Fasting…

Fasting and prayer work hand in hand together. You cannot fast without praying – otherwise you will simply be on a hunger strike. The point of fasting is to sacrifice earthly needs in order to focus more on communing with God. Prayer is how we commune with God during this time of fellowship. It is in these times we can receive visions, revelations of God’s Word, and a refreshed assurance in the goodness of God.

Why fast?

1. To strengthen prayer (e.g., see Ezra 8:23)
2. To seek God’s guidance (e.g., see Judges 20:26)
3. To express grief (e.g., see 1 Samuel 31:13)
4. To seek deliverance or protection (e.g., see 2 Chronicles 20:3 – 4)
5. To express repentance and a return to God (e.g., see 1 Samuel 7:6)
6. To humble oneself before God (e.g., see 1 Kings 21:27 – 29)
7. To express concern for the work of God (e.g., see Nehemiah 1:3 – 4)
8. To minister to the needs of others (e.g., see Isaiah 58:3 – 7)
9. To overcome temptation and dedicate yourself to God (e.g., see Matthew 4:1 – 11)
10. To express Love and worship for God (e.g., see Luke 2:37)

Christians who want to pursue a fast will benefit from studying other instances in the Bible where fasting was practiced. To pursue this kind of topical study, a simple internet search will bring up many different resources.

Examples of Fasting in the Bible

Moses in the Book of Exodus

“So he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights. He neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.” ~ Exodus 34:28

Daniel in the Book of Daniel

“I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks.” ~ Daniel 10:3 ESV

David in the Book of 2 Samuel

“And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son and for the people of the LORD and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.” ~ 2 Samuel 1:12 ESV

John the Baptist in the Book of Matthew

“Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.” Matthew 3:4 ESV

Jesus Christ in the Book of Luke

“And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into 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.’ And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.” ~ Luke 4:1-4 ESV

The Early Church in the Book of Acts

“Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshipping 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 13:1-3 ESV

How to Fast According to Scripture

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 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.” ~ Matthew 6:16-18

“Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, ‘Why do we and the Pharisee fast, but your disciples do not fast?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.” ~ Matthew 9:14-17

Bible Verses on the Importance of Fasting

Return to the Lord

“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.” ~ Joel 2:12-13

“When I wept and humbled my soul with fasting, it became my reproach.” ~ Psalm 69:10

“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?” ~ Isaiah 58:6

“Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” ~ 1 Corinthians 7:5

“But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” ~ Matthew 4:4

“So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.” ~ Ezra 8:23

Published by Fellowship of Praise: ALL praise to God our Reason, Hallelujah!!!

To God be The glory. Let us praise God together for His ALL in our lives, Amen.

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