Fasting has been a powerful step towards God in times of trouble. Both the New and Old Testaments recorded how the Jews and Christians sorted to this religious practice. And Here are several Bible verses about fasting to inspire, teach and encourage you to make it part of your spiritual life.
Are you looking for Bible verses about fasting? If the answer is “Yes” then welcome to the right place. If you also need more encouragement for fasting and prayers, then this piece of content will be of great help to you.
Fasting has been a spiritual practice from the ancient days to our modern generation. It cuts across different nations and religions.
In this context, I will share with you Bible verses about fasting and how these can motivate every child of God through the power of our Lord Christ Jesus. Fasting is often practiced in times of sorrow, and affliction.
With this, people choose to suspend the cravings of hunger to focus on their spiritual nourishment. There are exceptional fasting incidents recorded in the Bible (miraculous ); Moses’ forty days’ fast, like that of Elijah and our Lord Jesus Christ – Deuteronomy 9:9; 1 Kings 19:8; Matthew 4:2.
In this post, I have categorized these Bible verses about fasting into two sections, And that is the “Old Testament” and the “New Testament.”
Bear in mind that fasting has a lot of spiritual benefits. It was a common practice among the Israelites in the days of both the Old and New Testaments.
There hasn’t been any significant change today. People went without food or drink for a period of time. This helps to show dependence, humility, or sorrow in the sight of God.
The Jews often had recourse to this practice, when they needed to humble themselves before God, confess their sins, and deprecate his displeasure, Especially in times of public calamity, they appointed extraordinary fasts and made even the children at the breast fast.
What is Fasting In The Bible?
It’s a religious practice in which believers set aside an occasion to go without food and water. With this, they confess their sins, show repentance and seek God’s help and favor in times of difficulties.
Fasting Verses From The Old Testament
According to Jewish custom, they observe their fasting at sunset and remained without food until the same hour the next day.
1. “I called for a fast there by the Ahava Canal, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and seek from him a safe journey for us, our children, and all our property.” (Ezra 8:21)
2. “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It is to be a holy assembly for you, and you must humble yourselves and present a gift to the LORD.” (Leviticus 23:27)
3. “The LORD who rules over all says, ‘The fast of the fourth, fifth, seventh, and tenth months will become joyful and happy, pleasant feasts for the house of Judah, so love truth and peace.’” (Zechariah 8:19)
4. “So all the Israelites, the whole army, went up to Bethel. They wept and sat there before the LORD; they did not eat anything that day until evening. They offered up burnt sacrifices and tokens of peace to the LORD.” (Judges 20:26)
5. “After they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the LORD. They fasted on that day, and they confessed there, “We have sinned against the LORD.” So Samuel led the people of Israel at Mizpah.” (1 Samuel 7:6)
6. “Then David prayed to God for the child and fasted. He would even go and spend the night lying on the ground.” (2 Samuel 12:16)
7. “On the twenty-fourth day of this same month the Israelites assembled; they were fasting and wearing sackcloth, their heads covered with dust. Those truly of Israelite descent separated from all the foreigners, standing and confessing their sins and the iniquities of their ancestors.” (Nehemiah 9:1 – 2)
8. “So he got up and ate and drank. That meal gave him the strength to travel forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.” (1 Kings 19:8)
9. “All the people living in Jerusalem and all the people who came into Jerusalem from the towns of Judah came to observe a fast before the LORD. The fast took place in the ninth month of the fifth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling over Judah.” (Jeremiah 36:9)
10. “Yet even now,” the LORD says, “return to me with all your heart – with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Tear your hearts, not just your garments!” (Joel 2:12)
11. “Blow the trumpet in Zion. Announce a holy fast; proclaim a sacred assembly! Gather the people; sanctify an assembly! Gather the elders; gather the children and the nursing infants. Let the bridegroom come out from his bedroom and the bride from her private quarters.” (Joel 2:15 – 16)
12. “In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three whole weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine came to my lips, nor did I anoint myself with oil until the end of those three weeks.” (Daniel 10:2 – 3)
13. “Jehoshaphat was afraid, so he decided to seek the LORD’s advice. He decreed that all Judah should observe a fast. The people of Judah assembled to ask for the LORD’s help; they came from all the cities of Judah to ask for the LORD’s help.” (2 Chronicles 20:3 – 4)
14. “… “The good hand of our God is on everyone who is seeking him, but his great anger is against everyone who forsakes him. So we fasted and prayed to our God about this, and he answered us.” (Ezra 8:22 – 23)
