Fasting ~ The Right Way to Fast

Definition of Fasting ~ abstain from all or some kinds of food or drink, especially as a religious observance


Biblical fasting means more than just abstaining from food; it means to abstain from food in order to concentrate upon God and His answer to a particular matter. Biblical fasting involves prayer, intense supplication before God.


  • Fasting is a duty. Every believer is expected to fast. Christ said “When ye fast.” He expects us to fast.
    • Jesus Himself fasted ~ Matthew 4:2 (ESV) ~ And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
    • The apostles were to fast ~ Matthew 17:21 (KJV) ~ Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
    • Church Leaders Fasted
      • Acts 13:2 (ESV) ~ 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.”
      • Acts 14:23 (ESV) ~ 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.
    • Paul fasted often
      • 2 Corinthians 6:5 (KJV) ~ In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
      • 2 Corinthians 11:27 (KJV) ~ In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
    • Fasting is to be done without notice. The believe is to fast before God, not before men. There is to be no change in appearance or behavior to indicate that he is fasting. Think about it. Why should there be? Why should anyone know that you are fasting? Why should anyone know you are seeking God in a very special way? The matter is God’s affair, not man’s affair. It is between you and God, not other people.
      • Matthew 6:18 (KJV) ~ That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
    • Fasting is to be to God alone. The believer is to fast to God alone. God is the object of your fast. You need to meet God in a very special way. In meeting God all alone, you are demonstrating your dependency upon God and His provision.
    • God does not say when nor how often we should fast, but He does tell us how to fast. We must take every precaution to fast exactly as He says: before God, in secret, without any show whatsoever.
    • Fasting the right way has its reward: God shall reward you openly. How much greater is His reward than the recognition of men! God’s acceptance and eternal reward is enough for genuine believers.
    • Fasting ~ WHEN should a believer fast?
      • There are times when the believer feels a special pull, an urge, a call within his heart to get alone with God. This is God’s Spirit moving within his heart. When this happens, nothing—not food, not responsibility—should keep him from getting all alone with God. He should fast as soon as possible.
      • There are times when special needs arise. The needs may concern the believer’s own life or the life of friends, society, the world, or some ministry or mission. Again, nothing should keep the believer from spending a very special time in God’s presence when facing such dire needs.
      • There are times when the believer needs to humble his soul before God. At such times he learns not only humility, but dependence upon God (Psalm 35:13).
      • There are times when the believer needs a very special power from God. The Lord promised such power if the believer prayed and fasted (Matthew 17:21; Mark 9:29).
    • Fasting ~ WHY should a believer fast?
      • Fasting keeps the believer in the presence of God. He is fasting in order to seek God’s presence for a very special purpose; he remains in God’s presence until he feels God has or is going to meet his need.
      • Fasting humbles the believer’s soul before God. It says that God is the most important thing in all the world to him (Psalm 35:13).
      • Fasting teaches the believer his dependency upon God. He is seeking God, and in so doing he is demonstrating his conviction that he is dependent upon God.
      • Fasting demonstrates to God (by action) a real seriousness. It shows by act that the matter being considered is a priority.
      • Fasting teaches the believer to control and discipline his life. He does without in order to gain a greater substance.
      • Fasting keeps the believer from being enslaved by habit. He lays aside all substances; in so doing, he breaks the hold of anything that might have him chained.
      • Fasting helps the believer to stay physically fit.
Pastor Andy Lambert

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