Encouraging Bible Verses about Fasting

Fasting is an amazing spiritual discipline that has the power to grow your faith. The only problem is that it’s difficult to stick with. However, God’s Word is full of Encouragement. So, in this devotional, we’ll read Encouraging Bible Verses about Fasting.


Fasting in the Bible


Fasting is the act of abstaining from food and sometimes water for a brief period of time. People usually decide to go on a fast for various health reasons.

However Biblical fasting is a little different. It is a spiritual discipline God uses to draw us to Himself.

By temporarily denying ourselves the joy of eating we can focus our attention on God and experience a closer relationship with Him.

This kind of fasting involves more than simply giving up food. Prayer and reflecting on the Word of God both play a big part in it. And it has the ability to grow our faith in unimaginable ways.

Honestly, fasting was never on my to-do list. I’m not into suffering. And I like cake way too much!

Then a few years ago, my church group decided to go on a thirty-day partial fast for one of our members. It was a way of encouraging her during a difficult time in her life.

Each person was asked to do two things. First, to give up whatever they felt was holding them back from closeness with God. It could’ve been a certain food or something non-food related. Second, to pray for our beloved member each day.

Because I have such a sweet tooth, I chose to give up desserts. I won’t lie, it was hard! I had to rely completely on God to remain on the fast for the entire thirty days. But this fast transformed my relationship with both food and God.

If you’re starting a fast, I pray these Bible Verses will inspire you while you abstain. And that you will experience unparalleled spiritual growth as a result.

Inspirational Bible Verses to Read When Fasting

God’s guidance is paramount during a fast. But the only way to find it is to open the Holy Bible and read.

Within these scriptures to read while fasting you’ll find the truth of who Jesus is, the strength to keep going in the tough times, and the peace that only comes from God.

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

John 6:35 NIV


But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”

Matthew 4:4 NKJV


He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Matthew 17:20 ESV


Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

Ephesians 6:10 NKJV


So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV


for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.

Romans 14:17-18 NKJV


I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13 NKJV


You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.

Isaiah 26:3 NKJV


But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Matthew 6:17-18 NKJV

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.

1 Corinthians 16:13 NIV

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

Psalm 34:8 New King James Version

Benefits of Fasting Bible Verses

Physically there are a lot of benefits to fasting. Losing weight, lowering your blood pressure, and feeling light and airy.

But the real value of fasting is the freedom you can only find in Jesus Christ.

So, let’s read some scriptures about the benefits of fasting.

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?

Isaiah 58:6 ESV


Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. And the hand of our God was upon us, and He delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambush along the road. So we came to Jerusalem, and stayed there three days.

Ezra 8:31-32 NKJV


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.

Ezra 8:21 ESV


Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath, not profaning it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.”

Isaiah 56:2 ESV


Scriptures on Fasting and Praying

And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.”  And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.”

Luke 5:33-35 ESV


But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.

Psalm 35:13 KJV


So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

Nehemiah 1:4 New King James Version


Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.

Acts 3:1 ESV


To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

Luke 18:9-13 NIV


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.

Ezra 8:22-23 ESV


When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

Luke 22:40 NKJV


Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

James 5:16 NIV


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Fasting Scriptures for Breakthrough


Consecrate a fast, Proclaim 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.

Joel 1:14 NASB


So you go to the house of the Lord on a day of fasting and read to the people from the scroll the words of the Lord that you wrote as I dictated. Read them to all the people of Judah who come in from their towns.

Jeremiah 36:6 NIV


So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

Acts 14:23 NKJV

Gain more strength from these Powerful Psalms to Pray When You Need God’s Help

Verses to Read When Fasting for a Relationship


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.

1 Corinthians 7:5 ESV


A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 13:34-35 NKJV



Find inspiration in these Heartfelt Bible Verses about Love

Daniel Fast Bible Verse


I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

Daniel 10:3 NKJV

4 Types of Fasting in the Bible


  1. Normal Fast


This kind of fasting is what we typically think of. Temporarily giving up food and in some instances, water for short period of time. (Please don’t go more than a few hours without water. And follow a doctor’s instructions if fasting for an extended period.)


