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Zeal, But Not According To Knowledge
Fasting in the Scriptures
Part 4a


“Lest we hinder the gospel of Christ”

Jeremiah 14:11-12 (NKJV) 11 Then the LORD said to me, “Do not pray for this people, for their good. 12 When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.”

Unfortunately some fasting is hindered. In this session we look at what the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy say on this important topic. All quotations come from the writings of Ellen White.


“There is a cause for the great weakness in our churches, and that cause is hard to remove; for it is self. Trouble does not arise because men have too much will, but because they have too much self-will. The will should be wholly sanctified to God. The professed followers of Christ need to fall on the Rock and be broken; for in every one who enters the gates of the city of God, self must be crucified. This fierce spirit which rises up in the hearts of some in the church when everything does not go to please them, must be subdued; for it is not the Spirit of Christ. It is fully time that we return to our first love, and be at peace among ourselves. We must make it manifest that we are not only Bible readers, but Bible believers. If we are united to Christ, we shall be united to one another.” {RH December 6, 1892, par. 4}


“Prayer and fasting, that laborers may be sent into the harvest-field, will avail nothing, while the spirit of evil surmising and criticism exists in the hearts of those to whom laborers are to be sent. We are to be doers of the words of Christ; then our fasts and prayers will be effectual in bringing upon the church the Holy Spirit.” {RH October 31, 1893, par. 5}


“When you put away your differences, when you feel that by appealing to outside parties to decide questions for you, you have deserved the displeasure of God, the Lord will be able to help you.” {Ms75-1898.}


“You may well fast now, but without contrition of heart all the fasting will do no good to your souls. You must humble your hearts before the Lord, and crucify self.”{Ms75-1898.}

“The outward signs of fasting and prayer, without a broken and contrite spirit, are of no value in God’s sight. ... He will graciously receive those who will humble their hearts before Him.”{Ms 33, 1903, par. 10}


“Why God’s people are not more spiritually-minded, and have no more faith, I have been shown, is because they are narrowed up with selfishness. ... It is not the abundance of your meetings that God accepts. It is not the numerous prayers, but the right-doing.” {T15 25.2}

Reformation in Our Institutions

“My guide has shown me that fasting and the prayers will not come up before God in acceptance and receive His favor until things are set in order in institutions and in our churches. {Lt 52, 1891, par. 33} ... There is something to do in setting things in order, something to do beside fasting and praying. Were Christ Jesus in person to address us, He would prescribe just such a work to be done as is found in this chapter as described by Isaiah. The health of our institutions demand a revolution in principles which are now buried up under the rubbish of false ideas and selfish principles that have no connection with God.” {Lt 52, 1891, par. 35}

Spirit of Self-Justifying

“Fasting or prayer that is actuated by a self-justifying spirit is an abomination in the sight of God.” {DA 280.2}

Withholding Tithe

“Let the sin of pride be put away, let all superfluities of dress be overcome, and repentance toward God be exercised for the highhanded robbery toward Him which has withheld money which should flow into the treasury to sustain the work of God in its mission fields. Let the work of reformation, of true conversion, be set before and urged upon the people. ... Let us humble our souls before God by humiliation, fasting and prayer, repentance of sin and putting it away.” {2SM 379.2}

Estranged Heart

“Fasting and prayer will accomplish nothing while the heart is estranged from God by a wrong course of action.”  {2T 146.1}


“There are sins of this same character among us today [oppression and lack of love and caring], and they bring the rebuke of God upon His church. Wherever such sins are found, seasons of fasting and prayer are indeed necessary; but they must be accompanied with sincere repentance and decided reformation. Without such contrition of soul, these seasons only increase the guilt of the wrong-doer.” {4BC 1150.1}

Lack of Belief in the Testimonies of God

“I was instructed to say that our people are losing in spirituality, for they do not believe many of the messages of truth for this time and the testimonies of the Spirit of God.” {Lt 264, 1902, par. 12}

Mercy and Love For God Lacking

“The message given by Isaiah was to impress the self-righteous who were trusting in their fasts and their prayers, that there was a work neglected which was mercy and love for God, and love for their fellow men.”{Ms 76, 1893, par. 39}

Fasts Were For Outward Show

“These fasts are only outward show, mere pretense, a mockery of humility. These worshipers, while mourning and lamenting, retain all their objectionable traits of character. Their hearts are not humbled, nor cleansed from spiritual defilement. They have not received the softening showers of the grace of God. They are destitute of the Holy Spirit, destitute of the sweetness of the heavenly influence. They manifest no repentance, nor faith that works by love and purifies the soul. They are unjust and selfish in their dealings, mercilessly oppressing those whom they regard as their inferiors. Yet they charge God with a neglect to manifest His power to them and exalt them above others because of their righteousness. The Lord sends them a message of positive reproof, showing why they are not visited by His grace.” Ms 48, 1900, par. 3

Lack of Restitution

“There are many who will not be blessed till they make restitution of the tithe which they have withheld.” Review and Herald, December 10, 1901 

This Discussion Guide was created for the 2022 GYC Conference in Phoenix, AZ, by Dan Augsburger of Path2Prayer Ministries.

GYC Pt 4a