7 Benefits of Biblical Fasting for Breakthrough

In this post, I’m talking about the benefits of biblical fasting, when to fast, kinds of fasts, and biblical fasting tips. Live yielded to God through spiritual fasting and see the breakthrough God has for you. And at the end, I’m going to show you the tools to help see your fast through to completion.


Benefits of Fasting and Prayer

How to Fast for Breakthrough: 7 Benefits of Biblical Fasting.

Do you want to grow spiritually? Are you longing for a spiritual breakthrough? Give God your undivided attention through biblical fasting and see Him move on your behalf.

I don’t know about you, but fasting is not my favorite subject! My fleshly nature tends to want it easy; I crave comfort. While spiritual fasting is not fun, it’s necessary. It is an intentional positioning of your heart for breakthrough and spiritual growth.

After dodging God on this subject for awhile, I finally announced one day that I felt impressed to fast from my (previous) blog. I pulled out the sackcloth and ashes and mourned this fact to my readers. Woe is me! Although I was trying to be humorous, the truth is, following through with it wasn’t easy! But obedience is key.

The first day of my blog fast I knew that God wanted me to pull back from social media, and what did I do? I opened a Google+ account! But God worked on me during that fast, anyway.

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

When Does the Bible Say to Fast?

Fasting is not a question of if but when. Jesus said, “when you fast” not “if you fast” (Matthew 6:16-18). It is biblical; Jesus did it (Matthew 4:2).

Some people fast religiously, almost without direction. If that’s the case, then check your motive. God may be calling you to fast. He certainly has a specific purpose in mind. More often than not, when I decide to fast, God has already laid it on my heart for a definite reason.

When does the Bible say to fast?

  • Regularly. Fasting is a spiritual discipline. The frequency is Spirit led. (See Luke 2:37, 2 Corinthians 11:27)
  • When the leadership calls a fast (i.e. your church or nation). Public national fasts were recorded in the Bible on occasions when the people were repenting of sin. (See 1 Samuel 7:5-6; Nehemiah 9:1-3)
  • When you need direction. Are you desperate to hear Him more clearly? When the noise of everything else is temporarily removed it is easier to receive clarification, especially when seeking direction. (See Acts 13:2)

And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:16-18 ESV

Fasting is an intentional positioning of your heart for breakthrough and spiritual growth. #LiveYielded Click To Tweet

Want to grow spiritually? Longing for spiritual breakthrough? Give God your undivided attention through biblical fasting and see Him move on your behalf.

Kinds of Fasts

  • Total fast (only drinking water) – Jesus ate nothing when He fasted.
  • Daniel fast – more restrictions than a vegan diet. See link.
  • Juice fast (juicing and drinking water only) – only by the leading of the Lord. Take medical conditions into consideration.
  • Partial fast (food specific) – be Spirit led. Recommended if you have a medical condition. Can also be from sun up to sundown. 
  • Non-food related (e.g. entertainment) fast – my recommendation is to do these fill-in-the-blank types of fasts in addition to (and not in place of) one of the ones listed above.

Biblical Fasting Tips

  • Use wisdom. I’ve been underweight for the last several years so I cannot participate in fasts that involve the loss of vital calories for my body. My doctor even recommended that I not participate in a Daniel fast because he was concerned my body would burn muscle instead of the missing extra fat. Instead, I fast chocolate, sugar, or other specific treats I usually partake in daily. Occasionally, I fast some form of entertainment or something I would rather not give up. 😉 God always makes it clear which precious commodity I am to fast.
  • Take medications into consideration. If you are on medication and the directions say to eat food with it, then follow the instructions of your doctor or pharmacist. It’s not using wisdom to tempt God by throwing your body into a danger zone. Find the principle of not putting God to the test in Matthew 4:5-7.
  • If you give into eating during your fast, don’t get into condemnation. Simply ask God for strength and keep moving forward.
  • Remove or limit normal distractions such as watching television. It will help you to remain sensitive to the Spirit.
  • Resist temptation by running to God immediately. See the foolproof way to abandon temptation.
All You Need to Know About Biblical Fasting.

