Would you like some solid fasting and prayer verses that will transform your biblical fast from a struggle to victorious? I used these five Scripture passages to help me obey God through fasting. They will help you live yielded to God in other areas as well!
I sensed that little nudge from the Holy Spirit to stop working. My muscles were already tired, my brain struggling to make sense of what I was working on.
Yet I ignored Him. It’ll just take a few more minutes to finish this. I hate stopping mid-task, I reasoned.
But the next day, while in prayer, God took me to task on brushing Him off. How can I expect His blessing when I disobey? There are reasons He nudges me to stop. Some of them could be:
- So I don’t overdo my body
- He doesn’t want anything to become an idol
- Other responsibilities need my attention too
And no amount of rationalizing will make His wisdom disappear. I was wrong to blow God off, plain and simple.
While I repented for my actions, and knew He forgave, He also laid it on my heart a time of prayer and fasting:
A time away from the very thing I wouldn’t put down.
Can you biblically fast something other than food?
What God led me to fast from wasn’t food. But you might be wondering if that’s biblical. There are a couple of examples of a non-food fast in the Bible:
- Fast from sex. The husband and wife refrain from sexual relations found in 1 Corinthians 7:5.
- Partial fast (Daniel 1:12). When Daniel fasted from “pleasant bread,” meat, and wine (Daniel Fast), Daniel 10:3 says he also abstained from anointing for 21 days.
However, a non-food fast should not replace regular fasting unless it’s done for medical reasons. Nevertheless, any type of fast is a humbling of yourself to be satisfied by God alone for the duration of it. God knew I needed exactly that, but…
I Didn’t Want to Yield to God Through Fasting
I wanted to justify myself. What is wrong with it God? (Hey, it doesn’t hurt to ask!)
There was nothing wrong with this particular work itself, but it was the fact that it was getting out of control. My old tendencies toward perfectionism started creeping back into my drive to finish, instead of listening to His voice of wisdom.
When He put it on my heart to go on a biblical fast, do you want to know what my first response was?
Yep, you probably guessed it. I ignored Him again. *facepalm
The next day, when I had my Daily Time with God, He made it very clear that He was calling me to set aside time for prayer and fasting. I decided to listen and obey. And that’s when it was all a piece of cake.
HA! No. Not a piece of cake at all. That’s when it was HARDER to obey God. I mean, this doesn’t come naturally. Right? My “flesh man” whined and complained.
But that’s when God led me to these five passages. These five verses don’t have the words fast anywhere in them, but they were crucial to helping me “crucify my flesh.” God knew they were exactly the spiritual food I needed to succeed in my biblical fast.
5 Transformative Verses for Fasting and Prayer
Why are these particular verses helpful to yield to God through fasting? They are all about surrendering what your natural man wants to do and obeying God instead! So I have aptly named them my yield to God verses. 😉
And those [who are] Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:24-25 (NKJV)
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. Romans 13:14 (NASB)
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. Galatians 5:16 (NLT)
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. 5 Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:4-5 (NLT)
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7 (NLT)
The Struggle to See Victory in a Biblical Fast
Every day in the beginning of my biblical fast, the battle between my flesh and my spirit raged. I wanted what God was saying to take a break from. I could clearly see the idolatry; that was the obvious purpose for the fast. And it was still difficult!
I even explained this to my son through hot tears—because I wanted him to see that I deal with the struggle of releasing my will to God too.
On day five, I woke up wondering how many days I had left (2 more). And if I was honest with myself, I was hoping it was already over. I was even tempted to pray and ask God if I could cut it short! (If I did, He wouldn’t have forced me to continue because God’s not a controller.) That’s when I knew I needed to pray those fasting and prayer verses again.
Today, we read in the Old Testament how God instructed His people to tear down the idols in the land. He said to serve and love Him with ALL our heart.
Just because it’s the 21st century doesn’t mean that it’s different now! God doesn’t change (Hebrews 13:8)!
Therefore, when He wants the idol out of my heart, I have to do the work of tearing it down (so to speak). In a practical sense, it means:
- Praying the Word. Praying through passages of Scripture like the fasting and prayer verses above when my humanness wants to have its way and getting the victory! (Check out our Prayer Guide!)
- Confession. Fasting is accompanied by prayer in Daniel 9:3 and with confession of sin in 1 Samuel 7:6 and Nehemiah 9:1-2.
How to Fast for God
Here’s how to answer the call and fast for God:
- Yield to Him and just decide to do it. You could even start with a non-food fast. I like to ask God if He wants me to add a non-food item to fast from in addition to my food fast.
- Expect that you’re going to fight through your flesh. That’s completely normal and nothing to be condemned about.
- Use Scripture to overcome. Jesus fought the enemy on His 40-day fast in the wilderness by using the Word. The Yield to God verses above will get you started.
- Learn more about fasting, discover the benefits, and make a plan. I have a resource that can help you with that.
The verses above were a game changer for me to obey God through fasting. They helped give me the strength to complete it. I want you to have them too. They will help you see victory!
What verses do you like to use to help you when fasting and praying?
The Biblical Fasting Kit Gives You Practical Tools for Victory
Get Help for Your Next Fast
Learn how to hear from God to discover the specific purpose of your fast and implement a plan of action to follow.
- Get your questions answered about fasting
- Gain a better understanding of the purposes through Bible study
- Learn how to prepare physically and spiritually
- Have help to see it through to the end
- Bible verses to learn and memorize for a victorious fast
Want to help others in their walk with God? Use the icons below to share this post!
Originally published June 8, 2020.