  1. Partial Fast

A partial fast means you give up a certain kind of food or drink instead of eating all together. Maybe it’s an entire food group, like meat, or like my fast, desserts. A partial fast can be used for a longer time.

  1. Intermittent Fast


This kind of fast alternates between eating normally for a few days, then fasting for a few days. Many people say it has helped them lose weight.


  1. Abstinence


Living a Christian life can mean fasting from any number of things that are non-food related. Giving up TV, computer, or social media time, deciding to spend time alone instead of with friends, or even a husband and wife abstaining from sex in their intimate relationship.



Read more in this Devotional: Spiritual Warfare Scripture for When You’re Under Attack

Bible Verse Art from Master’s Hand Collection

Old Testament Examples of Fasting in the Bible


Daniel and God’s Covenant of Love

Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.

Daniel 9:3 NKJV


 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed:

“Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws.

Daniel 9:4-5 NIV


Moses with God for Forty Days

So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.

Exodus 34:28 NKJV


Jonah and the People of Nineveh

So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying,

Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands.

Jonah 3:5-8 NKJV


When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust.

Jonah 3:6 NIV


Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”

Jonah 3:9 NIV


Esther and Her Young Women

And in every province, wherever the king’s command and his decree reached, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting and weeping and lamenting, and many of them lay in sackcloth and ashes.

Esther 4:3 ESV


Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “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.”

Esther 4:15-16 ESV


God Spares King Ahab

(There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the Lord drove out before Israel.)

When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly.

Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.”

1 Kings 21:25-29 NIV


Ezra Mournes the Exiles

At the evening sacrifice I arose from my fasting; and having torn my garment and my robe, I fell on my knees and spread out my hands to the Lord my God.

Ezra 9:5 NKJV


Then Ezra withdrew from before the house of God and went to the chamber of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib, where he spent the night, neither eating bread nor drinking water, for he was mourning over the faithlessness of the exiles.

Ezra 10:6 ESV



Read More in this Devotional: Inspirational Bible Verses about Jesus

New Testament Examples of Fasting in the Bible


Jesus, the Son of God Himself

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.

Matthew 4:1-2 NKJV



Saul Becomes the Apostle Paul

Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”

Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”

Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

Acts 9:4-9 NKJV


The Church at Antioch

Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.  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 13:1-2 ESV


Anna a Prophetess Serves God

Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

Luke 2:36-37 NKJV


How to Have the Right Attitude for Biblical Fasting

Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.

Matthew 6:16 New King James Version


‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’ “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.

Isaiah 58:3-4 NIV


Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?

Isaiah 58:7 NKJV


Then all the people of Israel, the whole army, went up and came to Bethel and wept. They sat there before the Lord and fasted that day until evening, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord.

Judges 20:26 ESV


And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son and for the people of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.

2 Samuel 1:12 ESV



Read more in this Bible Study: Peace of Christ

Bible Verse about Times of Fasting in the Bible

and to ask the priests who were in the house of the Lord of hosts, and the prophets, saying, “Should I weep in the fifth month and fast as I have done for so many years?”

Zechariah 7:3 NKJV


Say to all the people of the land, and to the priests: ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months during those seventy years, did you really fast for Me—for Me?

Zechariah 7:5 NKJV



Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, in sackcloth, and with dust on their heads.

Nehemiah 9:1 NKJV


In the ninth month of the fifth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, a time of fasting before the Lord was proclaimed for all the people in Jerusalem and those who had come from the towns of Judah.

Jeremiah 36:9 NIV


“Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘The fast of the fourth month, The fast of the fifth, The fast of the seventh, And the fast of the tenth, Shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts For the house of Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.’

Zechariah 8:19 NKJV


And Jonathan rose from the table in fierce anger and ate no food the second day of the month, for he was grieved for David, because his father had disgraced him.

1 Samuel 20:34 ESV


And they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh and fasted seven days.

1 Samuel 31:13 ESV

As you can see the Word of God has a lot to say to us about the powerful spiritual growth a fast can bring!

Please leave a comment below and let me know which of these Encouraging Bible Verses about Fasting inspired you today.

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