Beneficial Results of Spiritual Fasting

Let’s look at some Bible verses that reveal some of the benefits of fasting and prayer:

  • Protection: Esther 4:16; Ezra 8:21-23; 2 Chronicles 20:1-25
  • Victory over temptation: Matthew 4:1-11
  • Commission into ministry: Acts 13:2-3; Acts 14:23
  • Reach the heart of God: Jonah 3:4-10
  • Deliverance: Mark 9:28-29; Isaiah 58:6
  • Preparation for new seasons of ministry: Matthew 4:1-17
  • Health: Isaiah 58:8

Fasting not only gives spiritual benefits but physical ones as well:

Fasting cleanses the body from built-up chemicals, metals, and other toxins. When you fast, your cells, tissues, and organs dump out the accumulated waste products of cellular metabolism as well as chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, and solvents. Fasting revitalizes you in every way: mentally, physically, and spiritually. It also allows the overburdened liver to ‘catch up’ on its detoxification work. —Don Colbert, MD

Remember, when you fast spiritually, the time you would usually spend eating is spent with the Lord instead. Write down your questions, any struggles you may be facing during the fast, and what God is showing you in your journal. Go back later in the fast and read what you wrote. Often you will gain more revelation or see the answers to your questions as God completes the work He is doing. I have a product below that can help you with all of this.

Whatever the purpose of your fast, it will strengthen your walk with God. Fasting will cause you to thrive spiritually.

What is your experience with fasting?


Biblical Fasting Kit Now Available!

Let the Biblical Fasting Kit Help You with All Your Fasts 

Learn how to hear from God to discover the specific purpose of your fast and implement a plan of action to follow.

  • You get the packet so you can apply fasting tips, create a strategy, and learn fasting purposes through Bible study.
  • You get the Scripture cards so you can yield to God and see your fast to completion.
  • You get wall art so you can stay inspired during your fast.
  • You get an electronically fillable kit if you don’t have a printer.

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50 Comments

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Susan!

      1. Hi, my name is Naledi, I have been separated with my husband for 6 years now & it seems he want to come back to fix , but he need to heal from all he is struggling with, which he didn’t specified, please be with in prayer I need God more to hear from him more, I want God’s wisdom

        1. Praying for God’s will over your life and his! Keep seeking God. When your heart is after Him, you will certainly find Him more.

  1. Liz Giertz says:

    So glad you are my neighbor at Brenda’s this morning. I wanted to read this when I saw it yesterday, but didn’t have the time. Such great wisdom here. I, too, shied away from fasts for a while, but then I read a great book that changed my perspective. Wish I could remember what it was… Thanks for sharing all this! Blessings!

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Aww, thanks for saying that, Liz! If you remember the book let me know. 😉

  2. Such a rich article, Kelly. I haven’t done a fast since earlier this year. I suppose my Summer of Rest was somewhat of a fast, but hmm, I didn’t consider it that way at the time. Great suggestion to use a journal for fasting. I’m going to try that next time. Thank you for sharing, friend. 🙂 xoxo

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      That’s okay, Brenda. Yours was mostly for rest if I remember correctly. I think the Lord leads us to what we are to do. But next time you fast I hope you’ll remember to use your journal. One of those great Chasing Community ones. 😉

  3. I don’t fast. Not because I don’t think it’s necessary, but because I don’t know what, why, when, or how. I have often tried and failed, so I neglect it to avoid failure again. Thanks for this post, Kelly. You’ve reminded me to allow God to lead me through a fast, not fast on my own.

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Great to see you here, Kelli! Yes, God led or maybe it becomes more of a religious ritual? It took a lot of work to research all this, but I’m glad it helped you!! Blessings, my friend!

  4. You’ve been so thorough here Kelly. Some things I’ve never really processed around fasting, and your tips are a great balance to taking our personal situation into consideration.

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      It ended up being a great study. I had gone further this time around and learned new things as well. I look at fasting with much more pleasure now, as a result. 🙂

  5. This was such a wise and practical post on fasting. This >> “Fasting is an intentional positioning of your heart for spiritual breakthrough and spiritual growth.” Yes! He will meet us as we fast and our lives will not be the same. So encouraging! Blessings!

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Joanne! I have wondered if everyone who reads will “dread” the content bc fasting isn’t fun for me, so I’m happy to hear you were encouraged by it.

  6. Important insight on fasting, Kelly. I think a regular fasting of some sort strengthens us and our walk with Jesus. I take a social media Sabbath on Sundays, which is difficult at times. I also fast food/drink on specific Spirit led days throughout the year. I’m contemplating even doing some additional fasting and this was helpful info. Thank you!

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Thanks for sharing what you do, Jill! I think fasting can take us deeper in our walk with the Lord.

  7. YES. I believe in fasting and probably should start again. It helps to eliminate the excess to make more room for God in your life. Thanks for sharing. Blessings to you!

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Indeed it does, Mari-Anna! Hope you’re well. Blessings!

