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Fasting in the Bible

The greatest example of fasting, in my opinion, was Jesus Himself. He spent 40 days and 40 nights fasting and praying in order to prepare for the calling His Father gave Him. Maybe you have a calling on your life, but it is overwhelming, or you don’t know where to start. This is a great reason to fast. (Read Matthew 4, Mark 1, and Luke 4)

Paul and Barnabas fasted when seeking God’s wisdom regarding the elders of the churches. Maybe you have an important decision to make and want to be sure you choose properly. This is a great reason to fast. (Read Acts 14)

After Jonah preached to the Ninevites, they repented and began a fast. Maybe you made some bad choices, and you are feeling convicted. This is a great reason to fast. (Read Jonah 3)

Nehemiah mourned and fasted when he heard terrible news about Jerusalem. Maybe you suffered a loss, or something didn’t go the way you planned. This is a great reason to fast. (Read Nehemiah 1)

Daniel fasted when seeking an answer from God. Maybe you’ve been praying for a long time and not seeing results. This is a great reason for fasting. (Read Daniel 10)

The Israelites fasted when they had lost many men in battle and realized they needed God’s help for victory. Maybe you’ve been fighting a battle and you feel like you just keep losing. This is a great reason to fast. (Read Judges 20)

The New Testament does not demand you to fast. It presents a fast as something that is good, beneficial, and profitable. It assumes that you will fast, because of the advantages. Matthew 6:16 says “when you fast”. It does not say, “if you fast”. So, it is important to remember that fasting is not a requirement, but it is a necessity.

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