for you in Christ Jesus.

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Why You Shouldnt Fast And The Wrong Motivations For Fasting

  • To gain recognition by others. Fasting so that others will say Look at her. She fasts. Shes such a wonderful Christian! is wrong. If others notice that you are fasting, thats fine, but fasting for such recognition is a sin.

that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Matthew 6:18

  • To gain recognition from God. Fasting isnt an act that you do for God. It acknowledging His power and grace and that you are completely dependent on Him.
  • To up the ante in hopes that God will answer your prayers. Heres the thing about this: its fine to fast and pray for something but it is the FAITH, not the fasting, that is in play here. You may choose to fast as part of your focused prayer time, but, fasting, in and of itself is not a fast track to God answering your prayers.

Lets take a look at the four main types of fasting in the Bible, as well as fasts that fall under each main type:

Biblical Examples Of Fasting

What the Bible Says about Fasting
  • One of the most memorable accounts of fasting in the Bible was when Jesus fasted for 40 days to prepare for His battle with Satan and to gain spiritual strength from His Heavenly Father.
  • And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.

    Luke 4:1-3

    2. Jesus expected His disciples to fast, but cautioned them not to do it for the wrong reasons. .

    And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

    Matthew 6:16-18

    3. In Luke 2:36-37, we learn of Anna, described as a righteous woman who She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.

    And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.

    Luke 2:36-37

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    A woman wrote on Twitter during the spree, Memphis followers get in the house and dont stop at any gas stations theres an active shooter shooting people at random

    What Does The Bible Say About Fasting

    Curtis Mitchells article in Bibliotheca Sacra, Vol 147 #588 Oct 1990 answers this question well.

    The Practice of Fasting in the New Testament

    Is religious fasting a legitimate practice for today? If it is, how and why should it be practiced? This article studies each reference to fasting in the New Testament to seek answers to these questions.

    Fasting as Practiced and Taught in the Gospels

    Fasting as Practiced and Taught in the Book of Acts

    Fasting as Practiced and Taught in the Epistles

    Fasting in the Postapostolic Church

    Recommended Reading: What To Have During Fasting

    How Do We Apply These Fasts In The Bible To Our Lives Today

    As the Bible says: Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. 1 Corinthians 10:11 ESV. They are examples, instructions, to strengthen us, encourage us and empower our walk with God. Not just for our comfort, but so that we might be strong in the Lord, in the power of His might and be able to be that Light in the dark, dark world we find ourselves living in.

    Fasting with a right spirit, for the right reasons, truly does get Gods attention. We dont do it to be seen or heard or to make ourselves something we are not. It is all about Jesus, and when the glory goes to Him, we will see the miraculous and be a part of a great and necessary awakening in these last and glorious days until we see the coming of the Lord.

    Which types of fasting in the Bible has impacted you the most? Did you learn about a new one in this article?

    *Related:Get a free copy of our Daniel Fast meal plan when you join our email list.

    This post about the types of Biblical fasting was compiled by our guest contributor, Nannette Elkins, who has served as a pastors wife, missionary, speaker, and teacher. She also authored The Daniel Fast Devotional: A 21 Day Journey of Faith, available on Amazon.

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    Grow In Spiritual Strength

    What Does the Bible Say About Fasting?

    After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

    Matthew 4:2

    Jesus fasted for forty days.

    Forty days.

    Its hard for me to fathom what His body would have felt like during that time.

    Im imagining His human form felt quite weak.

    Yet, He stood strong against the relentless temptation Satan kept shoving in His face.

    He wasnt relying on a protein-filled breakfast or a good night of sleep for his mental sharpness to stand up to the devil.

    He relied completely on Gods strength during His fast.

    Fasting can strengthen us spiritually when we choose to stand on Gods Word in our own human frailty.

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    Ezra And The Israelites Fast For A Safe Journey

    In Ezra 8:21-23, Ezra proclaimed a fast at the river of Ahava for 220 temple servants that they might humble themselves before God and ask Him for wise guidance and a safe journey for them, the children, and all of their possessions. Ezra was embarrassed to ask the king for a bodyguard because he had just told him that God lovingly looks after those who seek Him and turns away in disgust from those who leave Him, so they fasted and prayed that God would take care of them and He listened.

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    Amazing Facts About Number 222

    Biblical number 222 can help us to find the answers that we need â If we put an effort, we will surely find them .

    These answers are not too complicated. In addition, they can help us already lead a meaningful life and have wonderful hope for the future. And in the Bible, Hope is the biggest treasure.

    Now, we must come back to number 2 and its significance in the Bible.

    In total, numeral 2 was used 21 times in Daniel and Revelation.

    As we look at the symbolical meaning that is behind number 2, or triple 2, we will add this also: number 2 in the Bible represents the truth of Godâs Word for example, the Law and the Prophets , two or three witnesses , and a sword sharp on both sides .

    For this cause, take all the weapons of God, that you may be able to defend yourself in the day of evil, and endure all things.