15. “They lament, ‘Why don’t you notice when we fast? Why don’t you pay attention when we humble ourselves?’ Look, at the same time you fast, you satisfy your selfish desires, you oppress your workers. Look, your fasting is accompanied by arguments, brawls, and fistfights. Do not fast as you do today, trying to make your voice heard in heaven. Is this really the kind of fasting I want? Do I want a day when people merely humble themselves, bowing their heads like a reed and stretching out on sackcloth and ashes? Is this really what you call a fast, a day that is pleasing to the LORD?” (Isaiah 58:3 – 5)
16. “So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.” (Ezra 8:23)
17. “Moses was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments.” (Exodus 34:28)
18. “Look, your fasting is accompanied by arguments, brawls, and fistfights. Do not fast as you do today, trying to make your voice heard in heaven.” (Isaiah 58:4)
19. “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?” (Isaiah 58:6)
20. “I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.” (Daniel 10:3)
21. “Throughout each and every province where the king’s edict and law were announced there was considerable mourning among the Jews, along with fasting, weeping, and sorrow. Sackcloth and ashes were characteristic of many.” (Esther 4:3)
22. “Look, your fasting is accompanied by arguments, brawls, and fistfights. Do not fast as you do today, trying to make your voice heard in heaven.” (Isaiah 58:4)
23. “Then David prayed to God for the child and fasted. He would even go and spend the night lying on the ground.” (2 Samuel 12:16)
24. “When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and fasted. He slept in sackcloth and walked around dejected.” (1 Kings 21:27)
25. “All the warriors went and recovered the bodies of Saul and his sons and brought them to Jabesh. They buried their remains under the oak tree in Jabesh and fasted for seven days.” (1 Chronicles 10:12)
26. “Speak to all the people and priests of the land as follows: ‘When you fasted and lamented in the fifth and seventh months through all these seventy years, did you truly fast for me – for me, indeed? And now when you eat and drink, are you not doing so for yourselves?’” (Zechariah 7:5 – 6)
Examples of fasting in the New Testament
When he was about to start his ministry, Jesus spent time in the wilderness with a 40-day fasting. He also encouraged and taught believers to fast. Christians, therefore have no valid excuse not to fast. Here in this section, you will find several Bible verses about fasting from the New Testament.
Remember this, fasting is accompanied by prayer. It becomes a necessity when a Christian faces difficult and unusual problems.
In another sense when making difficult decisions or meeting strong opposition from Satan, fasting and prayers help seek divine intervention from our Lord Christ Jesus through the Holy Spirit (Our Advocate – John 15:26)
27. “Where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.” (Luke 4:2)
28. “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.” (Acts 13:2)
29. “Then, after they had fasted and prayed and placed their hands on them, they sent them off.” (Acts 13:3)
30. “So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.” (Acts 13:3)
31. “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 6:17-18)
32. “Don’t deprive one another, unless it is by consent for a season, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer, and may be together again, that Satan doesn’t tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:5)
33. “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. (Matthew 6:16)
34. “Then they said to him, “John’s disciples frequently fast and pray, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours continue to eat and drink.” So Jesus said to them, “You cannot make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you? But those days are coming, and when the bridegroom is taken from them, at that time they will fast.” (Luke 5:23 – 24)
35. “But this kind doesn’t go out except by prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:21)
“36. She had lived as a widow since then for eighty-four years. She never left the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day” (Luke 2:37)
37. “But I say, live by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. For the flesh has desires that are opposed to the Spirit, and the Spirit has desires that are opposed to the flesh, for these are in opposition to each other, so that you cannot do what you want.” (Galatians 5:16 – 17)
38. “When they had appointed elders for them in the various churches, with prayer and fasting they entrusted them to the protection of the Lord in whom they had believed.” (Acts 14:23)
I believe these Bible verses about fasting have been very helpful to you. The great prophets and all true believers fasted occasionally to nourish their spirits and seek God’s favor and forgiveness so that they can overcome their calamities and destroy all the schemes of the devil.
Don’t tell me fasting is a difficult thing to do (invalid excuse). Learn to crucify the body! When it became a necessity; the people of Nineveh and their animals ate nothing:
“He issued a proclamation and said, “In Nineveh, by the decree of the king and his nobles: No human or animal, cattle or sheep, is to taste anything; they must not eat and they must not drink water.” (Jonah 3:4)
In Joel 2:16, we get to know that in a public calamity, even children and infants were made to fast.
Today, it is necessary for every Christian to pray and fast as often as he can. Do this in sincerity (unlike the Pharisees who were hypocrites) and you will come out with the result you needed.
I strongly believe the above verses about fasting will give you a deeper insight into its importance and why you should imbibe it into your life.
I welcome your comments and contributions. Stay blessed!