Fasting for Spiritual & Physical Health

As I write this, I’m fasting.

I wish I could say that I’m fasting to meet a great spiritual need (although sharing that with the world would be Pharisaical and defeat the whole purpose of fasting!), but honestly, I’m not. In recent months, my husband and I began incorporating intermittent fasting into our regular diet to help burn excess fat and achieve other health benefits.


Though fasting is a bit of a trend right now in the world of health and fitness, it’s certainly not a new idea.  In the Old Testament, believers fasted during periods of grief, repentance, or great need. Abstaining from the pleasure of food (and sometimes drink) demonstrated the intensity and urgency of their feelings to God.

In the book of Esther, when the Persian king was tricked into decreeing that all the Jews in his kingdom be annihilated, Queen Esther’s first thought was to fast, and ask others to fast along with her, as they beseeched God to preserve her life when she went in to the king.

Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. – Esther 4:16

prayer-2544994_1920.jpgAs you know, her prayer was answered in spades. Esther saw not only the salvation of her people, but the defeat of her people’s greatest enemy, Haman.

When combined with prayer, fasting works!

Though fasting is not a command for us in this Age of Grace, Jesus recommended fasting. When the disciples asked him why they could not cast out certain demons, Jesus told them that they lacked faith; and they needed to increase their faith to a degree that could only be achieved by prayer and fasting.

For verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. – from Matthew 17:20, 21


As I consider all this, I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve been able to stick to a fast for the health of my body, but rarely for the health of my soul. I can count on one hand the times I have been so burdened about something that I’ve felt the need to combine fasting and prayer.

I need to change that.

A godly woman once told me that every time she felt a hunger pain during a spiritual fast, she prayed about the issue for which she was fasting. I’d like to begin fasting for both body and soul, and incorporate her idea.

Have you ever fasted, either for physical or spiritual benefits?

Have you seen God answer prayer though your efforts?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

because home wasn't built in a day

23 thoughts on “Fasting for Spiritual & Physical Health”

  1. Thank you for sharing this, as fasting is a spiritual discipline most of us (myself included!) could stand to engage in more often. The feeling hunger pangs as a reminder is a great idea!
    I have been blessed over the years with 2 pastors who have incorporated fasting into their spiritual lives and helped me to also do so.
    I have fasted seeking God for a specific answer as well as joining in with others to fast for a period of time as the body of believers seeks God’s direction.
    Fasting, as long as it is medically feasible, serves us well. I was taught that during any fast my primary goal is to discover how much I rely on God for all things. The physical hunger is a great means to make this clear.
    I appreciated your scripture references. The Word makes it clear that we are to sue this discipline in our walk of faith. Jesus also said, “When you fast” (Matthew 6:16 NIV). The Lord said ‘when,’ not if!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for your question, acountryboy. I do an approximately 40 hour fast the first Sunday of each month, which involves a night and the following day and night. I do drink water and unsweetened tea during my fasts. Two to three times per week, I do a 20-hour fast. (If you are interested in fasting for health, which is why I started, you may want to check out Thomas DeLauer and Dr. Eric Berg on YouTube.) I am looking forward to incorporating specific prayer needs along with my fasting from now on.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fascinating! I have never fasted for health purposes, but fasting for spiritual help has been very necessary for me, in the intense spiritual climate in which I live here in the Amazon Jungle, where witchcraft has been the default spiritual practice for centuries, of those that don’t know the Lord yet. I really look forward to times of fasting; they have been so strengthening!

    Liked by 2 people

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