Praying And Fasting In The Bible

Praying and fasting in the Bible can help you as you seek God’s will for your life. You can strengthen your relationship with God and your Christian walk. Through prayer, communication, and time with God while fasting, you will increase your spirituality.

Praying and fasting are two of the most important Christian practices that we engage in almost weekly. They are powerful tools when used properly and can radically change your walk with God, if you do them right.

Praying and fasting in the Bible is a great spiritual way to have a personal relationship with God to gain His strength. Through prayer, we become aware of our own weakness and trust God for His power.

If you’re one of those who find it challenging to put your desires aside and go for long dry periods without communicating with God, I can understand. Growing up, I was a natural at this. After all, I had the genes that were clearly built for endurance: my mother and two older sisters could go for months without speaking a word to each other, much less God. In fact, there were times even in our family worship gatherings when we’d be singing praises and it was unclear whether or not my sisters or my mother was actually breathing. My mother was awesome in the thick of prayer but caused us no shortage of distress at dinnertime because she didn’t do “small talk.” Seriously, if you asked her how she was doing—maybe because you saw she wasn’t eating anything—she would mumble something about either the weather or how long it was taking for the meal to be prepared (and we were always waiting for a special meal). She just didn’t do chit chat.

Praying And Fasting In The Bible

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.

Praying And Fasting In The Bible

Matthew 6:16-18 ESV / 664 helpful votes 

“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Acts 14:23 ESV / 405 helpful votes 

And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

Joel 2:12 ESV / 362 helpful votes 

“Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;

Mark 9:29 ESV / 308 helpful votes 

And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”

Joel 1:14 ESV / 286 helpful votes 

Consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord.

Acts 13:3 ESV / 247 helpful votes 

Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

Isaiah 58:6 ESV / 241 helpful votes 

“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?

Esther 4:16 ESV / 234 helpful votes 

“Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”

Luke 2:37 ESV / 219 helpful votes 

And then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.

Acts 13:2 ESV / 212 helpful votes 

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.”

Ezra 8:21-23 ESV / 211 helpful votes 

Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods. For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.” So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.

Isaiah 58:1-14 ESV / 194 helpful votes 

“Cry aloud; do not hold back; lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that did righteousness and did not forsake the judgment of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near to God. ‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high. Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the Lord? …

1 Corinthians 7:5 ESV / 179 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful

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.

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