Bible verses about fasting illuminate its significance in our Christian life and how it enhances our walk with God.
What is Fasting?
In Christian life, fasting is a significant spiritual discipline. It’s not just about giving up food. It’s a way to deepen our connection with God. This practice goes against the grain in a society focused on physical satisfaction. But for us, it’s about seeking something deeper with God.
Fasting is both giving up and gaining. It helps us look beyond our daily struggles and address our inner weaknesses. Through fasting, we show our deep desire for more of God’s presence, recognizing that He alone can truly satisfy us.
The Bible frequently mentions fasting. Figures like Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, and Jehoshaphat fasted in critical times. Jesus also fasted for 40 days, teaching that fasting is expected from His followers and that God values this discipline.
Today, fasting remains crucial for our spiritual growth. It’s a practice for overcoming challenges, seeking God’s direction, expressing repentance, or showing our love for God. Fasting isn’t just skipping meals. It involves prayer, meditation, and sometimes, acts of charity.
Bible Verses about Fasting
These 20 Bible verses about fasting guide us in understanding its spiritual importance. They highlight fasting’s role in deepening our faith and aligning our hearts with God’s will.
- Matthew 6:16-18
“Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”
- Isaiah 58:6-7
“Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?”
- Joel 2:12
“Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:”
- Nehemiah 1:4
“And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,”
- Daniel 9:3
“And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:”
- Acts 13:2-3
“As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.”
- Luke 4:2
“Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.”
- Matthew 4:1-2
“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.”
- Acts 14:23
“And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.”
- Esther 4:16
“Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.”
- Psalm 35:13
“But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.”
- Ezra 8:21-23
“Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance. For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him. So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.”
- 1 Kings 21:27
“And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly.”
- 2 Samuel 12:16-17
“David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them.”
- 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.”
- Jonah 3:5-10
“So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.”
- Luke 2:37
“And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.”
- Daniel 10:3
“I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.”
- Acts 9:9
“And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.”
- 2 Chronicles 20:3-4
“And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.”