  8. I love the emphasis here on God’s leading us, even into what the fast should delete from our lives. We forget (at least I do!) that God wants to be involved in every detail.

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Yes! I am often reminded that our relationship with the Lord needs to be similar to close relationships with people. We communicate with those near and dear to us, find our their opinions and wishes, etc. He truly loves to be involved in every aspect of our lives.

  9. I think you’ve brought to our understanding an important aspect of our Christian walk that we often forget. At least I do. Thank you for these truths!

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      I forget, too, Valerie! Ha! Like I said, it’s not my favorite subject. But I am always so glad I followed through!

  10. Great post, Kelly. I didn’t grow up with fasting, and I’ve only dabbled in it as an adult. Your post is a good intro for those who don’t know much about the subject, like me!

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Thanks, Sarah! So glad to be of help. 🙂

  11. Such an important topic and a spiritual discipline we’ve lost over the years. I also love that you point out it doesn’t have to be food. At the beginning of every year, our church participates in a churchwide fast for 21 days … anything God lays on hearts. I am always amazed at the stories of breakthrough when hearts shift alignment from these things to Him. Thank you for the types, tips, and even the warnings! Great article, Kelly!

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Thanks, Esther! Our church does, too. I’m amazed at the work God always does!

  12. Great job, Kelly! Fasting may be hard, but it is so worth it. I usually feel better during a fast, especially if it’s just for 24 hours, (emphasis on usually.) Also, I have found that during those seasons of life in which I have fasted more often, I have felt so much closer to the Lord.

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Hey, Ruth! Yes, it’s worth it. That’s what keeps me going. The end result is awesome!

      1. I so happy when I read the 7 benefits of fasting. I am decided to adopt this way of praying .
        Thanks Kelly R. Baker
        Be blessed for that .

  13. I have grown up in church, but have never fasted before. I have a medical condition now which prevents me from doing a no food intake or even a Daniel fast. I need those calories! However, I am very much needing to hear from God and receive His instruction right now. I did not even think about a fast of sweets and treats or tv. Thank you for these ideas! I am definitely going to pray about this! Congratulations on being featured at Grace and Truth!

  14. I did fast at different times over the past couple of years, it was so much easier when I prayed about it and let Him lead me. I did the partial, a meal or two a day, turned off the television and Pinterest. I actually did one that was just from morning until 3,when Jesus was on the cross. I was really blessed. taking Communion is also a good idea. And if you get hungry, eat, He’ll understand and be careful if you are on medidine.

  15. Great wisdom here. Not if but when. I need to give this some thought. I have participated in fast before, and they were excellent. I let the pangs drive me to God.

  16. Felicia Ford says:

    I have a question about medical issues. I have avoided fasting because I get low blood sugar and vertigo when I do not eat regularly so I am a little afraid to try it. Any suggestions?

    Thanks! 😉

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Hi Felicia! You could fast an item of food that wouldn’t affect you medically. For example, if you just have to have your cup of coffee each morning, you could fast that (unless your doctor has specifically told you not to fast that item). Additionally, you could fast a form of entertainment that you are pulled to. Instead of spending that time indulging in the entertainment, take the time to spend with God. I’m praying for you.

  17. Thanks kellyrbaker for this information,am from Uganda and personally I fast every Friday and it’s amazing.

  18. WARLINGS Afeghera says:

    Great l will lead a fast life. Thanks

  19. It’s awesome.More grace to you. I love you Kelly.

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      God bless, Stella!

  20. Thanks Kelly this article I find very informative and helpful study materials on fasting .I’m really guided on specific fastings God bless you.

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Aww great! So happy you found it helpful, Samuel!

  21. I have to join this kind of fasting to improve my life and connecting me with God

      1. Hi kelly.im from kenya.im spiritually dry due to sin of mind.how do I reconnect with God since whenever I pray.i don’t get a break through.Will fasting help ..

  22. Thank you so much Kelly. I was moved by the Spirit reading. I am a mom of two girls and still breastfeeding my 4 month of girl. I was struggling on how to fast this Lent season, I did not want to miss growing closer to God especially this season. I was so confused on how to fast despite wanting to have poor milk supply. Thanks for all your sharing. May the Lord bless you!

  23. Thank You Kelly, this is exactly what I needed for the Youth class tomorrow. They are beginning praying and fasting next week for the first time since our Bible class started. So grateful for the scriptures.

    1. That’s wonderful, Susan! Our youth definitely need to practice this spiritual discipline.

  24. My name is Aneli. I’m struggling to get capital to start a small business. May you please help me with prayers. I thank you

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