Is It Time?
Fasting in the Scriptures
GYC Fasting, Part 1

“Call a fast....”

“There are sins of this same character [oppression and lack of love] among us today, 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.” Review and Herald, October 13, 1891, par. 6.


The Scriptures On Fasting

Old Testament Scriptures On Fasting

Exodus 19:10-11, 14 (Fasting when the Law was given on Mt. Sinai.)

Exodus 24:18; 34:28; Deut. 9:9, 18,25 (Moses’ miracle sustaining on the mount for forty days and forty nights.)

Leviticus 23:26-32 (On the Day of Atonement, people were required to afflict their souls, which included fasting according to Mrs. White.)

Judges 20:26 (Israel fasted till evening after 18,000 men died at the hands of the Benjamites, burning sacrifices, and inquiring whether they should go out to battle them again.)

1 Samuel 7:6 (Israel fasted when acknowledging its sin.)

1 Samuel 31:13 (Seven-day fast after Saul and sons were buried.)

2 Samuel 1:12 (David’s day-long fast for Saul and Jonathan after they were killed.)

2 Samuel 12:16-22 (David’s seven day fast for his sick child.)

1 Kings 19:4-10 (Elijah went forty days and nights in the strength of God’s miracle food.)

1 Kings 21:9, 12, 27 (Jezebel’s false fast bringing Naboth’s death.)

1 Kings 21: 25-29 (God’s judgment on Ahab was delayed because he humbled himself and fasted.)

1 Chronicles 10:12 (Seven day fast for Saul and sons - 1 Sam. 31:13.)

2 Chronicles 20:3 (Jehoshaphat sought the Lord and proclaimed a fast upon learning that a great multitude of Moabites were coming against him and his people.)

Ezra 8:15, 21-23 (Ezra proclaimed a fast when he discovered that no

Levites had joined him, and in seeking God’s special protection.)

Ezra 9:1-5 (Ezra tore his hair and fasted over the news that the people had not separated themselves from the people of the land, and that the leaders were foremost in that trespass.)

Nehemiah 1:4 (Nehemiah’s first fast over troubling news from Jerusalem.)

Nehemiah 9:1 (Assembly of children of Israel with fasting and sackcloth when they separated themselves from all foreigners and confessed their sins.)

Esther 4:1-3,15-16 (Esther asked that all of the people join her fasting for three days prior to her going unsummoned to the King.)

Esther 9:31 (Brief mention of fast proclaimed in Esther 4:15-16.)

Psalms 35:13 (David fasted in seeking health for others who were not supportive of him.)

Psalms 69:10 (David fasted and put on sackcloth in seeking deliverance from the reproach that was being placed upon him.)

Psalms 109:24 (David again fasted to overcome reproach.)

Isaiah 22:12 (The people had built up their own defenses, and were choosing not to look to God or respect Him. God called for a fast, but the people responded with feasting.)

Isaiah 58:3-6 (Ongoing oppression and lack of love caused God to ignore the people’s fast, and resulted in the Almighty’s call for the true fast.)

Jeremiah 14:12 (As a result of ongoing iniquity, God said he would not hear the people’s cries when they were fasting, and directed

Jeremiah to not pray for them.)

Jeremiah 36:4-10 (A fast was proclaimed for all the people in Jerusalem and those who came there.)

Daniel 6:18 (Mention made of the king fasting while Daniel was in the lions’ den.)

Daniel 9:3-4: (Daniel’s private fast was motivated by concern that God’s 70 years of judgment might be extended much longer.)

Daniel 10:1-3 (Daniel fasted three full weeks, seeking more information. Jesus Himself responded.)

Joel 1:13-14 (A call to fast, hold a sacred assembly and cry out to God.)

Joel 2:1, 13-17 (A call to fasting and sacred assembly in response to the natural locusts disaster, sent in judgment from God.)

Jonah 3:5-10 (A pagan king’s call to fasting, humbling, turning from wickedness and crying out to God, to avert the judgment announced by Jonah).

Zechariah 7:3-5 (God questions the kind of fasting going on by the priests: “For Me?”)

Zechariah8:18-19 (Calls for fasts of joy.)

New Testament Scriptures On Fasting

Matthew 4:2 (Christ’s forty day fast in the wilderness.)

Matthew 6:16-18 (The fasting of the pharisees is condemned.)

Matthew 9:14-15/Mark 2:18-19/Luke 5:33-35 (John’s disciples questioned why the disciples of Jesus did not fast.)

Matthew 17:21/Mark 9:29 (Father and mute son fail to receive help; fasting called for by Jesus.)

Mark 2:18 (See Matt. 9:14-15.)

Luke 2:36-38 (Anna served God with ongoing prayer and fasting.)

Luke 5:33-35 (See Matt. 19:14-15.)

John 1:47-48 (Nathanael prayed and fasted to understand truth - EGW: Ms8a-1888.)

Acts 1:14 (Fasting was part of the preparation for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost—ST January 20, 1898, par. 8.)

Acts 9:6,7 (Paul fasted for three days after his Damascus Road conversion.)

Acts 10:30 (Cornelius fasted till 3 PM.)

Acts 12:5 (“The entire church engaged in fasting and prayer” while Peter was in prison.)

Acts 13:2-3 (In the course of fasting, the Holy Spirit directed the church to separate Barnabas and Saul for witnessing.)

Acts 14:23 (Prayer and fasting was part of the process of commissioning new elders in the church.)

2 Corinthians 6:5 (Going without food was a regular part of Paul’s experience. Fasting also refers to abstaining from food for health and other reasons.)

1 Corinthians 7:5 (Fasting is sometimes a priority.)

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