Biblical Fasting

Fasting is a biblical mandate in Scripture. First Jesus tells his disciples that fasting will be a requirement in their spiritual walk.  

“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.” Matthew 6:16-18 

There are prescribed seasons for fasting in the Bible.

When to fast: 

In Times of Sorrow: 1 Samuel 31:13, 1 Chronicles 10:12, 2 Samuel 3:35 

In Times of Joy and Gladness: Zechariah 8:19  

During National Crisis: 2 Samuel 1:12 

Fasting for People’s Sins: Ezra 10:6 

In Need of Courage: Esther 4:16 

In Need of Repentance: Joel 1:13-14 

In Times of Great Sickness: Matthew 17:21, Mark 9:29 

In Times of Great Trial and Testing: Matthew 4:1-11 

In Times of Persecution: Psalm 35:13 

Benefits from Fasting: 

Humility: Isaiah 58:3-7 

Healthier and Look Better: Daniel 1:12-16 

How Long to Fast:

As we discussed above there are particular seasons to fast and at other times there has been a prescribed amount of time to fast: 

10 Days: Daniel 1:12 

21 Days: Daniel 10:3 

40 Days: Deuteronomy 9:11-18, Luke 4:1-12