What does the Bible say about fasting and prayer?
There is no such thing as a fast without prayer. A fast without prayer is just going hungry and you’re accomplishing nothing at all. While fasting is not necessary for salvation it is essential on your Christian walk of faith and highly recommended. In fact, Jesus expects us to fast.
Fasting will help you have a more intimate relationship with Christ. It will help you to overcome sin, bad habits, and help open your eyes to things that are displeasing to God in your life. Fasting and prayer is a time to separate yourself from your regular patterns and from things of the world and come closer to the Lord.
There are so many benefits and reasons for fasting and so many ways to do it. Find out the best way for you. Find out the reason for your fasting and how long you plan on doing it for.
I challenge you today to fast. Don’t do it to try to brag and appear spiritual. Make sure your motives are right and do it for the glory of God. Humble yourself before the Lord and commit to Him.
Christian quotes about fasting
“Fasting helps express, deepens, confirms the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves, to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God.” Andrew Murray
“By fasting, the body learns to obey the soul; by praying the soul learns to command the body.” William Secker
“Fasting restrains our physical pleasure, but it enhances our spiritual pleasure. Our greatest pleasure comes by feasting on the person of Jesus. “
“Fasting reduces the influence of our self-will and invites the Holy Spirit to do more intense work in us.”
“Christian fasting, at its root, is the hunger of a homesickness for God.”
“Prayer is reaching out after the unseen; fasting is letting go of all that is seen and temporal. Fasting helps express, deepen, confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God.” Andrew Murray
“Fasting is abstaining from anything that hinders prayer.” Andrew Bonar
Fasting in the biblical sense is choosing not to partake of food because your spiritual hunger is so deep, you determination in intercession so intense, or your spiritual warfare so demanding that you have temporarily set aside even fleshly needs to give yourself to prayer and meditation.” Wesley Duewel
“That’s what I think fasting is at heart. It’s an intensification of prayer. It’s a physical explanation point at the end of the sentence, “We hunger for you to come in power.” It’s a cry with your body, “I really mean it, Lord! This much, I hunger for you.” John Piper
Fasting and God’s intervention
1. 2 Samuel 12:16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground.
Repentance and fasting
2. 1 Samuel 7:6 When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the LORD. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the LORD.” Now Samuel was serving as leader of Israel at Mizpah.
3. Daniel 9:3-5 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed: “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws.”
4. Joel 2:12-13 “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
5. Jonah 3:5-9 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”
Fasting for guidance and direction
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.
Fasting as a form of worship
8. Luke 2:37 Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer.
Strengthening your prayers through fasting
9. Matthew 17:20-21 And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
10. Ezra 8:23 So we fasted and earnestly prayed that our God would take care of us, and he heard our prayer.
Fasting in mourning
11. 2 Samuel 1:12 They mourned and wept and fasted all day for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the LORD’s army and the nation of Israel, because they had died by the sword that day.
12. Nehemiah 1:4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
13. Psalm 69:10 When I wept and humbled my soul with fasting, it became my reproach.
Others ways to fast
14. 1 Corinthians 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
Fasting is an express of humility
15. Psalm 35:13-14 Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth and humbled myself with fasting. When my prayers returned to me unanswered, I went about mourning as though for my friend or brother. I bowed my head in grief as though weeping for my mother.
16. 1 Kings 21:25-27 (There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the Lord drove out before Israel.) When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly.
Don’t 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 people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or 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 God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.