Fasting is a practice that is often associated with religious traditions, including Christianity. It involves abstaining from food or certain types of food for a specific period of time as a way to connect with God. Fasting is a powerful spiritual discipline that has been practiced by Christians throughout history as a way to deepen their faith and gain clarity and direction from God.
The Bible contains numerous examples of fasting, with some of the most prominent figures in the Bible, including Moses, David, Elijah, Esther, and Jesus, all engaging in this spiritual practice. Through these examples and various Bible verses on fasting, Christians can gain a better understanding of what fasting entails and how it can be used to strengthen their relationship with God.
In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in fasting as a spiritual discipline among Christians. While some people choose to fast for personal reasons, many Christians are now incorporating fasting into their church services, small group meetings, and personal devotional time as a way to draw closer to God and experience spiritual growth. This list of 25 Bible verses about fasting from the New King James Version (NKJV) provides a valuable resource for Christians who are seeking guidance and inspiration as they embark on their fasting journey.
Bible Verses About Fasting
- Matthew 6:16-18 – “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
- Isaiah 58:6 – “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?”
- Joel 2:12 – “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”
- Acts 13:2-3 – “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.”
- Ezra 8:23 – “So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.”
- Matthew 4:1-2 – “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.”
- Psalm 35:13 – “But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting; and my prayer would return to my own heart.”
- Esther 4:16 – “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”
- 1 Kings 21:27 – “So it was, when Ahab heard those words, that he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his body, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about mourning.”
- 2 Chronicles 20:3 – “And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.”
- Nehemiah 1:4 – “So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.”
- Joel 1:14 – “Consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly; gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord.”
- Luke 2:37 – “and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.”
- Matthew 17:21 – “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
- Acts 14:23 – “So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.”
- Jeremiah 36:9 – “Now it came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, in the ninth month, that they proclaimed a fast before the Lord to all the people in Jerusalem and to all the people who came from the cities of Judah to Jerusalem.”
- Daniel 9:3 – “Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.”
- Acts 10:30 – “So Cornelius said, “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing.”
- 1 Samuel 7:6 – “So they gathered together at Mizpah, drew water, and poured it out before the Lord. And they fasted that day, and said there, “We have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the children of Israel at Mizpah.”
- Matthew 9:14-15 – “Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.”
- Luke 18:12 – “I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.”
- Ezra 10:6 – “Then Ezra rose up from before the house of God, and went into the chamber of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib; and when he came there, he ate no bread and drank no water, for he mourned because of the guilt of those from the captivity.”
- 2 Samuel 12:16 – “David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground.”
- Jonah 3:5 – “So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.”
- Acts 27:33-34 – “And as day was about to dawn, Paul implored them all to take food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day you have waited and continued without food, and eaten nothing.”
In conclusion, the Bible contains numerous verses about fasting that emphasize its importance as a spiritual discipline. Fasting can be used to seek God’s guidance, draw closer to Him, repent for sins, and gain spiritual strength. The verses listed in this article offer guidance and inspiration to those who are considering incorporating fasting into their spiritual practice.
While fasting is not required to be a Christian, it can be a powerful way to connect with God and grow in faith. As we fast, we are reminded of our dependence on God and are able to focus more fully on Him. This can result in a deeper appreciation of the blessings in our lives and a greater sense of peace and contentment.
Whether you choose to fast individually or as part of a group, it is important to approach fasting with the right heart and attitude. Fasting is not a way to earn God’s favor or manipulate Him into answering our prayers. Instead, it should be viewed as a way to align our hearts and minds with His will and seek His guidance and strength. May the verses listed in this article encourage and inspire you as you seek to draw closer to God through fasting.