fasting notes

Ok, a few of my friends haved asked me to post the notes from what I shared Wed night – so if you’re interested, I’m posting them in 2 parts:  fasting in the OT & NT; the 2nd part, I’ll put up tomorrow, fasting now & how.  🙂

Let me know if you like me putting up these notes (you can print them off if you want) or not (just more clutter).  Here they be!

The Feast of Fasting:  Get some fast & go far!

 Then, Now & How: People who fasted & went far – Moses, Jesus, Elijah, Paul


Œ THEN:  What did Jesus say about fasting?  Matt 6:16-18 – When You Fast

Fasting in OT (>20x in OT)    Purposes:

1.        Initially a natural expression of grief – Job

2.        Spiritual infusion – Moses on Mt Sinai (private)


Personal Fasts:  often in times of distress.

·         Moses on Mount Sinai receiving the law (Ex 24:18, 34:28)

·         Hannah fasts because she’s barren (1 Sam 1:7)

·         David fasts in mourning for Abner’s death (2 Sam 3:35)

·         David’s mourns for his son’s life – (2 Samuel 12:16 – Praying for health)

·          Elijah 40 days & nights (1 Kings 19:8)

·         Ahab responds to Elijah’s confrontation by fasting (1 Kings 21:27)

·         Ezra fasts to mourn Israelites inter-marrying w gentiles (Ezra 10:6)

·         Nehemiah fasted upon learning that Jerusalem was in ruins (Neh 1:4)

·         Darius fasted all night after placing Daniel in the lions’ den (Dan 6:18)


Public Fasts:  Voluntary group fasts  – Lev 16:29-31; 23:27; Num 30:13

·         Benjamites defeats the other Israelites (Judg 20:26)

·         Israel defeats Philistines & repents re: Eli – (1 Sam 7:6)

·         Israel grieves from Saul & sons dying in battle (1 Sam 31:13 & 2 Samuel 1:12)

·         7 day fast was held when Saul & sons were buried (1 Sam 31:13)

·         Jehoshaphat calls to fast – opposed by Moabites & Ammonites (2 Chron 20:3)

·         Those returning w Ezra from the Captivity fasted for safety (Ezra 8:21,23)

·         People repent of their evil ways (Ne 9:1)

·         Esther & Jews fasted when faced w destruction by Haman (Est 4:3,16; 9:31)

·         Jehoiakim declares a fast for people to repent from evil ways (Jeremiah 36:6–10)

·         Reacting to Jonah’s preaching, the king orders everyone to fast (Jonah 3:5)

·         Fasting was done during the 70 years of the exilic period on the 5th & the 7th months, the date the siege of Jerusalem began and the date when Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians (Zech 7:5).


Fasting in the NT:  both personal & public (>10x)

·         Anna at the Temple  (Luke 2:37)

·         John the Baptist led his disciples to fast (Mark 2:18).

·         Jesus said that fasting was not suitable for His disciples while He was with them (Mt 9:14-15; Mk 2:18-20; Lk 5:33-35)

·         Jesus fasted to begin his public ministry, and have the power of God and the anointing. (Matt 4:2ff, Luke 4:14)

·         Jesus said some come out only through Prayer & Fasting (Mk 9:29)

·         Cornelius was fasting at the time of his vision (Acts 10:30)

·         Selection of Paul & Barnabas as 1st Missionaries (Acts 13:3)

·         Paul & Barnabas fasted at appointment of elders in churches (Acts 14:23)

Fasting can be from things besides food: 1 Corinthians 7:3-5
Jesus did not require fasting as a part of Christianity: Matt 9:14-17