Facts On Fasting

I know that fasting is mentioned in the bible, old and new testaments. But, I have never found where God instructed us to fast, how, why or when to fast. I’ve done Bible searches on the word, fast, fasted, and fasting and I’ve read all the scriptures that came up on the search. Can you help?

Q. I’d like to thank you so much for your ministry. It is very helpful.

I have a question. I know that fasting is mentioned in the bible, old and new testaments. But, I have never found where God instructed us to fast, how, why or when to fast. I’ve done Bible searches on the word, fast, fasted, and fasting and I’ve read all the scriptures that came up on the search. Can you help?

Again, thanks for your website. I refer a lot of new Christians to your site. You make everything very clear. Thank you.

A. I’ll confine my answer to religious fasting, although there are good health reasons to fast from time to time as well to cleanse the body from impurities.

Moses, Elijah, Jesus and probably Paul all fasted in connection with important missions. Daniel fasted to underscore the importance of certain prayers. Jesus told His disciples that certain demons could only be cast out through prayer and fasting. The Israelites fasted in connection with Yom Kippur, the national Day of Atonement, etc.

While no specifics are given, Biblical fasting seems to be associated with especially important/urgent matters. Sometimes it’s a partial fast, as with Daniel eating no “choice” foods for 21 days while praying about Israel’s future, sometimes it’s complete like the 25 hour fast from all food and drink by the Jews on the Day of Atonement.

In our time, religious fasting is most frequently associated with prayers of extreme urgency, when we are bringing critical matters before the Lord. A good book on the subject is “God’s Chosen Fast” by Arthur Wallis.

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