The best passage in the Bible on fasting is Isaiah 58:6-12. God says, “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen…” Then, He lists many of the benefits of fasting. Here they are:
- Fasting sets those in captivity free.
“…to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?…” If you, or a member of your family, has been bound by the oppression of Satan, fasting is a powerful tool to set them free! It is particularly powerful at setting people free from addictions, from sexual sins like adultery and pornography, and from sins of the imagination. By denying the body a basic necessity like food, we can be set free from sins that have held the flesh captive.
- Fasting sets abundance in the proper perspective.
“…Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter‑ when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?…” There are millions of people around the globe who are forced to regularly skip meals because they are too poor to buy food. By skipping a meal and sending the money we would have spent on that meal to a needy person, we use our wealth unselfishly.
- Fasting produces revelation.
“…Then your light will break forth like the dawn…” If you need God’s help in a dark situation, fasting will reveal the light at the end of the tunnel!
- Fasting causes healing.
“…and your healing will quickly appear…” If you, or a friend, are fighting a disease, fasting puts you in direct contact with God’s healing power. (Note: Make sure you ask your doctor before going on a fast, especially if you are sick).
- Fasting is a sign of righteousness.
“…then your righteousness will go before you…” God makes us righteous because of our faith, but faith without works is dead. Fasting is a physical indication of a desire to be more righteous. As we fast, God will notice our sacrifice and answer our prayers.
- Fasting allows you to experience the glory of God.
“…and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard…” If you want God’s glory to follow you everywhere you go, fasting is a great way to press into the presence of God. After Moses fasted on the mountain for forty days, he was forced to cover his face when he spoke with the Israelites because God’s glory on his face was too strong for them to look at him. Once you have spent time in the throne room, God’s glory will follow you.
- Fasting gets prayers answered.
“…Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I…” When you call on God, He will answer you. When you ask Him for help, He will provide the answer.
- Fasting helps us focus on solutions instead of pointing at problems.
“…If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed…” All too often, we point fingers and gossip instead of helping. Fasting will allow you to be part of the solution instead of being part of the problem.
- Fasting provides guidance.
“…then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday… The Lord will guide you always…” When you do not know which way to turn, fasting will provide direction. As you have time to listen to God’s voice, you will receive the guidance you need.
- Fasting releases provision.
“…[The Lord] will satisfy your needs in a sun‑scorched land…” We serve Jehovah Jirah, the God who provides.
- Fasting gives you strength.
“…[The Lord] will strengthen your frame…” Fasting initially makes you physically weak, but ultimately you will be stronger, both spiritually and physically.
- Fasting unlocks spiritual refreshment.
“…You will be like a well‑watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail…” Fasting help you sink deep roots that allow you to tap into rivers of living water.
- Fasting leads to restoration of what has been lost and to a new period of building.
“…Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age‑old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.” Fasting closes the doorways of the past and releases new vision for the future.