    Hold on, then, covering your thighs with your truth and clothed yourself in the armor of justice, and put your feet in the preparation of the gospel of peace: which you will be able to exterminate all the blasted arrows of the ungodly, and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spiritual which is the word of God. â

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    Why Fast And The Benefits Of Biblical Fasting

    There are many reasons why you might want to practice fasting. All have a focus on creating intimacy with God through recognizing our dependence on Him.

  • Admitting our sin and asking God for forgiveness.
  • 2. Spiritual strength against a spiritual attack by the enemy.

    3. To break free from the bondage of sin or demonic activity. .

    4. To help us hear the voice of God

    5. To focus on prayer and help us pray with the right heart and motivation.

    6. To awaken a spiritual hunger for God.

    7. To allow God to reveal what desires and temptations we have allowed to control us.

    8. To temporarily give up good things to make room for things are even better.

    9. To reveal sin that we might not be actively aware of.

    10. To demonstrate to God that our love and desire for Him is greater than any earthly thing.

    11. To increase our intimacy with Him.

    12. To intervene in prayer on behalf of others.

    13. To ask God for healing for ourselves or others.

  • Fasting gives you more time for prayer. You can use the time youd typically spend eating as time in prayer for what God wants to do in your life. In the Bible, fasting is always connected with prayer.
  • While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off..

    Acts 13:2-3

    So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty..

    Ezra 8:23

    Fasting For Guidance And Direction

    What You Should Know About Fasting in the Bible

    6. Acts 14:23 Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church. With prayer and fasting, they turned the elders over to the care of the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.

    7. Acts 13:2-4 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.

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    Don’t Lose Sight Of Your End Goal

    It may seem harder than it is to say “no” to your stomach once it starts to ask for food. Spiritual discipline during this time is essential, and it will strengthen all areas of your life, whether you see it now or later.

    This is your time to live and breathe prayer and resilience, and to prove to yourself that you are capable of anything if you put your mind to the test.

    Reasons Why You Should Fast

    Both mature and new believers often struggle with fasting, even though they know it’s important. Some are not sure they are doing it “right.” Others avoid it as not sure it is necessary for their walk with God. Dive into the 4 reasons why you should fastâ

  • Fasting nurtures a deeper sense of intimacy with God
  • Fasting exposes weaknesses, compelling us to rely on God
  • Fasting as a form of worship
  • Fasting is a way of asking God to move powerfully in our lives and the world
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    The Bible Says Fasting Leads To Dependence

    Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.

    When we fast, we become more aware of our own desires. We realize how we are controlled by the cravings of our eyes and of our stomachs. Whether we are fasting from food or technology, we see just how highly we regard these good gifts of Gods grace.

    Lets be clear: both food and technology are good gifts of Gods grace. Yet, our dependence and our allegiance belong not to the gifts, but to the Giver.

    To Express Love And Worship For God

    Why and How to Fast | What Does the Bible Say About Fasting?

    Fasting can show, as John Piper says, that what we hunger for most, we worship.

    How should we equip ourselves when God calls us to declare a holy fast? Here are some things to consider as you prepare for fasting:

    Pray and confess your sinsA necessary step before fasting is to humble yourself before God and confess your sins . Prayer should be our sustenance throughout the fast, but it is imperative we begin the fast with a contrite heart.

    Turn to ScriptureSpend additional time meditating on Gods Word, before and during the fast.

    Keep it secretFasting is unbiblical and even spiritually harmful when we do it to show off our spirituality or when we focus more on our own fasting than on the clear needs of others . Dont boast about your fast tell people you wont be eating only if necessary. Fasting should not be done when imposed for false motives .

    Prepare your bodyFasting, especially for days or weeks, can have unexpected and even detrimental effects on your health. There is no scriptural warrant for harming yourself to undergo a fast. Be sure to consult a doctor before starting any fasting regimen to make sure you can fast in a healthy manner.

    Fasting is an appropriate bodily reaction to the grievous state of our soul. If it is done correctly you can expect many results, including growing closer to God, feeling more solidarity with those who suffer, and increasing self-control.

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    The Bible Says Fasting Leads To Humility

    Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods.

    When we fast, we realize our own weaknesses. Fasting helps us to slow down and spend time considering what God called us to do. When we fast, we do not do so in order to maximize productivity or take pride in ourselves. Instead, we fast in order to learn how to grow in humility. Fasting shows us that, far too often, the food on our plates and the phone in our pocket make us think that the answer lies within us.

    What The Bible Says About Spiritual Fasting

    • General Biblical Studies, Interdenominational Christian Training Center

    In the Old Testament, God commanded Israel to observe several designated times of fasting. For New Testament believers, fasting was neither commanded nor forbidden in the Bible. While early Christians were not required to fast, many practiced prayer and fasting regularly.

    Jesus himself affirmed in Luke 5:35 that after his death, fasting would be appropriate for his followers: “The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days” .

    Fasting clearly has a place and a purpose for God’s people today.

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