Reasons to Fast


We live in a self-indulgent society. We know nothing of self-denial. Christ commands us to lead a life of self-denial. (Matthew 16:24)

Jesus Himself fasted. He said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 4:34 NASB) Jesus gave us the example of wanting God’s will above our own stomachs. He never prioritized self-pampering. He never did it. He constantly denied Himself, and He was God!!

If Jesus who was God had to be somehow unblocked through fasting to know God’s will clearly for His life, how much more do we need to fast to gain clarity for our own lives! Do we want to do the will of God? Then why don’t we seek Him wholeheartedly?

If you don’t have a hunger for God, fast. If you are bored reading your Bible, fast. If you feel like you’re not connecting to God during prayer, fast. “Blessed are those who HUNGER and thirst for righteousness, for they WILL be filled.” Matthew 5:6 NIV

There are some strongholds of the enemy that can ONLY be broken through fasting (Matthew 17:21). This is because there is a demonic component to many strongholds in our lives, and we are not even aware that we are in the grip of the enemy until we fast and have our spiritual eyes opened. Fasting is a way to break the bonds of the enemy in our lives. Fasting will open your eyes; it will humble you and show you your real self.

More reasons why you should fast:

1. When God doesn’t seem to be answering your prayers
2. When you have trouble overcoming a specific sin
3. When you feel blind in a situation where action is required
4. When counseling others
5. When you are in the midst of a trial where you have no hope
6. When you want to experience God in a deeper way
7. When you need clear direction and wisdom
8. When you have a broken marriage that only God can heal
9. To seek the heart of God about leading His people
10. When God’s people need to be revived

When you fast, you are humbling yourself before the Lord, which is why God hears you. He delights in people who seek Him with humility. Then our voices will be heard on high. “Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’” (Isaiah 58:9a)

Every time I have fasted, I have pressed into God with all of my being, and Scripture says that when we draw near to God, He will draw near to us (James 4:8).

We can walk with spiritually open eyes, clarity of vision, nearness to God. Your own will needs to be fully and unconditionally crucified in order for you to be ready to do whatever God has called you to do. And maybe what you’re doing right now (your vocation) is exactly where God wants you, and you will get a special empowering to live it out in a much more powerful way. Or maybe you can’t even begin to conceive of how wonderful your life will be if God changes your desires and then gives you the desires of your heart. I’ve had this happen to me, and I can tell you, it is wonderful!

Here is the audio that further explains why you should fast:

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12 Responses to “Reasons to Fast”

  1. Melissa says:

    I’m so intrigued by this topic Susan! I’m interested in the details of when to fast and for how long?

    • Susan says:

      It depends what God leads you to do. If you are new at fasting, a half-day fast or juice fast would be a gentle way to begin, with setting aside time to seek the Lord during the time you are fasting. It can be seeking the Lord in general, to draw closer to Him, or to present before Him a specific request, for example, the salvation of a loved one or the restoration of a relationship.

  2. Heather says:

    Love the verses you shared on this! Fasting is something we should do humbly with a heart for Jesus, not with hidden motives, but for a deeper relationship with Him.

    • Susan says:

      Until I started studying the subject of fasting, I had no idea how many Scriptures talked about fasting! Humility is definitely always associated with fasting that is pleasing to God.

  3. Julie says:

    Susan- this topic does intrigue me. How do you do this with kids? It sounds like an excuse or a dumb question, but if the idea to fast is to get you closer to God, doesn’t it need to be undistracted time?
    I am very distracted with kids around and getting deep in prayer or connection. It always seems my 3 year old needs me….

    • Susan says:

      God knows your situation. My husband did a fast with me, and we had a financial breakthrough, and he was at work the day of the fast. He gave up food and spent time with me in prayer in the evening. God required him to go to work that day. He was technically not undistracted.

      I have done many fasts where God has answered with a miracle, and I was not undistracted. I spent the majority of the day in prayer as I went about my chores. It helps to stay off the computer and watch no TV. You are focused exclusively on seeking God while taking care of your 3-year-old.

  4. Kristi says:

    I’m loving this topic and the comments. Getting an idea of how someone else fasts helps me see how I can fit it into my life.

  5. Fasting is not much talked about but God certainly includes it as one of the spiritual disciplines.

    • Susan says:

      Last summer I heard a sermon on fasting for the first time in a church setting, and I was so glad that finally it was being addressed at church. God required a fast once a year from all His people, so fasting was something that used to be expected. The fact that Christians know so little about this topic is indicative of the times we are in. In the end times, there will be self-indulgence to an unprecedented level, and we see that today in our culture.

  6. April says:

    We all need revival in some way and I’m sure the majority of us also desire for our lost loved ones to come to Jesus. Therefore, there are many reasons that we need to live a life humbling ourselves to God our Father. I love how you’ve laid out great biblical truths and specific reasons for fasting!

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